February 26, 2020

Honest Renters Get Caught in Foreclosure Disasters

This past Sunday, the AJC published a fascinating article entitled “Foreclosures Reach Renters.”  The article reports on several very sad cases in which a hardworking rental home tenant finds himself literally out on the street following the foreclosure of his rental home and an eviction filed by the new owner (usually a mortgage lender eager to put the foreclosure property back on the market).

Georgia, as you may know is a “non-judicial foreclosure” state, meaning that in the event of a default in payments, a lender does not have to go to court to retake his property.  Instead, the lender need only give notice of the pending foreclosure to the homeowner, then advertise for four consecutive weeks the foreclosure sale in the official newspaper of the county where the property is located.  Then the lender’s attorney can sell the property at open auction on the first Tuesday of the following month.  In a worst case scenario, a foreclosure in Georgia can be completed in as little as 45 days.

Eviction, too, is not forgiving.  Georgia law offers no safe haven or notice period for a tenant who discovers too late that his rental payments were ending up in the pocket of his landlord, rather than as payments to a mortgage company.

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