When looking for information about foreclosures, keep in mind that every state has its own laws that must be followed. What is true in one state may be different in another. If you do not plan to hire a lawyer, or simply want to find out first-hand what the law is in your state, the best place to look is in your state’s statutes.
Below is a guide to finding Maine’s foreclosure statutes online, followed by a summary of Maine’s foreclosure law.
Finding Maine’s Foreclosure Laws
The citation to Maine’s foreclosure law is Maine Revised Statutes, Title 14, Sections 6101 through 6325.
Take the following steps to find these statutes online:
- Start at the website of the Maine State Legislature: http://maine.gov/legis.
- Scroll over the “Publications” link on the left-hand side of your screen.
- Select “Maine Statutes” from the drop-down menu.
- Select “Title 14: Court Procedure – Civil.”
- Scroll down to and click “Chapter 713: Miscellaneous Provisions Relating to Foreclosure of Real Property Mortgages.”
You should see a list of the sections in Chapter 713, with headings summarizing what is covered in each section.
Summary of Maine’s Foreclosure Law
Read on for a summary of Maine’s law governing judicial foreclosures.
In Maine, the most common type of foreclosure is judicial foreclosure. In judicial foreclosures, the lender files a complaint against the borrower in court, and the court has a hearing on whether or not a breach has occurred. If the court determines that the borrower has defaulted on the mortgage, the court will grant a judgment for foreclosure and sale of the property. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6103.
The lender must attach to the complaint for foreclosure a form that the borrower may use to answer the complaint and to request mediation (see “Mediation,” below). Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6321-A.
The sale of the property must be held at least 30 days and not more than 45 days after the first publication of notice of public sale (see “Notice Requirements,” below). Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6323.
A foreclosing lender must give two foreclosure notices to the defaulting borrower, aside from the complaint for foreclosure: a notice of right to cure and a notice of public sale. The notice of right to cure must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by first-class mail, postage prepaid. This notice must be given at least 35 days before the commencement of foreclosure proceedings or the acceleration of the maturity of the unpaid balance of the mortgage.
Within three days of sending the notice of right to cure, the lender must file with the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection a statement that the notice of right to cure was sent as required. Within three days of this filing, the Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection must send notice to the borrower of the borrower’s rights and resources, including information on the foreclosure mediation program. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6111.
The lender must publish the notice of sale once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper in general circulation in the county in which the property is located. The first notice must be published within 90 days of the expiration of the redemption period. The notice of public sale must also be mailed by ordinary mail to all parties who appear in the foreclosure action no less than 30 calendar days before the sale. Me. Rev. Stat. tit 14, § 6323.
Foreclosure Mediation Program
Maine’s foreclosure mediation program applies to foreclosures filed after January 1, 2010, of mortgages on residential properties of four units or less, one of which is the primary residence of the delinquent borrower. Once the borrower requests mediation, the judicial foreclosure proceeding is suspended to allow the mediation to proceed.
The court-appointed mediator supervising the mediation must report to the court the results of the mediation. The report must indicate that the lender and borrower completed a loan modification analysis and may include the mediator’s opinion as to whether the parties negotiated in good faith as required by law. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6321-A.
Right to Cure
A borrower has the right to cure the default by full payment of the amount due to the lender without acceleration, plus interest, late charges, and reasonable attorney fees, within 35 days of the notice of right to cure. If the borrower exercises the right to cure, it is as though the default had never occurred. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6111.
Right of Redemption
A borrower may redeem the property by paying the total amount due to the lender, plus interest, at any time within 90 days from the date of the judgment for foreclosure and sale (for mortgages executed before October 1, 1975, the redemption period is one year). If the borrower does redeem the property, the mortgage is discharged and the claim for breach is dismissed. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6322.
A lender may obtain a deficiency judgment from the borrower. If the lender is the purchaser at the foreclosure sale, the amount of the deficiency judgment is limited to the difference between the fair market value of the property at the time of the sale, as determined by an independent appraisal, and the sum due to the lender, plus interest and expenses. Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 14, § 6324.