Tennessee Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Tennessee 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: Yes

Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes

A judicial or non-judicial process may be used by lenders in Tennessee when they want to foreclose on mortgages in default.

Judicial Foreclosure
When there is no power of sale clause in a mortgage, the lender must file a lawsuit to obtain a court order to foreclose. When a court finds a borrower in default, it orders the borrower to pay his balance within a set time period. If he is unable to settle his accounts, the court will then order the property to be sold.

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 his debts in case of his default. The lender or his representative, usually called a trustee, has the power to sell the property according to the guidelines stated below in the the “Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines.”

Power of Sale Foreclosure Guidelines
If the power of sale clause does not specify the terms of sale such as the time and place of sale, the non-judicial foreclosure process is carried out as follows:

  1. A notice of the sale must be published three different times in the county where the property is located, with the first ad being published at least 20 days before the sale.
  2. If no newspaper is present in the county, five notices must be posted in public placed around the county at least 30 days before the date of sale. One notice must be placed in the courthouse while another must be placed on the property itself.
  3. A notice of sale must also be sent to the borrower at least 20 days before the date of sale.
  4. The sale will be conducted anytime from 10am-4pm for cash to the highest bidder. The sheriff will set a minumum acceptable price which should be equal to 50% or greater than the fair market value of the property.
  5. A ceretificate of sale will be given to the winning bidder and will be awarded with the property when the rights of redemption of the borrower expires.

Lenders may file for a deficiency judgement and borrowers have until two years to redeem the property unless waived in the original deed of trust.

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.

Knoxville Field Office

US Department of Housing and Urban Development
John J. Duncan Federal Building

710 Locust Street, Third Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902-2526
Phone: (865) 545-4370

Fax: (865) 545-4569
TTY: (865) 545-4559

Jurisdiction: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Pickett, Polk, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union

Mary Wilson
Acting Field Office Director
Office Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Memphis Field Office

200 Jefferson Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 544-3367

Fax: (901) 544-3697

TTY: (800) 855-1155

Jurisdiction: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Shelby, Tipton, Weakley

John Gemmill
Field Office Director

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

Nashville Field Office

235 Cumberland Bend Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37228-1803

Phone: (615) 736-5600

Fax: (615) 736-7848
TTY: (866) 503-0264

Jurisdiction: Bedford, Cannon, Cheatham, Clay, Coffee, Davidson, De Kalb, Dickson, Franklin, Giles, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Jackson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marshall, Maury, Montgomery, Moore, Overton, Perry, Putnam, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Trousdale, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, White, Williamson, Wilson

William (Bill) H. Dirl
Field Office Director
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Monday through Friday