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How Long Does Foreclosure Take In New Hampshire: A Guide To The Process And Laws

Published on April 14, 2023

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How Long Does Foreclosure Take In New Hampshire: A Guide To The Process And Laws

Understanding Foreclosure In New Hampshire

Foreclosure is a complex legal process, and each state has its own laws and regulations that govern how it works. In New Hampshire, foreclosure proceedings can take anywhere from three months to two years or longer.

To understand the foreclosure process in New Hampshire, it's important to look at the timeline of events leading up to a foreclosure sale. The first step is for the lender to send a notice of default to the homeowner, which starts the 90-day pre-foreclosure period.

During this time, the homeowner may be able to negotiate with the lender and come up with an agreement that will result in avoiding foreclosure. If the homeowner fails to make payments or enter into an agreement with the lender during this period, then a foreclosure action is officially filed in court by the lender.

If successful, this results in a judicial order of foreclosure and sets in motion an auction for selling off the property. This auction must occur no less than 45 days after notice of sale is given according to New Hampshire law.

Finally, if all goes as planned for the lender, ownership transfers from the original homeowner to someone else who wins at auction or purchases directly from the lender after an unsuccessful auction. It's important for homeowners facing foreclosure in New Hampshire to understand their rights under state law and seek out appropriate legal advice when needed.

Different Types Of Foreclosure Processes In New Hampshire

foreclosure timeline by state

In New Hampshire, there are four different types of foreclosure processes available. These include judicial foreclosure, which is the most common type and involves the court system, non-judicial foreclosure, which does not involve court proceedings, deed in lieu of foreclosure, where the property owner voluntarily transfers ownership back to the lender for a release from financial obligation and power of sale foreclosure which is similar to non-judicial foreclosure.

Judicial foreclosures must be handled through the Superior Court for each county in New Hampshire and require a lawsuit to be filed and served on the borrower by a sheriff or process server. On the other hand, non-judicial foreclosures do not require court involvement and are handled directly by the lender or an attorney they hire.

For deed in lieu of foreclosure agreements, both parties must agree that this is an acceptable resolution to their issue. Power of sale foreclosures also do not require court proceedings but generally follow more strict guidelines than those set forth by non-judicial foreclosures.

All four types of foreclosures have their own unique process that must be adhered to in order for them to be successful.

Pre-foreclosure Options For Homeowners In New Hampshire

For many homeowners in New Hampshire, facing foreclosure can be a daunting process. Fortunately, there are steps and options available to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.

One of the most important pre-foreclosure options for New Hampshire homeowners is to seek legal advice or counseling. An experienced lawyer can provide guidance on how to approach the situation legally and financially.

Additionally, they may be able to negotiate with lenders on behalf of the homeowner in order to reduce payments or obtain a loan modification. Another option for New Hampshire homeowners is to work with a HUD-approved housing counselor who can provide information about budgeting, credit repair, debt management and other helpful resources.

Finally, it's important for homeowners to explore their refinancing possibilities in order to lower their monthly mortgage payment and make it more manageable. It's also important for homeowners to stay informed about their rights under local and state laws regarding foreclosure so that they know what their options are if foreclosure does become unavoidable.

Legal Steps Involved From A Homeowner's Perspective

foreclosure process flow chart

From a homeowner's perspective, the legal steps involved in foreclosure in New Hampshire can be complex and lengthy. Foreclosure proceedings begin with a notice of default issued to the homeowner by their mortgage lender.

This notice will detail any missed payments or other defaults that must be addressed in order for foreclosure to be avoided. The homeowner then has an opportunity to cure the default, either by making up any past due payments or negotiating with the lender to restructure the loan terms if possible.

If the default is not cured, the lender may then file a complaint in court and serve it on the borrower. At this point, the borrower has 20 days to respond and appear before a judge.

If they fail to do so, they are at risk of having a judgment entered against them by default. Next, there will likely be a hearing where both parties present evidence and arguments before a decision is made.

If foreclosure is approved by the court, an auction date for selling off the property is set and advertised publicly; after this sale is completed, ownership of the property transfers from the homeowner to whoever purchased it at auction.

Legal Steps Involved From A Lender's Perspective

From a lender's perspective, the legal steps involved in foreclosure in New Hampshire are detailed and often lengthy. The process begins with the filing of a complaint, which must include certain information required by state law.

This is followed by a summons and notice, which must be served to the borrower in accordance with state and federal laws. Once these steps have been completed, an auction date will be set for the property.

The borrower has up to twenty days after receiving notice of the sale to redeem their property before it is sold at auction. After the sale is complete, title passes to the successful bidder.

In some cases, foreclosure may take several months or more depending on how quickly all of these steps can be completed and how much time elapses between each step.

