If you’re a homeowner in Wyoming and you're behind in your mortgage payments, it’s a good idea to learn how a foreclosure works. In this article, you’ll learn about each step in a Wyoming foreclosure, as well as get useful information about both federal laws and state laws that are designed to protect homeowners during the process.
Under federal law, servicers are supposed to work with borrowers who are having trouble making their monthly payments in a "loss mitigation" process. ("Loss mitigation" is what the mortgage servicing industry calls the process of working with the borrower to avoid a foreclosure.)
If a borrower falls behind in payments, federal mortgage servicing laws require the servicer to establish—or make good faith efforts to establish—live contact with the borrower no later than 36 days after the delinquency, and again within 36 days after each subsequent delinquency.
The servicer has to tell the borrower about loss mitigation options, like a loan modification, short sale, or any other alternatives to foreclosure that might be available.
No later than the 45th day of the borrower’s delinquency, the servicer must assign personnel to help the borrower and inform the borrower in writing about loss mitigation options that could be available.
Federal law also usually prevents the servicer from initiating a foreclosure until the loan obligation is over 120 days delinquent, which provides time for the borrower to submit a loss mitigation application. (Borrowers who are more than 120 days delinquent can still apply for loss mitigation.) (To learn more about the federal law that delays the beginning of a foreclosure for 120 days, see How Soon Can Foreclosure Begin?)
After the 120-day preforeclosure period elapses, the bank can start a foreclosure if any of the following are true:
Federal law restricts “dual tracking,” which is when a servicer simultaneously evaluates a borrower for loss mitigation while also pursuing a foreclosure.
If the foreclosure has already started when the servicer receives a borrower’s complete loss mitigation application—so long as the servicer gets it more than 37 days before a foreclosure sale—the servicer may not move for foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or hold a foreclosure sale while the application is pending. (To learn more about federal laws that protect homeowners in the foreclosure process, see Federal Laws Protecting Homeowners: Foreclosure Protections.)
Foreclosures in the state of Wyoming are usually nonjudicial, which means the foreclosure takes place without court oversight. Foreclosures can also be judicial, which means the case goes through state court.
Because the majority of foreclosures in Wyoming are nonjudicial, those procedures are summarized below.
At least ten days before publishing a notice of sale, the foreclosing party (the “lender”) mails the homeowner (and the home’s occupant, if different than the homeowner) a notice of intent to foreclose.
Next, the lender publishes a notice of sale in a newspaper once a week for four consecutive weeks prior to the sale. The lender also sends a copy of the notice of sale the homeowner and other parties by certified mail. Then, the lender can sell the home at a foreclosure sale.
While Wyoming law doesn’t provide the homeowner with the right to reinstate the loan (bring it current to stop the foreclosure), the mortgage contract might provide a reinstatement right. Or the lender might permit the homeowner to bring the account current.
Some states have a law that allows a foreclosed homeowner to redeem (repurchase) the home within a specific amount of time after a foreclosure sale.
In Wyoming, foreclosed homeowners may redeem the property within:
As of July 1, 2019, upon the sale of the premises, the purchaser from the sale has the right to enter the premises (if the property is not legally occupied) to ensure the property does not significantly deteriorate during the full redemption period.
If the total mortgage debt is more than the foreclosure sale price, the difference is called a “deficiency.” Some states—including Wyoming—allow the lender to get a personal judgment (called a “deficiency judgment”) against the borrower for this amount.
Federal and state laws—in theory—establish a structured, predictable foreclosure process and timeline. But mistakes that violate the law are common in foreclosures. If you think your lender broke the law in the foreclosure process or you want to find out about different ways to fight a foreclosure, consider contacting a local foreclosure attorney. It’s also a good idea to contact a HUD-approved housing counselor if you want to learn about different loss mitigation options.