Summary of Vermont's Foreclosure Laws

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

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in Vermont
  • 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 Vermont 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 (strict foreclosure or by judicial sale)

Time to respond

After foreclosing party files lawsuit, homeowner has generally 20 days to respond. When the court issues a foreclosure judgment, it may also transfer ownership to foreclosing party (strict foreclosure), if there is no equity in the house in excess of the mortgage debt.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available upon agreement before sale

Redemption after sale

Available six months from date of decree unless judge orders or the mortgagor and mortgagee agree on a shorter time.

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

None

Special state protections for service members

Tolls statute of limitations during period of military or naval service. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 553

Deficiency judgments

Must be requested in the foreclosure complaint (foreclosure by judicial sale) or in a separate lawsuit (strict foreclosure). If the mortgage holder buys the property, the amount of the deficiency is limited by the property’s fair market value.

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

About $12,725 for one person, $25,450 for a married couple under federal bankruptcy exemptions. Up to $8,100 ($16,200 if married filing jointly) under state bankruptcy exemptions.

Notice to leave after house is sold

After foreclosure judgment is issued and redemption period has ended, new owner must serve writ of possession on former owner.

Foreclosure statutes

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, §§ 4941-4954

Updated by: , Contributing Editor

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