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An individual or entity may purchase a foreclosed premise where the original owner is still residing.  It is unlawful for the new owner to take matters into their own hands and forcibly remove them from the premises.  Instead, the new owner must commence legal proceedings to evict the former owner.  However, prior to doing so, the new owner must serve a 10-day Notice to Quit on the former owner.  In addition, a certified copy of the Referee’s Deed must be exhibited to the former owner.  Because the word “exhibited” is vague, some courts have held that this means that the former owner must be personally served with a certified copy of the Referee’s Deed.  Other courts have held that substitute service is sufficient.  As a Petition may be dismissed for failure to strictly comply with the predicate notice requirements, the prudent step to take would be to ensure personal service of the Notice to Quit and exhibiting of the Deed.

For individuals that have lost their home to foreclosure, many believe that they must vacate the premises immediately after the sale of the home.  However, the former owner is entitled to stay at the premises until such time as the Sheriff or Marshal executes a warrant of eviction evicting them from the premises.  Because a predicate notice, filing and serving of a Petition, and Stipulation or Trial is required before a warrant will be issued, a former owner of a foreclosed home likely has some time before they are forced to vacate the premises.

For bona fide tenants who reside in a premises that was foreclosed upon, the new owner must provide the tenant a 9-day notice prior to the commencement of a court proceeding.  Additionally, a bona fide tenant with a written lease is entitled to remain in possession of the premises for the greater period of 90 days or the remainder of the lease before proceedings can be commencement.  However, should the new owner intend to utilize the premises as their primary residence, then the 90-day notice period applies

Due to the nuances of the legal system, it is important that you make the right choice in determining the selection of an attorney to handle eviction matters in a foreclosed premise. Should you have further questions concerning the burden of proof in civil litigation, please contact The Siegel Law Firm, P.C.

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