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, borrower generally has 20 days to respond. In a foreclosure by judicial sale, the lender must mail a notice of sale to the borrower no fewer than 30 days before the sale date and publish the notice in a newspaper no fewer than 21 days before the sale. When the court issues a foreclosure judgment in a strict foreclosure, it may also transfer ownership to foreclosing party so long as there is no equity in the house in excess of the mortgage debt. There is no sale.

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Available upon agreement before sale

Redemption after sale

Available six months from date of the foreclosure decree unless the judge orders (or the borrower and lender agree) on a shorter time.

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages

None

Special state protections for service members

Statute of limitations tolled for those who are in military or naval service of the United States or a member of the Vermont National Guard and ordered to state active duty, and at the time of entering such service or duty, had a cause of action against another person, or another person had a cause of action against him or her. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, § 553

Deficiency judgments

May be requested in the foreclosure complaint and is waived if not requested prior to the confirmation order (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, the court will issue a writ of possession. The writ of possession has the same force and effect and is executed in the same manner as a similar writ issued after an ejectment (eviction) proceeding.

Foreclosure statutes

Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 12, ch. 172, §§ 4931 to 4954

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