Foreclosure & Alternatives Law

Foreclosure Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi is considered a title theory state, meaning that the title to the property is held in trust until full payment is rendered according to terms of the loan. The state of Mississippi has some of the swiftest foreclosure proceedings in the nation. From start to finish, the process can take as few as 60 days, although there are ways to delay and even halt the process. This means that homeowners who wish to save their property from being foreclosed upon must take immediate action as soon as their payments fall into arrears. Some mortgages contain acceleration clauses, giving the lender the option to accelerate the payment in full when a borrower fails to make even one payment. While this is usually not the norm, it’s a good idea to seek professional legal counsel if the threat of foreclosure is looming.

Types of Foreclosure in Mississippi

Mississippi is a state where mortgage holders may foreclose on mortgages or deeds of trusts that are in default by either judicial or non-judicial foreclosure processes. If the deed of trust or the mortgage contains no power of sale clause, the lender must seek an order to foreclose from the civil courts. This is known as a judicial foreclosure. When the court has granted the order, the property is sold at public auction to the highest bidder.

A non-judicial foreclosure process is used when either the deed of trust or the mortgage contains a special clause called a power of sale. This clause is a pre-authorization for the mortgage holder to sell off the property in order to pay off the loan balance if the homeowner defaults on the terms of the loan. A trustee can step in to handle the sale of the property with the consent of the lender. Typically the power of sale will dictate the terms of the sale and its time and place. If so, these terms must be followed to the letter.

Power of Sale Foreclosure Process

When no terms are specified, the foreclosure shall proceed in the following manner:

  1. The lender or trustee records a notice of sale that lists the name of the borrower and the date, location and hour that the sale of the property will take place in the county where the property is situated. The notice shall also be posted on the door of the courthouse in the jurisdiction of the property, as well as being published in a local newspaper in the county for the three weeks prior to the posted date of sale.
  2. The borrower is given the right to “cure” the default by making all payments that are in arrears, in addition to all associated fees and costs. Doing so will halt the foreclosure process at any given time up until the actual sale of the property.
  3. The sale, which is sometimes called a “sheriff’s sale,” must be held at a public auction where the highest bidder pays cash for the property. Sheriff’s sales are held in the county where the property is situated or may be held in the county of the borrower’s residence, if they differ. It must be held at the usual and customary place where sheriff’s sales are typically held.

When former homeowners lose their property in a non-judicial foreclosure in Mississippi, they have no right to redeem it at a later date.