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Washington D.C. Foreclosure Laws

Washington D.C. foreclosures are generally carried out through non-judicial means due to the presence of Power of Sale clauses in mortgages allowing the lender the right to carry out a foreclosure against a homeowner in default without having to obtain a court order. For mortgages lacking a Power of Sale clause, or if problems exist with the property title, a judicial foreclosure is needed, though they are rare in Washington D.C.

The lender begins the process by issuing a Notice of Sale and filing it with the Recorder of Deeds and the Mayor's office. The sale may take place no less than thirty days after the date on which the Notice was filed. Both the homeowner and any Junior Lien holders are also entitled to receive a copy of the Notice of Sale at the same time. As in many other places, the homeowner can stop the entire process by paying off the default debt up until 5 days before the sale occurs.

There are certain measures to be taken for advertisement (usually outlined in the mortgage agreement) that must be met before any sale can take place. If no such procedure is specified, then the lender must obtain a court order outlining the methods of advertisement to be used. Often, the Notice of Sale will have to appear in a local newspaper and be posted in certain public venues.

On the day of the sale, a licensed auctioneer auctions off the homeowner's property to the highest bidder. Upon payment of their bid, the winning bidder is to receive a deed entitling them to full ownership. Te original homeowner retains no rights to redemption under Washington D.C. foreclosure law.

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