Foreclosure Guidelines in Montana

Highlights:

Judicial/ Non-Judicial Foreclosure: Available/ Available

Right of Redemption / Deficiency Judgment: No / Depends

Timeline: 150 Days, Can vary depending on individual cases

Deed of Trust / Mortgage as Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage

Both Judicial and Non-Judicial foreclosure processes can be followed in Montana.

Judicial/ Foreclosure process:   

In the Judicial foreclosure process, the lender needs to file a lawsuit in a court of law if the borrower happens to default on the mortgage payment. The court decides if the borrower has defaulted on their payments and it also decides the amount that needs to be paid by the borrower. Some time is given to the borrower in order to pay up their dues and if they fail to do so, the court will proceed to give a foreclosure order which authorizes the mortgage property to be sold in a public auction to the highest bidder.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure process:

If the power of sale clause exists in the deed of trust/ mortgage document, a Non-Judicial foreclosure process is applicable. The power of sale authorizes the lender to foreclose on the mortgage property in case the borrower happens to default on their loan. The foreclosure procedures can be carried out by the lender or their authorized representative, who are referred to as Trustees. The following guidelines can be followed for the same.

If the power of sale contains the procedure to be followed for foreclosure (like time, place, terms of foreclosure, etc), the same is followed. Otherwise, the following steps are followed.

A notice of sale should be recorded in the recorder’s office in the same county where the property is located. This notice needs to be sent to the borrower at least 120 days before the foreclosure sale/auction date. The notice also needs to be advertised in a local newspaper available in the county for three consecutive weeks, at least once in each week. The notice then needs to be pasted on the property premises at least 20 days before the foreclosure sale/ auction.

The above mentioned notice should contain all the details regarding the borrower/ lender including their correspondence address & phone number, details of the property, foreclosure sale date, time, location, etc. It should also contain the page number and the book name where the deed is recorded.

The foreclosure sale can happen at the courthouse where the property is located between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM on business days. The property is sold to the highest bidder in a public auction.

This foreclosure sale can be postponed by displaying a notice to that effect at the venue where it was supposed to be held. But this can be done only if the foreclosure sale is postponed for less than fifteen days from the originally planned date.

Even if the property was sold for a lower value than the total amount due by the borrower, the lender cannot file for deficiency Judgment. In this method, the borrower also does not have any rights of redemption.

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