The foreclosure process in Virginia moves quickly and the homeowner may only get around two weeks notice before the home is sold at a foreclosure sale. If you are concerned about, or imminently facing, foreclosure in Virginia, you should educate yourself about Virginia’s foreclosure laws and procedures so you know exactly what will happen and how long the process will take.
Below you’ll find a summary of the basic information that generally applies to most people facing foreclosure in Virginia along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.
The citations to Virginia’s foreclosure statutes are: Virginia Code Annotated Sections 55-59 to 55-66.6
We’ve summarized important parts of Virginia’s foreclosure laws below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of Virginia foreclosure law in Nolo’s Virginia Foreclosure Law Center.
Virginia foreclosures are typically nonjudicial, which means they happen outside of court and a third-party (a trustee) manages the process. Judicial foreclosures, on the flip side, go through the court system. (Learn more about nonjudicial and judicial foreclosures.) Since the majority of foreclosures in Virginia are nonjudicial, this article focuses on that process.
Before a foreclosure sale can take place, the lender or trustee must personally deliver or mail a notice of sale to the homeowner at least 14 days before the sale. Va. Code Ann. § 55-59.1.
The lender or trustee must also publish the notice of sale in a newspaper. Va. Code Ann. § 55-59.2.
Virginia law extends the coverage of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to Virginia National Guard members called to state active duty by the governor for 30 or more consecutive days. Va. Code Ann. § 44-102.1. (Learn more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.)
“Reinstating” is when you catch up on the missed payments (plus fees and costs) in order to stop a foreclosure. (Learn more about reinstatement to avoid foreclosure.)
The Virginia statutes do not provide the borrower with a right to reinstate the loan, but the mortgage contract may provide this right.
Certain states permit you to redeem (repurchase) your home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure. Virginia, however, does not permit you to redeem the home following a foreclosure. (To get details on redemption after a foreclosure in Virginia, see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in Virginia, 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.
Virginia does not have an anti-deficiency law. In Virginia, the lender can file a separate lawsuit after the foreclosure sale to get a deficiency judgment against the homeowner. (For a summary of the deficiency law in Virginia, see Virginia Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency.)
After a Virginia nonjudicial foreclosure, the purchaser may start a separate unlawful detainer (eviction) action. Foreclosed owner may receive a five-day notice to quit beforehand.