Georgia Home Foreclosure Laws
Learn about the Georgia foreclosure process, how the lender will notify you of a foreclosure, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency after a Georgia, and more.
The Georgia foreclosure process is quite quick. It is entirely nonjudicial (which means the foreclosure happens outside of court) and the borrower may only get 30 days notice before the home is sold at a foreclosure sale. If you are facing a foreclosure of your Georgia home, you may have questions about the foreclosure process, how the lender will give you notice about the foreclosure, whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency after the foreclosure, and more.
Below you’ll find a summary of some of the key features of Georgia foreclosure law along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.
Finding Georgia’s Foreclosure Laws
The citations to Georgia’s foreclosure statutes are Georgia Code Annotated Sections 44-14-160 through 44-14-191.
Key Features of Georgia’s Foreclosure Laws
We’ve summarized important parts of Georgia’s foreclosure laws below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of Georgia foreclosure law in Nolo’s Georgia Foreclosure Law Center.
Most Common Type of Foreclosure Procedure in Georgia
Georgia law permits both judicial foreclosures (which go through the court system) and nonjudicial foreclosures(which take place out of court.) Since most foreclosures in Georgia are nonjudicial, this article focuses on that process.
Notice of the Foreclosure
In Georgia, the lender will provide the following types of notice during the foreclosure process:
Notice of intent to foreclose. No later than 30 days before the sale date, the lender must mail to the borrower a notice of its intent to foreclose that includes:
- a copy of the foreclosure advertisement published in the official county newspaper (which includes the date and location of the sale), and
- the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or entity that has full authority to negotiate, amend, and modify all terms of the mortgage. Georgia Code Ann. §§ 44-14-162, 44-14-162.2.
Notice of sale. The lender must advertise the foreclosure sale in a newspaper for four consecutive weeks before the scheduled sale date. Ga. Code Ann. § 9-13-140.
Ten-day letter regarding attorney’s fees. The lender must also send a notice informing the borrowers that they have ten days after receiving the notice to pay the principal and interest in order to avoid liability for attorney's fees. The 10-day notice is often included with the 30-day notice. Georgia Code Ann. § 13-1-11.
Special Foreclosure Protections in Georgia
Georgia law provides specific rules for high-cost home loans (a type of home loan where the annual percentage rate or points and fees exceed certain amounts). For such loans, the lender must give the borrower a notice that provides 30 days to cure the default. Ga. Code Ann. § 7-6A-5(13)(C). In addition, the lender must send the notice of the intent to foreclose on the property at least 14 days before publishing the notice of sale. Ga. Code Ann. § 7-6A-5(11).
With a high-cost home loan, a borrower gets the right to reinstate up until the time title is transferred by means of foreclosure by paying the principal amount due, fees (as limited by the statute), escrow deposits in arrears, and interest. Ga. Code Ann. § 7-6A-5(12)-(13).
Right to Reinstate the Mortgage Before the Foreclosure Sale in Georgia
“Reinstating” is when you catch up on the defaulted mortgage's missed payments (plus fees and costs) in order to stop a foreclosure. (Learn more about reinstatement to avoid foreclosure.)
There is no statutory right to reinstate the loan prior to the sale in Georgia (except for high-cost home loans), but most Security Deeds do provide the borrower with this right. (A Security Deed is basically a deed of trust. Learn more about the difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust.)
Right of Redemption After Foreclosure in Georgia
Some states allow the borrower to redeem (repurchase) the home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure. In Georgia, there is no right of redemption after the foreclosure. (For details see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in Georgia, can I get it back?)
Georgia Deficiency Laws
When the total mortgage debt exceeds the foreclosure sale price, the difference is called a “deficiency.” Some states allow the lender to seek a personal judgment (called a “deficiency judgment”) against the borrower for this amount, while other states prohibit deficiency judgments with what are called anti-deficiency laws.
In Georgia, the lender cannot get a deficiency judgment from the borrower unless a court confirms the sale. (For more details about the sale confirmation process in Georgia, see Georgia Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency.)
Notice to Leave After the Foreclosure Sale
If the homeowner does not move out after a Georgia foreclosure sale, the purchaser must first make a demand for possession, and then can begin eviction proceedings.