Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Can you buy your own home at a foreclosure auction?


Keeping Your Home

If you love your home and want to keep it, and it makes financial sense to do so, avoid foreclosure at all costs. You can actually avoid foreclosure quite a long time into the process after your defaults begin, even up to the moment of auction. Saving your home before a foreclosure auction is generally thought to be better than trying to buy it back at auction. To avoid foreclosure, be sure to make all your past payments, and refinance the home if at all possible.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a number of suggestions about how to avoid foreclosure, such as how to talk to your lender, what state and local foreclosure resources are available, and who to call when the lender won't work with you [source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development].

But can you still save your home once it's entered the foreclosure process? In some states, foreclosures are processed through state courts in a process known as judicial foreclosure. In those cases, you may have a statutory "right of redemption" that affords you a short window of time (often measured in months) to regain ownership of your home after it's been sold at auction. In other words, you have the right to buy it back from the person who had the winning auction bid.

The price you'll pay is the amount paid by the winning bidder plus any taxes or assessments that are due. Costs and interest will be up to you as well.

Remember, though, that right of redemption only comes into play in states with judicial foreclosure. In nonjudicial foreclosure states, this rule doesn't apply.

For more information on foreclosure, check out the links on the next page.


More to Explore