Summary of Hawaii's Foreclosure Laws

Learn about the basic features of Hawaii foreclosure law and procedure.

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

  • the most common type of foreclosure procedure (judicial v. nonjudicial) used in Hawaii
  • 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 Hawaii 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

Judicial. In the past, most foreclosures in Hawaii were nonjudicial. However, lenders have switched to judicial foreclosures in order to bypass Hawaii’s Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution (MFDR) program. This could change if the legislature amends the MFDR program.

Notice of the foreclosure

Borrower has 20 days to respond after being served with summons and complaint. For judicial foreclosures, the foreclosing party must publish a notice of sale in a newspaper once each week for three consecutive weeks, with the sale taking place no sooner than 14 days after the date of the publication of the third public notice advertisement; or the notice of sale may be published not less than 28 days before the date of the public sale on a state website. (If the public notice is published on a website, the notice must also be published at least once in a newspaper not less than 14 days prior to the public sale.)

Reinstatement of loan before sale

Not available in a judicial foreclosure (except as permitted by the terms of the mortgage)

Redemption after sale

Not available

Special protections for foreclosures involving high-cost mortgages


Special state protections for service members

Protections similar to the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provided for members of the state military forces, including the right to postpone legal proceedings and a prohibition on nonjudicial foreclosures. Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 657D-1 to 657D-63

Deficiency judgments

Allowed for judicial foreclosures

Cash exempted in bankruptcy

About $12,725 for one person, $25,450 for a married couple under federal bankruptcy exemptions.

Notice to leave after house is sold

In a judicial foreclosure, new owner must get a court order (writ of possession) to remove former homeowner after the sale

Foreclosure statutes

Haw. Rev. Stat. § § 667-1.5 through 667-20.1 (judicial); § § 667-21 through 667-41 (nonjudicial)

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