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Delaware Foreclosure Laws

All Delaware foreclosures are carried out through judicial means. This process begins when a lender files a suit (known as a Lis Pendens) against a defaulted homeowner in court. Twenty days later, the court holds a hearing at which the homeowner may contest the default. If the homeowner does not contest, or the court finds sufficient evidence to rule that a default has in fact occurred, the court will order that the homeowner's property be sold at public auction in order to retrieve for the lender the amount lost on the loan. Eleven days after the ruling, the lender may ask the county Sheriff to schedule a date for the foreclosure sale to occur.

The Sheriff must then issue a Notice of Sale explaining the date, location and terms of the sale as well as a brief description of the property. The Notice must be published in two local newspapers at least fourteen days before the sale is to occur. It must also be posted on the property in question and two other public venues. The Sheriff must provide the homeowner and any Junior Lien holders with copies of the Notice at least 14 days before the sale takes places.

On the Delaware foreclosures sale date, the Sheriff auctions off the homeowner's property to the highest bidder. Once the sale concludes, its outcome is subject to confirmation by the court, which can take from one to three months. Once the sale is confirmed, the Sheriff transfers ownership to the winning bidder, provided they have paid their bid in full.

The original homeowner is not allowed a period of redemption, but is allowed to contest the sale or petition the court for a redemption period at the confirmation hearing.

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