Rhode Island Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Rhode Island Foreclosure Process

Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes

Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage

Timeline: Typically 60 days

Right of Redemption: Varies by process

Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes

In Rhode Island, the lender has five ways to foreclose on mortgages in default;

  1. through the judicial process
  2. by filing a lawsuit for eviction
  3. taking possession of the property
  4. giving up of the property voluntarily
  5. through the non-judicial process

Judicial Foreclosure
When no power of sale is present in a mortgage, the judicial process is done be filing suit to obtain a court order to foreclose. The property will then be sold to the highest bidder at an action.

Special Procedures
If the lender wishes to take possession of the property, he must do so in a peaceful manner, and in the presence of two witnesses who must present a notarized certificate of possession. If the borrower on the other hand, voluntarily gives up possession, it must be done in the presence of a notary. If the lender is able to maintain possession of the property for a specific period of time, he will then gain the full title to the property.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure
When a power of sale clause is present in a mortgage, the borrower has already pre-authorized the sale of the property to pay off their debts in case of a default. The power to sell the property is given to the lender or a representative, referred to as a trustee. The sale must be conducted following the guidelines stated in the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines”.

Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines

If there are no specifics stated as to how the sale will take place, it must be done as follows:

  1. A notice of sale must be published in a public newspaper once a week for three weeks, with the first notice at least 21 days before the date of sale.
  2. Another notice must be mailed to the borrower at his last known address at least 20 days before the sale.
  3. The notice must contain pertinent information regarding the sale, including names of the borrower and lender, mortgage date, amount due, description of the property and the time and place of sale.
  4. Anyone can bid at the sale including the lender.

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.

Providence Field Office

121 South Main Street, Suite 300
Providence, RI 02903-7104

Phone: (401) 277-8300

Fax: (401) 277-8398

TTY: (401) 277-8391

Jurisdiction: State of Rhode Island

Nancy D. Smith Greer
Field Office Director

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday