Summary of Iowa's Foreclosure Laws

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If you are facing foreclosure in Iowa, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including:

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in Iowa
  • how much time you have to respond
  • your rights and protections in the process, and
  • what happens afterwards (for example, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment).

Below we have outlined some of the most important features of Iowa foreclosure law. Keep in mind that this is just a summary; we’ve included statute citations so you can get more details from the laws themselves. And be sure to check out Nolo’s extensive Foreclosure section, where you can find information about all aspects of foreclosure, definitions of foreclosure terms (like redemption and reinstatement), and options to avoid foreclosure.

Topic

State Rule

Most common type of foreclosure process

Judicial

Time to respond

Foreclosing party must mail notice of default and right to cure (reinstate) to borrower at least 30 days before filing suit (or 45 days if the property is agricultural) and a demand for payment of the accelerated balance 14 days before filing suit, along with a notice about counseling and mediation. To officially start the foreclosure, the lender files a lawsuit in court and serves borrower a summons and complaint. Notice must be posted and published four weeks before date of sale.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available within 30 days after notice of default if the land is nonagricultural (or 45 days if the property is agricultural)

Redemption after sale

If foreclosure is judicial with redemption, the borrower can redeem the home within one year, six months (if the lender waives the deficiency in the foreclosure action and other criteria are met), or 60 days (if the borrower abandons the home and other criteria are met). If the lender elects to foreclose without redemption, the borrower can demand a delay of sale and redeem before the sale (no post-sale right of redemption). Post-sale redemption not available for alternative nonjudicial voluntary foreclosures.

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

None

Special state protections for service members

If the service member entered into the mortgage to purchase real estate prior to military service, nonjudicial foreclosure is prohibited. Iowa Code § 29A.103

Deficiency judgments

Generally allowed, but prohibited under certain circumstances. (Consult with an attorney to find out if a deficiency judgment is permitted in your situation.)

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

$1,000 for one person, $2,000 for a married couple

Notice to leave after house is sold

If the foreclosure is judicial, the foreclosing party may generally include the eviction as part of the foreclosure action. If the foreclosure is nonjudicial, the new owner must file a separate eviction lawsuit.

Foreclosure statutes

Iowa Code §§ 654.1 to 654.26, 655A.1 to 655A.9, 628.26, 628.27

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