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

45-day 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. (Hearing may be continued for 60 days if loss-mitigation efforts may help avoid foreclosure.) If foreclosure approved at hearing, homeowner must be mailed a 20-day notice of sale.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Not available (except as required by the terms of the mortgage or deed of trust)

Redemption after sale

Available within ten days after the sale

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages


Special state protections for service members

Nonjudicial foreclosure prohibited during or within 90 days after a borrower’s period of military service if the mortgage or deed of trust originated before the period of military service. N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 45-21.12A, 45-21.16

Deficiency judgments

No deficiency judgment in nonjudicial foreclosures for purchase money mortgages. Foreclosing party 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

Updated by: , Contributing Editor

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