Foreclosure & Alternatives Law
Foreclosure Laws in Nebraska
Foreclosure is seldom the best option available when Nebraska homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments. While it may be inevitable in some cases, all alternatives to foreclosing on the property should be thoroughly explored. Some possible options include:
- Communicating with your lender. Sometimes a mortgage modification can save you from foreclosure.
- Working with a HUD-approved government, community or private agency to restructure the mortgage or some other remedial procedure.
- Do a Short Sale, although in Nebraska the mortgage holder can file a lawsuit seeking the difference between what is owed and the fair market value of the sold property.
Other options may be available to you. Working with a Nebraska attorney familiar with the foreclosure process can be helpful. Below are some basic facts about foreclosure laws in the state.
Most Nebraska foreclosures are non-judicial under power of sale in trust or deed, so the civil courts are not involved in the process. Instead, the mortgage holder has to give borrowers notice before any sale of the property can take place. The mortgage holder must record a notice of default no fewer than 30 days before a notice of sale is issued. Once the default is recorded in the county office of conveyances and mortgages, the lender must send a notice of same to the homeowner within 10 days of its being recorded. The notice of sale must be sent to the homeowner at least 20 days before the sale of the property is scheduled.
In addition, the notice of sale has to be published weekly for five consecutive weeks, and the final publication has to be done no fewer than 10 days or more than 30 days before the scheduled sale date of the property in default. The homeowner retains the right to reinstate the loan by paying the amount in arrears within a month after the notice of default is recorded.
A judicial foreclosure can take place when the deed of trust does not have a power of sale clause that pre-authorizes the lender to sell the property once the borrower defaults on the terms of the mortgage. When this occurs, the lender petitions the civil courts for permission to foreclose on the property in default. Once the court grants its final judgment of foreclosure, the sale of the property can proceed. Filed in the court with the complaint is a recorded document called a lis pendens that gives public notice about the foreclosure proceedings on the defaulted property.
The entire foreclosure process in Nebraska generally takes quite a bit longer than it does in many other states. The average time from beginning to end is approximately 90 to 120 days when the non-judicial foreclosure is uncontested. A judicial foreclosure can take about half a year, and the borrower frequently can delay it up to nine months or longer by contesting it in court. Some ways in which the proceedings can be delayed include having the borrower’s attorney request postponements and delays of the property sale or by the borrower filing for bankruptcy during the proceedings.