Foreclosure Guidelines in Georgia

Highlights:

Judicial/ Non-Judicial Foreclosure: Both are available

Right of Redemption/ Deficiency Judgment: Available/ Available

Timeline: 90 Days, Can vary depending on individual cases

Deed of Trust / Mortgage as Security Instruments: Both
Both Judicial and Non-Judicial foreclosures on mortgages/ deed of trust are available in Georgia.

Judicial Foreclosure Process:   

If there is no ‘Power of Trust’ clause in the Mortgage / Deed of trust document, the Judicial Foreclosure process is followed. This involves the lender to file a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose the mortgage. Once the court authorizes the foreclosure, the property is auctioned off in a public auction and sold to the highest bidder.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Process:

If there is a ‘Power of Sale’ clause present in either the mortgage or deed of trust document, the Non-Judicial foreclosure process is followed. The borrower basically authorizes the bank (lender), who are also referred to as ‘Trustee’, to sell the property in case they happen to default on their loan, through the ‘Power of Sale’ clause.

The following guidelines may be followed for the Non-Judicial foreclosure process.

If the ‘Power of Sale’ documents mentions the details about the foreclosure process like sale date / time / venue etc, the same needs to be followed.

If not, then a notice about the foreclosure sale/ auction ought to be advertised in a local newspaper of the county where the property is located, at least four weeks before the actual sale proceedings.

The foreclosure sale notice should also be sent by registered post to the borrower, at least fifteen days prior to the actual sale. This notice should also include a return receipt, which should be sent back by the borrower to the lender. If the rights to notice is signed at the same time as the original documents, there can be no waiver or release of rights to notice.

The auction/ sale should take place on the first Tuesday of a month, at the courthouse between 10 AM and 4 PM. The property is sold to the highest bidder in a public auction. Lenders can file for deficiency judgment in Georgia, if the value offered by the highest bidder is less than the actual amount owed by the borrower.