Iowa Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Foreclosure Process in Iowa

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: No
Primary Security Instruments: Mortgage
Timeline: Typically 150 days
Right of Redemption: No
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: No

In Iowa, the judicial or alternative to non-judicial foreclosure process can be used by lenders who want to foreclose on mortgages in default.

Judicial Foreclosure
In this process, the lender must file a complaint and obtain a decree of sale before foreclosure proceeding can start. When the court finds that the borrower is in default, it will then order the foreclosure sale to continue if the borrower is unable to pay the balance that he owes plus costs within a given time period.

A notice of sale must be put up around the county, one of which should be posted in the courthouse. Two weekly publications in the local newspaper must also be done, with the first ad being put up at least four weeks before the date of sale. A notice must also be sent to the borrower 20 days before the date of sale if the borrower is presently occupying the property.

The sale will be done at a public auction, anytime between 9am-4pm. Written bids are to be sent to the sheriff before the public auction, and this should be accompanied by any payment required at the public auction. Any rejected bids will be returned to the losing bidders. All written bids are sealed until the time of the public auction, where the sheriff will open and announce the written bids.

A sale can only be postponed up to three days, and this announcement must be done during the original date of the sale.

Alternative non-judicial foreclosure procedure

The borrowers can avoid a foreclosure suit by willingly giving up their rights in the property and giving it to the lender. Once the lender accepts, the property is given to the lender at once. But by agreeing to this, the lender also waives his rights in filing for a deficiency judgement.

In addition to this, the borrower must sign a “disclosure of notice and cancellation” which states that they are willingly giving up their rights in redeeming the property. Both the borrower and lender must also sign a document providing proof that they willingly chose to proceed with the foreclosure using voluntary procedures.

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.

If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake package for your servicer.

Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

Des Moines Field Office

210 Walnut Street
Room 239
Des Moines, IA 50309-2155

Phone: (515) 284-4512
Fax: (515) 284-4743

TTY: (515) 284-4728
Jurisdiction: State of Iowa

Bruce Ray
Field Office Director
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday