Foreclosures in North Dakota are judicial, which means they go through the courts. If you’re facing a foreclosure of your home in North Dakota, you should learn all you can about the main parts of the state’s foreclosure laws, including how you'll find out about the foreclosure, whether you get the right to reinstate (catch up on past-due amounts) before the sale, and if you could be liable for a deficiency judgment after the foreclosure.
You can find a summary of some of the main aspects of North Dakota foreclosure law below along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.
The citations to North Dakota’s foreclosure statutes are:
The important parts of North Dakota’s foreclosure laws are summarized below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of North Dakota’s foreclosure law in Nolo’s North Dakota Foreclosure Law Center.
Residential foreclosures in North Dakota are judicial, which means the lender must sue the borrower in court in order to foreclose. (Nonjudicial foreclosures are also possible, but uncommon, in North Dakota if the state holds the mortgage and the mortgage contains a power of sale. N.D. Cent. Code § 35-22-01.)
North Dakota law requires three foreclosure notices: a notice before foreclosure, a summons and complaint, and a notice of sale.
Notice before foreclosure. The foreclosing party must serve (typically by mail) the homeowner a notice at least 30 days and not more than 90 days before filing a foreclosure lawsuit. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-20. The notice gives the borrower 30 days to pay the past-due amounts and avoid a foreclosure. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-21.
Summons and complaint. In North Dakota, the foreclosing party officially starts the foreclosure by filing a lawsuit (a complaint) in court. It gives notice of the lawsuit to the borrower by serving him or her with a summons and complaint. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-29. (Learn more about the difference between a foreclosure summons and complaint.)
Notice of sale. The officer making the sale must publish a notice of sale in a newspaper once a week for three successive weeks, and, in some cases, mail copies to interested parties. N.D. Cent. Code § § 28-23-04, 32-19-08.
“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.)
In North Dakota, the borrower can cure the default and reinstate the mortgage within 30 days after service of the notice before foreclosure. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-28.
In some states, you can redeem (repurchase) your home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure.
In North Dakota, the borrower generally can redeem the home within 60 days after the sale. If the property is agricultural, the redemption period is one year after the foreclosing party files the foreclosure complaint or 60 days after the sale, whichever is later. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-18. (To get details on redemption rights in North Dakota, see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in North Dakota, 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.
North Dakota has an anti-deficiency law that prohibits deficiency judgments in foreclosures of residential properties of four or fewer units, one of which the owner occupies as his or her primary residence, on up to 40 contiguous acres. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-03.
The foreclosure complaint must state whether the lender will be seeking a deficiency judgment. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-04. (For a summary of the deficiency law in North Dakota, see North Dakota Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments.)
The foreclosed homeowner can stay in the home during the redemption period. After the redemption period expires, the court can order the homeowner to give possession to the purchaser, which is typically the foreclosing party. N.D. Cent. Code § 32-19-06.