Summary of North Carolina's Foreclosure Laws

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

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in North Carolina
  • 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 North Carolina 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.


State Rule

Most common type of foreclosure process

Nonjudicial: under power of sale in deed of trust. Property cannot be sold until the court clerk holds a hearing, reviews foreclosing party’s paperwork, and certifies sale.

Time to respond

Notice about HUD-approved housing counselors required before notice of default (NOD). 30-day NOD required before notice of hearing. Notice of hearing must be given ten days before the hearing (may be extended for 60 days if loss-mitigation efforts may help). If foreclosure approved at hearing, homeowner must be served with either a 20-day notice of sale (if served by posting and publication) or a 10-day notice of sale (if served by mail).

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Not available

Redemption after sale

Available within ten days after the sale

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

North Carolina High Cost Mortgage Act applies to loans less than $300,000, secured by a personal residence, and qualify as a mortgage under HOEPA (see Ch. 7). Violations include lack of due diligence regarding borrower’s ability to repay the loan and failure to secure a certificate of HUD-certified counseling before signing the loan. Liability is limited to original parties to the loan and borrower can sue only for money; law can’t be used to prevent foreclosure. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 24-1.1E

Special state protections for service members

N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 45-21.12A, 45-21.16

Deficiency judgments

No deficiency judgment in nonjudicial foreclosures for purchase money mortgages. Lender may also be barred from seeking a deficiency judgment if the mortgage is nontraditional (for example, pick-a-payment or option ARM loans) or is a rate spread home loan (where the annual percentage rate exceeds a certain threshold), and the mortgage secures borrower’s principal residence.

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

$5,500 for one person, $11,000 for a married couple

Notice to leave after house is sold

New owner must give former owner a 10-day notice to quit (leave) before going to court for eviction.

Foreclosure statutes

N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 45-21.1 to 45-21.33, 45-100 to 47-107

by: , J.D.

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