Understand How Foreclosure Works

foreclosure process; alberta foreclosures; right of redemption; mortgage default; calgary lawyer

Understand the foreclosure process in Alberta

Whether you are a lender or a borrower, if you are involved with a mortgage that is arrears, you should know the foreclosure process. Foreclosure is the legal steps that a lender takes to recover arrears and principal on mortgage loan that is in default.

From Calgary, Alberta call 403-225-8810 for the foreclosure help you need.

What is a Default that Starts the Foreclosure Process?

The most common default under a mortgage is the non-payment of regular mortgage payments. Legally, the foreclosure process may start after only one missed payment. Other types of default include, allowing damage to the property, failing to make tax payments, failing to insure the property, failing to make condo fee payments, etc. Call our team to find out if a particular action or inaction constitutes a default under your specific mortgage.

Who Pays for the Cost of Foreclosure?

All costs are paid by a borrower in a foreclosure action. As part of the foreclosure process, costs can include (but are not limited to) lawyers, process servers, appraisers, realtors, property managers, repairs, etc. The mortgage agreement allows the lender to add all costs it incurs to the debt owed by the borrower. This is important as a lender (or insurer) can pursue a deficiency judgment in certain circumstances. Two examples are commercial borrowers and CMHC or other insured mortgages. This means that the lender may seek payments from the borrower’s assets, wages, etc for any amount owing after the sale is finalized.

Typical Steps In the Alberta Foreclosure Process

Below is the step in the foreclosure process. You can also watch our video on the step in a foreclosure.

Initial contact

Lenders will usually initiate communication on a first missed payment. Some lenders will call while others will mail a letter notifying you of the missed payment. If the borrower can immediately repay the arrears, this typically ends the foreclosure process. Borrowers should not ignore this communication. Some mortgages have provisions for a single missed payment if there is a situational issue. Missed payments (NSF) usually have a financial cost to them ranging from $50-$150.

Demand letter

In the foreclosure process a demand letter is usually sent after the second missed payment. This letter can be sent by the lender directly, a collections company or a lawyer. In all instances this letter will state that if arrears are not paid up, a foreclosure will be commenced against the land owner.

Filing of a foreclosure claim

In Alberta, foreclosures are started by way of a statement of claim. The claim is filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench. Once this stage of the foreclosure process is started, a borrower will be liable for more significant costs as most lawyers provide for a borrower to pay all costs associated with the foreclosure process. The lawyer starting the action will the file a notice on the title to the property. This notice will let other lenders secured on title know that a foreclosure action has been started.

Borrowers Potential Actions in the Face of Foreclosure

These are the typical borrowers options. Also watch our video on borrowers options when faced with foreclosure in Alberta.

Repay the arrears

In Alberta, a borrower in arrears maintains a right of redemption. Up until the final order is granted by the court, a borrower can end the foreclosure process by paying up the arrears or, in some cases, making payment arrangements to pay up the arrears.

Statement of defense

There are very few defenses to foreclosure. This option is not often used as it is expensive and unless there is an error in amounts owed or paid, there is no defense to non-payment of a mortgage. If the amount of the appraised value is very low, this is another time when a borrower may file a defense.

Demand of notice

A demand of notice is a legal declaration that a borrower wants to be kept up to date in the foreclosure process. If a borrower tries selling the property themselves or save money by paying the arrears gradually, this notice requires the lender to go through all the foreclosure process steps and allows a borrower to not be surprised as to then the final foreclosure will occur.

No action

Unfortunately, this is a frequent choice borrowers make. This allows a lender to note the borrower in default. This will happen after the notice period has passed. The Statement of claim clearly shows the amount of time a borrower has to respond to the statement of claim. Effectively, this allows a lender to jump to the end of the foreclosure process.

Quit claim

A quit claim is where the borrower agrees to give title to the lender. A borrower is highly recommended to talk to a lawyer if considering a quit claim as they may lose rights and it may have continuing financial repercussions.

Consenting to the foreclosure

This is another situation where a borrower should talk to a lawyer about the legal consequences of this action. It may allow a person to stay in their home longer; however it can have serious repercussions.

Redemption Period

This is the time that the court allows a borrower to pay back the arrears and bring the mortgage current. The time allowed but the courts will vary. There are many factors that will determine how long a borrower can stay in their home (or commercial property) for the redemption period. The single biggest factor is the amount of equity in the property. This time can often be negotiated so call our foreclosure team today for help either speeding up or extending the redemption period. On average the redemption period is 3-6 months.

Sale ordered by the court

This is the step in the foreclosure process where a home is put on the market for sale. Most often it is listed, by the court, with a real estate agent. The agent’s fees are paid by the borrower. All offers are presented to the judge. The judge hearing the matter decides if an offer is fair and if, in the circumstance, appropriately accepted. The sale proceeds are used to pay back all debt(s), in priority order, on title. If there are net funds remaining, they are payable to the borrower.

Order for foreclosure

This happens when the property is not sold but is transferred to the lender in satisfaction of the debt. It is a different process than a judicial sale. The foreclosure order may lead to a deficiency judgment.

Let Our Calgary Based Lawyers Help You with the Foreclosure Process

Contact the experienced team at Kahane Law Office today to see how we can help in your foreclosure situation. We are located in Calgary, Alberta. Connect today at 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta, we can be called toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 or email us directly here.