New Hampshire homeowners facing foreclosure typically don’t get much warning before the foreclosure sale takes place. (They usually only get around 25 days notice, but this will increase in early 2016.) If it’s possible that you may lose your home to a foreclosure in New Hampshire, you should educate yourself about how you'll find out about the foreclosure, how the foreclosure process works, whether you’ll be subject to a deficiency judgment after the foreclosure, and more.
Read on to find a summary of some of the key features of New Hampshire foreclosure law along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.
The citations to New Hampshire’s foreclosure statutes are found in Title XLVIII, Chapter 479 of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes.
You can find a link to the New Hampshire Revised Statutes on the State of New Hampshire’s court website at www.gencourt.state.nh.us. If you need help locating the statutes, see Finding Your State’s Foreclosure Laws.
We’ve summarized important parts of New Hampshire’s foreclosure laws below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of New Hampshire foreclosure law in Nolo’s New Hampshire Foreclosure Law Center.
The most common form of foreclosure in New Hampshire is nonjudicial, which means the foreclosure takes place out of court. Foreclosures can also be judicial in New Hampshire. (This means the lender files a lawsuit to foreclose.)
Since New Hampshire foreclosures are typically nonjudicial, this article focuses on that process.
In New Hampshire, defaulting homeowners can expect to receive one foreclosure notice: a notice of sale.
The foreclosing party must personally serve or mail the defaulting homeowner the notice of sale at least 25 days before the sale (45 days before the sale as of January 1, 2016). It must also publish the notice in a newspaper once a week for three weeks prior to the sale. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 479:25.
New Hampshire law extends the protections under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (which includes protections against foreclosure) to members of the state guard, national guard, or militia called to active duty by the governor for a period of 30 days or more. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 110-C:2.
“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.)
New Hampshire law does not provide the borrower with the right to reinstate prior to the sale. The mortgage contract, on the other hand, may provide the right to reinstate or the foreclosing party may permit the borrower to reinstate.
In some states, you can redeem (repurchase) your home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure. New Hampshire law, however, does not provide the borrower with the right to redeem after the foreclosure.
However, the borrower can redeem up until the time of the foreclosure sale by paying off the full amount of the unpaid mortgage debt. This will stop the foreclosure. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 479:18. (To get details on redemption rights in New Hampshire, see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in New Hampshire, 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.
In New Hampshire, the foreclosing party may obtain a deficiency judgment, though it must make every reasonable effort to obtain a fair and reasonable price at the sale. (For a summary of the deficiency law in New Hampshire, see New Hampshire Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments.)
If the former homeowners don’t leave the home after a New Hampshire foreclosure, the foreclosing party may proceed with an eviction action after giving a 30-day notice to quit (leave). N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § § 540:3, 540:12.