If you are facing foreclosure of your home in Alabama, you may have many questions about the foreclosure process, whether Alabama provides protections to homeowners in foreclosure, how soon you’ll have to move if your home is foreclosed, and more.
Below you’ll find a summary of some of the key features of Alabama foreclosure law along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.
The citations to Alabama’s foreclosure statutes are:
You can find the Alabama Code on the Alabama legislature’s website at http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginfire.asp. If you need help finding the statutes, see Finding Your State’s Foreclosure Laws.
We’ve summarized important parts of Alabama’s foreclosure laws below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of Alabama foreclosure law in Nolo’s Alabama Foreclosure Law Center.
In Alabama, most foreclosures are nonjudicial, which means they happen outside of court (as opposed to judicial foreclosures, which go through the court system). (Learn more about nonjudicial foreclosures.)
In Alabama, the foreclosing party must publish notice of the foreclosure sale in a newspaper for three consecutive weeks before the sale. Alabama law does not require the foreclosing party to notify the homeowner in person or by mail. Ala. Code § 35-10-13. However, mortgages often contractually require the foreclosing party to notify the borrower of foreclosure proceedings.
Alabama provides special protections against foreclosure to the surviving spouses and the estates of service members who die while on active military duty overseas. Lenders are prohibited from initiating foreclosure proceedings for 180 days (six months) following the service member’s death so long as the spouse or the estate notifies the lender about the death and asks for a six-month delay. (Applies to mortgages taken out after August 1, 2009.) Ala. Code § 35-10-71.
“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.)
Under Alabama law, you do not get the right to reinstate the mortgage before the sale. However, even though state law does not provide you with a legal right to reinstate, your lender may allow you to pay the money you owe to bring your account current. Also, the mortgage contract may permit reinstatement.
In some states, you can redeem (repurchase) your home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure.
Alabama's pre-2016 redemption law. Prior to January 1, 2016, Alabama law gave homeowners one year to redeem the home after a foreclosure sale.
Redemption law in effect as of January 1, 2016. As of January 1, 2016, Alabama law provides a 180-day redemption period after the foreclosure sale. (The law is effective as of January 1, 2016, but does not apply to sales made under a power of sale contained in any mortgage or junior mortgage dated prior to the effective date.) This law applies to homestead properties so long as the foreclosing party mailed a notice about the right to redeem. Ala. Code § 6-5-248(b). The foreclosing party must mail a notice about the right to redeem the home at least 30 days before the foreclosure sale. Ala. Code § 6-5-248(h). In cases where notice is not provided as the law directs, you get 180 days to redeem the homestead property from the date the notice is provided but under no circumstances may a right of redemption be exercised later than one year after the date of foreclosure.
Under the 2016 law, the redemption period is one year from the foreclosure sale date for non-homestead properties.
Losing Redemption Rights. If you do not move out of the house within ten days after the purchaser gives you a written demand for possession, you’ll lose the right to redeem. Ala. Code § 6-5-251. (To get details on redemption after a foreclosure in Alabama, see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in Alabama, can I get it back?)
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.
Alabama does not have an anti-deficiency law. If you lose your home to foreclosure in Alabama, the lender can sue you to obtain a deficiency judgment. (For a summary of the deficiency law in Alabama, see Alabama Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency.)
After an Alabama foreclosure sale, the purchaser must give you ten-days notice to leave before starting eviction proceedings.