Evicting A Former Owner After Foreclosure

Find out what legal procedure must be used to evict the former owner after the foreclosure and sale of a home.


Overview

If you bought a residential property at a foreclosure sale, before you take any action to evict someone living on the property, you need to answer one very important question: Is the person on the property the former owner's tenant or is it the former owner him or herself? The answer to this question is important because it will tell you what eviction process you can or must use.

If the property you bought is occupied by a tenant who was renting from the former owner, there are special rules that apply. For more information, click to read Tenant's Rights and Duties After Foreclosure and Evicting a Tenant After Foreclosure.

If the property you bought is occupied by the former owner (the person who defaulted on the mortgage and lost the house to foreclosure), you must use the "formal" eviction process.  (NRS 40.255(1).) The "summary" eviction process CANNOT be used to evict a former owner after a foreclosure. (NRS 40.253, 40.254.)

TIP! The "formal" eviction process can be complicated. Formal evictions are subject to more and stricter rules than "summary" evictions. (That is why they are called "formal!") Unless you are extremely familiar with court procedure and the eviction process, you might need to hire an attorney. If the property was bought by a business entity (such as a corporation or a limited liability company), you will absolutely need to hire a lawyer. Those entities must be represented by an attorney. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help.


Q&A - Evicting A Former Owner


Can I evict the former owner after I buy the former owner's house at a foreclosure sale?

If you bought a residential property at a trustee's sale after foreclosure, you are the new owner. If the former owner is still living on the property and does not leave voluntarily or enter into an agreement with you for additional time on the property, you can evict the former owner through the "formal" eviction process. (NRS 40.255(1).) (The "summary" eviction process cannot be used to evict a former owner following a foreclosure, per NRS 40.253, 40.254.)

To learn more about the "formal" eviction process, click to visit Overview of the "Formal" Process and Filing a "Formal" Eviction.

FYI! You'll find step-by-step instructions for a formal eviction case on the Filing a Formal Eviction page. But because you're evicting a former owner after foreclosure, some of the forms on that page won't apply to you. The forms you'll need to substitute are specified below. 

What must I do to evict the former owner?

Before you can file a "formal" eviction case, you must first serve the former owner with a Three-Day Notice to Quit Following Foreclosure pursuant to NRS 40.255(1)(b). If the former owner does not move within the three-day notice period (which does not include weekends and holidays), you can serve the former owner with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. Your complaint can ask the court for an order evicting the former owner and giving you possession of the property. It can also ask for a money judgment against the former owner.

Click to visit Filing a Formal Eviction for step-by-step instructions. You will need to substitute a couple of the forms listed on that page, however, because they do not apply when evicting a former owner. Follow the instructions and use the forms listed on that page, but substitute these forms in the following steps:

  • In Step 1, the notice you must serve on the former owner is a Three-Day Notice to Quit Following Sale, which you can download by clicking one of the formats underneath the form's title below:

THREE-DAY NOTICE TO QUIT FOLLOWING SALE 
Word Fillable | Pdf FillablePdf Nonfillable | Form Guide 

You may also be required to pay a filing fee in excess of $71, depending on the amount of money you are seeking in your complaint. Check the fee schedule for the court where you are filing.

  • In Step 3, you need a different Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. You can download the correct complaint form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form's title below:

COMPLAINT FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER (AFTER SALE) 
Word Fillable | Pdf FillablePdf Nonfillable | Form Guide 

  • In Step 4, you need a different Application for Order to Show Cause. You can download the correct application form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form's title below:

APPLICATION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY A TEMPORARY WRIT OF RESTITUTION SHOULD NOT ISSUE (AFTER SALE) 
Word Fillable | Pdf FillablePdf Nonfillable | Form Guide 

Except for the forms listed above, use all of the forms and instructions on the Filing a Formal Eviction page.

Is it true that there are laws that give the former owner additional time to move after foreclosure?

There is a law that protects a tenant who is renting a house when it is sold at a foreclosure sale.  But that law does not protect the former owner of the house.  For more information, click to read Tenant's Rights and Duties After Foreclosure and Evicting a Tenant After Foreclosure.

What can the former owner do if I serve a three-day notice to quit?

The former owner might leave the property voluntarily in response to a three-day notice. The former owner could also try to negotiate with you to stay for an additional period (perhaps under a lease agreement) or to leave voluntarily on a specified date (perhaps for some type of "cash for keys").

If you and the former owner cannot reach an agreement, you can serve the former owner with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer. Your complaint can ask the court for an order evicting the former owner and giving you possession of the property. The former owner could potentially stay on the property until a court orders the former owner to move.

If the former owner believes the foreclosure sale somehow violated Nevada law, the former owner might file some type of legal action to avoid being removed from the house.

What can the former owner do if I serve him with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer?

The former owner might file an answer with the court in response to your complaint. The former owner generally has twenty days to file an answer. But you can ask the court for an order shortening that time to ten days. (JCRCP 108.)

If the former owner believes the foreclosure sale somehow violated Nevada law, the former owner might file some type of legal action to avoid being removed from the house.

Can the former owner lose anything by filing an answer?

If the court decides that you are entitled to evict the former owner, the court could order the former owner to pay your court costs, including your attorneys’ fees. (NRS 69.020 and NRS 69.030.)

Is there any way I can get possession of the property on a relatively quick basis?

When you serve the former owner with a Summons and Complaint for Unlawful Detainer, you can also serve an Order to Show Cause Why a Temporary Writ of Restitution Should Not Be Issued. That order sets a "show cause" hearing. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue a "temporary writ of restitution." A "temporary writ of restitution" is a court order that gives you possession of the property at the beginning of the case, pending a final order at the end of the case.

A "show cause" hearing for a temporary writ of restitution typically cannot take place until at least eleven calendar days after the former owner is served with the summons and complaint. (JCRCP 107.) The show cause hearing is not the trial. (JCRCP 107(c).) A trial, where the court will decide whether to give you permanent possession of the property, can take place no earlier than twenty calendar days after the former owner is served. (JCRCP 107(b).) If a show cause hearing is scheduled, you cannot get a default judgment until after the hearing, even if the former owner's time to answer has passed. (JCRCP 107(e).)

After I get possession, what duty do I have to maintain the vacant property?

Once you get possession of the property you purchased, you must maintain the exterior of the property in compliance with both local ordinances and NRS 107.110(2), which requires:

  1. Limiting excessive foliage that could lower property values;
  2. Preventing trespassers from staying on the property;
  3. Preventing mosquito larvae from growing in standing water; and
  4. Preventing any other condition that creates a public nuisance.

If you violate the law and fail to correct the problem after receiving notice, you could be liable for a civil penalty of up to $1,000 a day.  (NRS 107.110(5).)