West Virginia Foreclosure Laws

In West Virginia most of the foreclosures which take place do not involve court action. This is because the majority of foreclosures which take place are non-judicial. Non-judicial foreclosures take place in “title theory” states where the underlying loan is secured by the property being held in trust until such time as the underlying loan has been paid in full. Only when this has been done is the deed of ownership transferred to the borrower.

The primary instrument of security in this state is therefore the Title Deed, and for a non-judicial foreclosure to take place the title deed has to contain a power of sale clause. This particular clause creates a precondition which the borrower agrees to, that the property may be sold to recover any debt incurred if the loan goes into default. The non-judicial foreclosure is set into action by the trustee on the property who is an attorney. The property is advertised for two consecutive weeks, and the notice of sale is also posted at the courthouse and three more public places. It is also served on the borrower and junior lien holders.

West Virginia is certainly one of the few states in the US which has managed to streamline the foreclosure process and it takes between 60 and 90 days for an uncontested, non-judicial foreclosure to take place. If the matter is contested it takes longer to finalize, however the borrower has to take the matter to court to contest it. It is also delayed if the borrower is filing for bankruptcy.

There are no post-sale rights of redemption allowed to the borrower, and in all fairness the law also does not allow deficiency judgments. If the trustee sells the property for less than the debt owed, they have no further legal recourse on the borrower.

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