My parents retired and moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, several years ago. I helped them buy a home there, but I just found out that they haven't been making the mortgage payments and the house is in foreclosure. I have quite a bit of money saved up that I could use to help them again. Is there any way for us to get the house back after the foreclosure sale takes place?
No. Some states permit a foreclosed homeowner to repurchase or “redeem” a house after the foreclosure, but Virginia isn't one of them. This means that once the home is sold, you can’t get it back. On the flip side, you do have up until the foreclosure sale occurs to pay off the full amount of the unpaid loan, which will stop the foreclosure. This is also known as “redeeming” the home. Read on to learn more.
You Can Redeem the Home Before the Foreclosure Sale
While you can’t redeem the home after a foreclosure in Virginia, you can redeem prior to the sale under a principle called the "equitable right of redemption."
When You Can Redeem Before a Foreclosure Sale
You can stop the foreclosure process through an equitable redemption at any time from when the lender starts the foreclosure process right up to the time of the foreclosure sale.
How Much You'll Have to Pay to Save the Home
To redeem, you’ll have to satisfy the debt in full by paying off the total amount of the mortgage loan, plus interest, fees, and costs. (Learn more general information about the equitable right of redemption.)
Other Options to Save the Home
There may also be other options available to you and your parents to save the home, other than redeeming it -- so long as you act before the sale. Contact the lender immediately to find out about:
- paying off the past-due amounts to reinstate (catch up on) the loan
- restructuring the terms of the loan in a mortgage modification to make the monthly payments more affordable, or
- getting a forbearance agreement or repayment plan.
You might also be able to refinance the loan.
The whole foreclosure process in Virginia is very quick, taking only around two to three months to complete once it gets rolling so you’ll have to act fast if you want to save the home. It may be worthwhile to consult with a Virginia attorney to help you either navigate the redemption process or assist with obtaining an alternative to foreclosure. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Virginia, visit Nolo’s Virginia Foreclosure Law Center.)