What Is A Breach Letter?

how long does it take for a house to go into foreclosure

A breach letter is a formal document sent to the homeowner from their mortgage lender informing them that they are in default on their home loan. It serves as an official notice of default and informs the borrower of the steps necessary to remedy the situation.

The letter typically outlines how long before foreclosure proceedings begin, what is expected of the borrower, and what legal consequences will result if they fail to comply. This letter is often referred to as a notice of default or notice of acceleration depending on where the homeowner resides.

In New Hampshire, this letter is also commonly referred to as a Pre-Foreclosure Breach Letter and must be sent at least 30 days prior to initiating foreclosure proceedings. Upon receipt of this letter, homeowners should review it carefully and take any necessary steps outlined in order to avoid losing their home to foreclosure.

When Does Foreclosure Start?

In New Hampshire, the foreclosure process begins when a mortgage lender files a complaint in court and serves it to the homeowner. This is typically done after the homeowner has failed to make multiple payments and defaulted on their loan.

Upon receiving the complaint, the homeowner is then served with a notice of hearing where they will be given an opportunity to dispute the foreclosure before it moves forward. The hearing must take place within 21 days from when the notice was served and if no resolution can be reached during this time frame, then foreclosure proceedings can officially begin.

Then, depending on how quickly or slowly the case progresses through the courts, as well as any additional steps that may be included in the particular case, like mediation or sale of assets, it can take anywhere from several months to over a year for a foreclosure to be finalized.

Statewide Foreclosure Laws & Regulations In New Hampshire

bank of america foreclosure timeline

In New Hampshire, foreclosures are handled in accordance with state law. The foreclosure process is initiated when a lender files a complaint in the superior court of the county where the mortgaged property is located.

The court will then appoint an attorney to serve as a referee to conduct an auction. In the majority of cases, foreclosure auctions take place within 90 days of filing the complaint.

The winning bidder must pay the amount due on the loan, including interest and fees, at the time of sale and record a certificate of sale with the Registry of Deeds. If no bids are received at auction, then a deed in lieu of foreclosure may be issued by the lender and recorded with the Registry.

The entire process typically takes between 90 and 180 days from start to finish.

Right To Reinstate Before A Foreclosure Sale In New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, homeowners have the right to reinstate their mortgage before a foreclosure sale takes place. This means they can pay the delinquent amount owed in full and bring their loan current.

It's important to note that this option isn't available to everyone and to consult with an attorney or financial advisor before making any decisions regarding the reinstatement of a loan. Homeowners should also be aware that the lender can charge late fees and other costs associated with the delinquency of their mortgage payments.

Additionally, homeowners must adhere to state laws for rights to reinstate prior to a foreclosure sale, which may vary from county to county. In most cases, lenders must provide notice of at least 30 days prior to any foreclosure sale or auction date taking place.

Ultimately, understanding this process and related laws is essential for protecting one's rights when facing foreclosure in New Hampshire.

How Can I Stop A Foreclosure In New Hampshire?


In New Hampshire, you may be able to stop a foreclosure if you can demonstrate to the lender that you are financially capable of making regular payments on your mortgage. It is important to know that lenders are not obligated to accept any repayment plan, but many will work with homeowners experiencing hardship to create an arrangement that works for both parties.

If the lender agrees, it is possible for them to suspend the foreclosure process until all conditions of the agreement have been met. Before entering into an agreement, homeowners should consider seeking legal advice from a qualified attorney with experience in real estate law in order to ensure their rights are protected.

Additionally, it is important for homeowners to research their options and understand which state and federal programs they may qualify for in order to avoid foreclosure or reduce their debt obligations.

Deficiency Judgement Laws In New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, a deficiency judgement is the difference between what a borrower owes to the lender and the amount that was obtained from the foreclosure sale. Generally, lenders are not allowed to pursue a deficiency judgement against the borrower unless they have obtained a court order.

The state of New Hampshire does have laws in place that protect borrowers from such judgements. Lenders must provide notice to the borrower at least 20 days prior to filing any action related to a deficiency judgement and must also provide documentation of the debt owed by the borrower.

According to state law, lenders may only pursue a deficiency judgement if there is still an outstanding balance after all proceeds from the foreclosure sale have been applied towards it. Additionally, lenders are prohibited from seeking or obtaining excessive interest or collection costs when pursuing a deficiency judgement against a borrower.

Strategies To Avoid Or Delay The Foreclosure Process

Mortgage loan

When facing foreclosure, homeowners in New Hampshire have a few strategies to avoid or delay the process. One option is to contact their lender and ask for an alternate repayment plan.

This can be done by submitting a hardship letter that outlines their financial situation and explains why they are unable to make payments on time. Another strategy is to refinance the mortgage loan by taking out a new loan with more favorable terms.

