West Virginia Foreclosure Laws
Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Security Instruments: Mortgage, Deed of Trust
Right of Redemption Period: None
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: No
Time Frame: 60 Days
Public Notice: Publication
West Virginia is considered to be a title theory state, which means that a property title will remain in trust until the loan is paid in full. A title in West Virginia can be secured by either a mortgage or a deed of trust.
The state allows for both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure methods in the event that a borrower defaults. However, the borrower does not have a right of redemption after the property is sold and lenders do not have a right to sue for a deficiency judgment.
Types of Foreclosures Allowed in West Virginia
Judicial 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 must file a lawsuit against the borrower in a court with jurisdiction in the county where the property is located in order to obtain an order to foreclose. Once the court declares a foreclosure, the property will be sold at auction to the highest bidder.
Non-judicial foreclosure, which is also known as foreclosure by power of sale, allows for a property to be sold without court supervision. In order for non-judicial foreclosures in West Virginia to be possible, the loan documents must contain a power of sale clause, which authorizes the lender to sell the property in the event of default to be able to recover what is owed on the property. 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 West Virginia 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 following guidelines must be adhered to:
1. The notice of sale must be served upon the borrower and any lien holders at least twenty (20) days before the sale date. The notice must contain information regarding the time and place of the sale, details about the deed, a property description, and any other relevant information about the sale.
2. A copy of the notice must also be posted on the front door of the courthouse in the county where the property will be sold, as well as in three (3) other public places (including the property itself), at least twenty (20) days before the sale.
3. The notice must be published as a Class III legal advertisement once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks in the county where the property is located.
4. The property will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. The successful bidder must pay one-third (1/3) of the bid amount in cash at the sale, unless the loan documents specify otherwise.
5. Deficiency actions are not permitted in West Virginia, nor is there a right of redemption for the borrower.
Working with a Foreclosure Attorney in West Virginia
The current state of the economy has left many homeowners struggling financially. Many borrowers in West Virginia have already lost their homes to foreclosure while others are falling behind on their loan payments right now. However, it is still not too late to prevent foreclosure. If you are struggling with your mortgage or have already received a notice of foreclosure, speak to a leading foreclosure lawyer right now to fight for your rights.
Foreclosure attorneys work diligently to devise a plan of action to present to your lender, such as short sale, mortgage modification or refinancing, as an alternative to foreclosure. Since the process of foreclosing a property actually costs lenders money, if an adequate plan is proposed, your lender will most likely agree to it. Whatever the proposal, you can rest assured that your West Virginia foreclosure lawyer will do whatever it takes to make sure you do not lose your home.
Regardless of your reasons for defaulting on your mortgage, you have rights as a homeowner in West Virginia and foreclosure lawyers strive to make sure those rights are upheld. Contact a leading foreclosure attorney in West Virginia right now to discuss your options and file a case to prevent the seizure of your home.