I have owned a home in Alaska for many years. A few months ago I lost my job and fell behind in my mortgage payments. The house is now in foreclosure. If I lose it to foreclosure, is there any way for me to get it back afterwards?
You may be able to get your home back after the foreclosure sale, but it’s unlikely. In Alaska, you can repurchase or “redeem” your home after losing it in foreclosure only under certain circumstances. If yours is similar to most Alaska foreclosures, you probably won’t meet the criteria for redemption.
Whether you can redeem your home depends on whether the foreclosure was nonudicial (where the foreclosure takes place without court supervision) or judicial (where the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home). In a nutshell, here are the rules (which are explained in more detail below):
In Alaska, most foreclosures are nonjudicial and most deeds of trust don’t allow you to redeem your home after foreclosure.
Alaska law does not provide foreclosed homeowners with a right to redeem after a nonjudicial foreclosure. However, if the deed of trust that you signed when taking out the loan specifically provides a right of redemption, you may redeem the home after an out-of-court foreclosure (Alaska Stat. § 34.20.090(a)). (Learn more about the difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust.) If your documents give you the right to redeem, you can get your home back by following the procedures described in those documents.
Read your loan documents. Alaska deeds of trust often do not provide a right of redemption. Be sure to check your loan documents before the sale to find out if you have the right to redeem the home after the foreclosure. Otherwise you could find yourself out of luck if you wait until the foreclosure is completed to try to save your home.
If the foreclosure is judicial, you have 12 months after the court confirms the foreclosure sale to redeem your home (Alaska Stat. § 09.35.250). If you don’t redeem the home within this time frame (called the redemption period), your right to redeem expires. After that, you won’t have another opportunity to get your house back. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)
In order to redeem, you must reimburse the purchaser (the person or entity who bought it at the foreclosure sale) for the full price paid at the sale, plus all other lawful charges such as:
To redeem the house, you must pay the redemption amount to the peace officer who conducted the sale. (The court can tell you more about how to do this.) Once you redeem, you’ll get a certificate of redemption and the peace officer will immediately notify the purchaser that you have reclaimed the property (Alaska Stat. § 09.35.270). If the purchaser does not subsequently move out of the home, you should speak with an attorney to find out what you need to do to enforce your rights.
In most cases if you want to keep your home, it is better to take action before the foreclosure sale. This will give you more options to save the property. For example, you could:
Foreclosures in Alaska take several months to complete so you should have plenty of time to explore alternatives to foreclosure before the sale. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Alaska, visit Nolo’s Alaska Foreclosure Law Center.)
To find the statutes that discuss your right to redeem the home after a foreclosure in Alaska, go to Title 34, Chapter 34.20 and Title 9, Chapter 09.35 of the Alaska Statutes.