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 homeowner at least 30 days before filing suit and a demand for payment of the accelerated balance 14 days before filing suit. Must post and publish notice four weeks before date of sale.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available within 30 days after homeowner receives notice of default.

Redemption after sale

Available for one year (or, if agreed upon in mortgage document, six months in exchange for a waiver of rights to a deficiency judgment) for judicial foreclosures; not available for alternative 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

Allowed. If, however, the lender elects to file a foreclosure lawsuit and asks the court to disallow the statutory redemption period, then it also waives its right to sue for a deficiency.

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

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

Notice to leave after house is sold

The eviction may continue as an extension of the foreclosure action or new owner must file an eviction (forcible entry and detainer) lawsuit. The judge will order a hearing to be held no more than seven days later. Former owner must be personally served with notice not less than three days before the hearing. Iowa Code § 648.5.

Foreclosure statutes

Iowa Code §§ 654.1 to 654.26, 628.26, 628.27

Updated by: , Contributing Editor

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