North Carolina Foreclosure Law Summary
In North Carolina, lenders may foreclose on deeds of trusts or mortgages in default using either a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure process.
The judicial process of foreclosure, which involves filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose, is used when no power of sale is present in the mortgage or deed of trust. Generally, after the court declares a foreclosure, your home will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The non-judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A "power of sale" clause is the clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of the their default. In deeds of trust or mortgages where a power of sale exists, the power given to the lender to sell the property may be executed by the lender or their representative, typically referred to as the trustee. Regulations for this type of foreclosure process are outlined below in the "Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines".
Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If the deed of trust or mortgage contains a power of sale clause and specifies the time, place and terms of sale, then the specified procedure must be followed. However, in North Carolina, a preliminary hearing must be held before a power of sale foreclosure can take place.
After the preliminary notices have been issued, the clerk of the court will conduct a hearing to determine whether or not a foreclosure sale may take place. If and when the clerk issues a notice of sale, the foreclosure may proceed as follows:
A notice of sale must be: 1) mailed first class mail to the borrower at least twenty (20) days before the sale; 2) published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property is located once a week for two (2) successive weeks, with the last ad being published not less than ten (10) days before the sale; and 3) posted on the courthouse door for twenty (20) days prior to the foreclosure sale.
Said notice must name the borrowers, the lenders, provide a description of the property and state the date, time and place of sale.
The sale must be conducted at the courthouse in the county where the property is located between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. The property will be sold to the highest bidder. Upset bids may be filed with the court clerk for a period of ten (10) days after the foreclosure sale.
The sale may be postponed by announcing the need to postpone at the time and place the regular sale would have taken place. A notice of the postponement, stating the new date and time the foreclosure sale will be held, must be posted on the courthouse.
Lenders may pursue a deficiency judgment and borrowers retain the right to redemption.