This can help reduce monthly payments and provide more time for the homeowner to get back on track financially. Additionally, homeowners may consider filing for bankruptcy protection in order to temporarily stop foreclosure proceedings.

Finally, negotiating with the lender is another potential solution that could result in extending the loan term, reducing interest rates or allowing missed payments to be added onto the end of the loan balance. Each of these strategies has its own set of risks and rewards that should be carefully considered before making any decisions.

Resources To Help Struggling Homeowners Affected By Foreclosure

New Hampshire residents facing foreclosure have a variety of resources available to them. The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority (NHHFA) provides counseling services for those dealing with the possibility of a foreclosure.

They also provide financial assistance to help struggling homeowners stay in their homes. For those who are unable to stay in their homes, the NHHFA has programs that offer relocation assistance and credit repair services to help rebuild credit after losing a home.

Additionally, the state offers legal aid to provide advice and representation for those facing foreclosure so that they can understand their rights under the law. The New Hampshire Department of Justice also provides information on New Hampshire foreclosure laws, including timelines and options for staying in one's home or avoiding foreclosure altogether.

Finally, local non-profit organizations like The Way Home NH provide free resources such as housing workshops and financial literacy classes to help struggling homeowners make informed decisions about their finances.

Tax Implications Related To Defaulting On Loans And Foreclosures


Defaulting on loan payments and going through the foreclosure process can have serious tax implications. In New Hampshire, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers any amount of debt that is forgiven as income and taxes must be paid on it.

This means that if your lender agrees to a settlement, you may be taxed on the difference between what was owed and what was accepted as payment. Additionally, if you are able to keep your home after a foreclosure, any remaining debt will still need to be paid off or included in future tax filings.

Foreclosure also has an effect on your credit score which could make obtaining loans or other types of credit more difficult in the future. It's important to understand how much money you owe, how long it will take to clear all debts associated with foreclosure, and how much these debts will affect your taxes before proceeding with the process.

How Do Foreclosures Work In Nh?

Foreclosures in New Hampshire are governed by state law and require several steps to complete. Generally, foreclosure is triggered when a homeowner fails to make their mortgage payments for at least three months.

The lender then files a notice of default with the applicable court, which must be served on both the borrower and the members of the public. After this, there is typically a period of time for the homeowner to respond or cure the default before further action is taken.

If no action is taken, then an auction may be held where lenders can bid on the property. Once sold, ownership of the property transfers from the former owner to the new owner, completing the foreclosure process.

It's important to note that each step of this process usually adds up to several months or longer depending on how quickly everything is handled.

How Can I Stop Foreclosure In Nh?

New Hampshire

If you are facing foreclosure in New Hampshire, there are steps you can take to try and stop the process. The first step is to contact your lender directly to discuss potential solutions.

Depending on your situation, they may be able to offer loan modification, refinancing, or a repayment plan that fits within your budget. You may also be able to seek assistance from state organizations such as the NH Foreclosure Mediation Program or local community organizations such as NeighborWorks America.

Additionally, if your home is worth less than what you owe on it, you may be able to pursue a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. If you have filed for bankruptcy before the foreclosure sale has occurred, it will halt the process until the bankruptcy is resolved.

Finally, if all else fails, speaking with an experienced attorney may provide you with options for stopping foreclosure in New Hampshire.

What State Has The Longest Foreclosure Process?

New Hampshire is known to have the longest foreclosure process in the United States, with a timeline that can take up to three years. The foreclosure process begins when a homeowner defaults on their mortgage payments and their lender sends them a notice of default.

From there, lenders are required to wait at least 120 days before filing for foreclosure with a local court. After that, the homeowner has another 90 days to work out an agreement with their lender or find alternative housing options.

If no agreement is reached, the court will issue a final foreclosure judgment that must be approved by both parties. Once this judgment is issued, it can take up to two more years for the property to be sold at auction.

With such an extended timeline and multiple steps involved in New Hampshire's foreclosure process, it's important for homeowners facing this situation to understand all their rights and be aware of any changes in state laws that could affect them.

Is Nh A Judicial Foreclosure State?

Yes, New Hampshire is a judicial foreclosure state. This means that when a homeowner defaults on their mortgage payments, the lender must go through the court system in order to foreclose on the property.

The process of foreclosure in NH is initiated by filing a complaint with the court and serving it to the homeowner. Once served, the homeowner has 20 days to respond or they will be considered in default.

After this point, the lender may then file for a motion of sale and set up an auction. The auction typically occurs within 120 days of filing for the motion of sale.

If no one purchases the property at auction, then it reverts back to the lender who can then choose to pursue other legal options such as eviction or deed in lieu of foreclosure.


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