Georgia Foreclosure Laws
Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Security Instruments: Security Deed
Right of Redemption Period: Yes
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Varies
Time Frame: 3-4 Months
Public Notice: Publication
Georgia is a title theory state, which means that a property tile remains under lender control until payment on the loan is satisfied in full. The document that secures the title to a property in Georgia is called a deed to secure debt, or a security deed. A borrower makes a personal promise to the debtor to pay their loan in what is known as a promissory note.
The state allows for both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure proceedings. Georgia does not have a statutory right of redemption, which would allow the borrower to reclaim their property by paying the sum of their default plus any additional costs; however, right of redemption is possible if there is a stipulation in the power of sale clause that allows for it or by court order.
Lenders in the state entitled to a deficiency judgment if the price of the foreclosure sale does not cover the amount of the default. The borrower will be responsible for the difference between the default and what the property sold for.
Types of Foreclosures Allowed in Georgia
Georgia statute allows for judicial foreclosures on defaulted property. This type of foreclosure, also known as foreclosure by judicial sale, involves selling the defaulted property under court supervision. In order for a judicial foreclosure to be possible, no power of sale clause may be present in the loan documents. The lender is required to file a lawsuit against the mortgagor in order to obtain a court order for judicial foreclosure. The property will then be sold at auction.
The state of Georgia also allows for non-judicial foreclosure proceedings, also known as foreclosure by power of sale. In order for non-judicial foreclosures in Georgia to be possible, the loan documents must contain a power of sale clause.
The difference between non-judicial foreclosures and judicial foreclosures is that non-judicial foreclosures allow for the property to be sold without court supervision. This type of foreclosure process is usually much faster and less expensive than a judicial foreclosure.
There are two ways in which a non-judicial foreclosure in Georgia can proceed. If the power of sale clause states a specific time, place, and outlines terms of sale, then the lender must follow the procedure that is stated. If there is no specification, then the procedure must follow the proper power of sale notice requirements.
Power of Sale Notice Requirements:
1. Before the foreclosure can be initiated, the lender must send a demand letter to the borrower requesting they pay all past due amounts. The borrower will be given ten (10) days to pay what they owe on their loan and if they do not, foreclosure proceedings will commence. If the borrower does make the necessary payments, no attorney fees will be imposed.
2. If the foreclosure proceedings begin, the lender must send the borrower a foreclosure notice by certified mail at least fifteen (15) days before the sale of the property is scheduled to take place. The lender must also publish the notice of the scheduled sale in the county newspaper where the property is located for four (4) consecutive weeks before the foreclosure sale.
3. Georgia foreclosure law requires that foreclosure sales must take place on the first Tuesday of each month between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4p.m. at the courthouse in the county where the property is located. The trustee will then auction the foreclosed property to the highest bidder at the courthouse steps.
Hiring a Foreclosure Attorney in Georgia
Receiving a foreclosure notice can be frightening, but it is important for homeowners in Georgia to know that help is readily available for them. If you have defaulted on your loan, turn to a leading foreclosure attorney for assistance in preventing your home from being seized.
Foreclosure lawyers do whatever they can to stop the repossession of your home. Your paralegal will review your financial situation and devise a plan to present to your lender in lieu of foreclosure. The plan may consist of a refinancing agreement, loan modification or may even propose a temporary halt in payment. Regardless of the idea that your foreclosure lawyer suggests, rest assured that your case will resolve with the best possible outcome.
As a homeowner in Georgia, you have rights. Speak to a top team of foreclosure attorneys today to get started on your case.