Maine Foreclosure Laws

Maine is a US state which only uses the judicial process to finalize foreclosure proceedings. Non-judicial foreclosures are not allowed and the primary method used is the “Strict Foreclosure”. Even though the process used in Maine is judicial, it is only judicial “in name” only in very rare circumstances do they pursue a foreclosure by filing a suit to obtain a court order. However the courts do have to issue a final judgment regarding the foreclosure.

The primary instrument of security is the mortgage note, which indicates that Maine is a lien theory state. A foreclosure in this state takes approximately 90 days to completion if they are uncontested, and deficiency judgments are allowed for the lender, as are rights of redemption for the borrower. In terms of the deficiency judgment, certain conditions apply and this is limited to the difference between the balance of the defaulted loan and a fair market price determined by an approved appraisal.

Strict foreclosure is based on the maxim that the lender is actually the owner of the property until such time as the underlying debt owed to them has been paid in full. If the borrower is in breach of any of the conditions of the mortgage lien before the loan has been fully repaid, they automatically lose any rights they have over the property. In this instance the lender is allowed to repossess the property or sell it in an auction.

If the property was purchased pre 1975 the borrower has a 3 month rights of redemption. If the date of the mortgage loan is after 1975, they have 12 months rights of redemption. Bearing this in mind, the lender is required to keep and maintain the property for the entire redemption period before selling it if they take don’t take possession of it first.

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