Maine Foreclosure Laws
Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: No
Security Instruments: Mortgage
Right of Redemption Period: 3 Months or 12 Months
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes
Time Frame: 90 Days
Public Notice: Complaint
Maine is considered to be a lien theory state, which means that property acts as security for a borrower’s loan. In the state, the document that places the lien on a property is called a mortgage. If a lender defaults on their loan, their property may be foreclosed. The state allows for judicial foreclosures are allowed in the state, although there is a power of sale provision for commercial mortgages. The primary form of foreclosure is strict foreclosure.
In Maine, the right of redemption period, or the time frame a borrower has to reclaim the property by satisfying the default in full, varies depending on when the mortgage was executed. The time period is three (3) months for mortgages after 1975 and one (1) year for mortgages before 1975.
The state allows lenders to pursue a deficiency judgment in the event that the foreclosed property is sold at auction for less than the amount that is owed on it. If the lender seeks a deficiency judgment, the borrower will be responsible for paying the difference between the default and the amount the foreclosed property was sold for. Deficiency judgments in Maine are limited by the fair market value of the property that is sold at foreclosure, which is determined by an appraisal.
Types of Foreclosures Allowed in Maine
Maine 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.
To start the process, the lender must file a lawsuit against the borrower along with a Lis Pendens, which is a recorded document that provides public notice that the property is being foreclosed, in order to obtain an order for the sale of the defaulted property. The court is responsible for issuing the final judgment of foreclosure.
The strict foreclosure process in the state is based on the doctrine in which the lender owns the property until it is paid in full. If the borrower does not follow through with the conditions set forth in the mortgage before the loan is paid in full, they will lose the right to the property and the lender will take possession of the property and sell it.
Steps to Foreclose Upon a Property
In both types of foreclosure, the borrower must be notified of the foreclosure sale within thirty (30) days of being issued a foreclosure notice. The proposed sale date must also be advertised weekly for three (3) consecutive weeks before the sale is to occur. The first publication must be printed less than ninety (90) days after the redemption period has expired. The public sale must be held no less than thirty (30) days and no less than forty-five (45) days after the first publication of the notice.
Hiring a Foreclosure Attorney in Maine
Due to the current economic conditions in the country, many homeowners are finding it difficult keep up with their mortgage payments. Many borrowers that were previously able to pay their loans on time are now struggling just to make ends meet. Although being issued a notice of foreclosure is a frightening thought, the important thing to remember is that help is available. If you have been issued a foreclosure complaint in Maine or are beginning to fall behind with your payments, seek the help of a leading team of foreclosure lawyers to fight for your rights.
When you work with a foreclosure attorney in Maine, you can rest assured that your case will end with the best possible outcome. Your paralegal will review your current financial situation and devise a plan of action to present to your lender in lieu of foreclosure. Some examples include mortgage modification, short sale, refinancing or even a temporary halt in payments. Foreclosures usually cost the lender money, so if your foreclosure lawyer can come up with an adequate plan, the lender will most likely agree to it.
Regardless of your reason for falling behind on your mortgage payments, you still have rights as a homeowner. Turn to a leading team of foreclosure attorney in Maine right away to get started on your case and protect your home from being seized.