Indiana homeowners behind on mortgage or other indebtedness secured by their homes and creditors trying to collect delinquent payments for financing secured by a home or other property may find themselves involved in foreclosure proceedings. In either case, it is absolutely essential that you understand and adhere to the requirements and timeframes set forth by foreclosure laws in Indiana. Those who fail to take appropriate action within the Indiana foreclosure timeline can suffer the negative impacts for years to come.
When Is It Too Late to Stop Foreclosure? A Look at the Indiana Foreclosure Timeline
Foreclosure laws in Indiana are complex and governed by multiple state statutes. In 2009, in response to large numbers of residential foreclosures, the Indiana General Assembly enacted new provisions regarding foreclosure law in an effort to protect public interests and help more people remain in their homes. These statutes have changed the Indiana foreclosure process and timeline. Property owners at risk of foreclosure and creditors seeking overdue payments on indebtedness secured by Indiana real property are wise to contact Indiana foreclosure lawyers who can apply the various laws to their specific situation to maximum benefit.
Impacts of Homeowner Protections on the Indiana Foreclosure Timeline
Indiana Code § 32-30-10.5-8 requires a creditor to notify the debtor(s) by certified mailing 30 days before filing a foreclosure action. Among other requirements, this notice must provide the following:
- Notice of the debtor’s default status;
- Encouragement to seek mortgage foreclosure counseling; and
- Information regarding the homeowner’s rights if foreclosure is filed.
An additional provision of this section of code requires that the creditor notify the debtor(s) of the right to a settlement conference. If a homeowner wishes to pursue this right, he or she must notify the appropriate court of those wishes within 30 days. A homeowner’s failure to timely request a settlement conference at this stage of the Indiana foreclosure process can potentially allow a foreclosure to proceed more quickly.
The Indiana Foreclosure Timeline after Initial Notification
Thirty days after the initial notification of default to the debtor, a lender may file an action for foreclosure in the appropriate Indiana court of jurisdiction. If the homeowner fails to take action and if the plaintiff creditor establishes the right to foreclosure, a judgment or decree of sale may be ordered by the court was early as three months after the date of initial filing. The court then files a praecipe with the county clerk.
The next step is for the clerk to certify the order and issue a copy to the county sheriff, who is responsible for scheduling a date for public auction of the foreclosed property. The auction, commonly called a sheriff sale, must occur within 120 days from the date of judgment except in cases of abandoned property. The sheriff is required to follow specific guidelines for advertising the auction under Indiana Code § 32-29-7-3.
A homeowner whose primary residence is a foreclosed property may continue to live in the home until the foreclosure sale is complete but only when the following conditions are met:
- All taxes and assessments due on the property are paid; and
- The owner does not damage or otherwise harm the property.
When Is It Too Late to Stop Foreclosure in Indiana?
A property owner can prevent the sale of a foreclosed property at any time in the Indiana foreclosure process by paying the amount of the judgment and any additional interest and fees. This payment can be made to the county clerk prior to the issuance of a judgment to the sheriff or payment can be made to the sheriff after a decree. This payment effectively vacates an order of sale.
In many cases, however, payment in full of a judgment and fees is not feasible. And once a foreclosed property is validly sold under foreclosure laws in Indiana, there is no right of the homeowner to redeem the property. The purchaser at a sheriff sale may take immediate ownership and possession of the property. This is why homeowners often need the assistance of Indiana foreclosure lawyers to help them take the appropriate steps to retain their home in the early stages of the Indiana foreclosure process.
Indiana Foreclosure Lawyers Can Help You Navigate the Foreclosure Process
There are additional legal options for homeowners and creditors in lieu of foreclosure proceedings, including loan modification or a deed in lieu of foreclosure, among others. But many of the forms of recourse must occur within the Indiana foreclosure timeline. Corey Meridew is an Indiana foreclosure lawyer with the firm of Camden and Meridew, P.C. Contact Corey today by phone, at 304-770-0000 or complete the firm’s online contact form to evaluate your options related to foreclosure.