In Georgia, the nonjudicial foreclosure process moves pretty quickly. In a matter of months a foreclosure can be completed and you could no longer own your home.
So what happens once a foreclosure is completed?
Tenant At Sufferance.
In Georgia, when a nonjudicial foreclosure has been properly completed, meaning that all nonjudicial foreclosure procedures have been followed and there are no defects in the nonjudicial foreclosure, the borrower and anyone claiming title or possession by or through the borrower, becomes a “tenant at sufferance” subject to immediate eviction.
Demand for Possession.
Before a tenant at sufferance can be evicted, the purchaser at the foreclosure sale (who we will refer to simply as the “purchaser”) must demand possession of the property. This is just what it says: the purchaser must demand that you get out and give turn over possession of the property.
Once this demand for possession has been given, if the occupants of the foreclosed property do not vacate, the purchaser may file an eviction proceeding.
When it comes to eviction proceedings, time is of the essence. So they move fast.
To begin an eviction proceeding, the purchaser files a Dispossessory affidavit with the court in the county where the property is located. After the Dispossessory affidavit is filed, the sheriff will serve it on whoever is still occupying the foreclosed property.
Once service of the Dispossessory affidavit by the sheriff is complete, the borrower or whoever is occupying the property has seven (7) days to file an answer to the Dispossessory affidavit with the court.
If an answer is filed, an expedited trial will be set. Eviction trials are usually set within two (2) weeks of the filing of the answer.
If an answer is not filed, then a default will be taken. After the court enters a default, it will issue a writ of possession. The writ of possession can be executed immediately, giving the new owner possession of the property.
What if You Didn’t Own The Property But Were Only Renting?
If you did not own the foreclosed upon property but were renting it as a bona fide tenant without a lease or with a lease that was terminable at will, then under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (“The Act”), you have ninety ( 90 ) days to vacate the premises.
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If you have a real estate issue that you need help with, call us. We are experienced real estate attorneys with offices in Cumming, Georgia and we serve Atlanta and the surrounding counties. To schedule your free phone consultation, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or you can contact us here.