If you're facing a foreclosure in Minnesota, you have the right to delay a foreclosure sale. Under Minnesota law, most homeowners get the right to postpone an upcoming foreclosure sale by either five months or 11 months, depending on the circumstances.
The trade-off for getting a delay is that you'll have to agree to a shorter redemption period. But giving up some time to redeem the property after the sale might be a small price to pay if a delay buys you enough time to work out an alternative to foreclosure or figure out a long-term solution to the problem that caused you to fall behind on your payments.
Who's Eligible for a Delay?
To qualify for a foreclosure sale postponement, you and your property must meet the following criteria.
The property must be classified as your homestead. Generally, a home that is owner-occupied by a Minnesota resident is considered a homestead. You have to file a homestead application with the county assessor to get homestead classification. (Minn. Rev. Stat. § 273.124 [Sub. 1, Sub. 13]).
The dwelling can't have more than four units. (Minn. Rev. Stat. § 580.07).
How Long Is the Delay?
Exactly how long of a delay you'll get depends on your original redemption period. You'll get either:
a five-month delay, if your redemption period is six months, or
an 11-month delay, if your redemption period is 12 months. (Minn. Rev. Stat. § 580.07).
The new sale date will be the first day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday that is five or 11 months after the original sale date.
The Trade-Off for a Delay: A Reduced Redemption Period
If you postpone the foreclosure sale, the compromise is that your redemption period is reduced automatically to five weeks.
How to Delay the Sale
To postpone the foreclosure sale, you must do the following.
Execute a sworn affidavit. To find a blank form of the affidavit that you'll need to sign and get notarized, go to Minn. Rev. Stat. § 580.07 and use the "Affidavit form."
Record the affidavit in the office of each county recorder and registrar of titles where the mortgage was recorded. You'll probably have to pay a recording fee.
File a copy of the recorded affidavit with the sheriff who's conducting the sale. The filed copy must show the recording date and the office in which you recorded the affidavit. There might be a filing fee for this as well.
Deliver a copy of the recorded affidavit to the foreclosing party's attorney. Contact the attorney to find out what's an acceptable method of delivery, such as in-person or by mail. Again, the copy must show the recording date and the office in which you recorded the affidavit.
Deadline to Get a Delay
You get only a small window of time to delay the sale. You must complete all of the above steps between:
the date when the notice of mortgage foreclosure sale is first published, and
at least 15 days before the scheduled sale date.
You can postpone the sale just once, regardless of whether you reinstate the loan before the postponed foreclosure sale. (Minn. Rev. Stat. § 580.07).
Should You Delay the Foreclosure Sale?
Whether delaying the foreclosure sale is a good idea depends on your ultimate goal.
You Want to Keep Your Home
Ultimately, if you think you can catch up on your past-due payments, but you need a little more time to do so, getting a postponement is probably a good idea. It's also probably a good idea if you need to some time to finalize a loan modification.
You Don't Plan on Keeping the Home
In Minnesota, you have the right to live in the home during the redemption period. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 580.041). So, if you're trying to buy some extra time in your home, postponing the sale won't really help you because the redemption period is shortened to five weeks. You'll gain time due to the sale postponement, but lose most of the redemption period—and you'll be in the same boat as if you didn't get the delay.
Talk to an Attorney
If you have any questions about whether you should postpone the foreclosure sale, consult with a foreclosure lawyer. Also, keep in mind that you might have other options for delaying a foreclosure, like fighting the foreclosure in court or filing for bankruptcy. To learn whether filing for bankruptcy is right for you, consider talking to a bankruptcy attorney.