State Bills Would Reduce Foreclosure Notices

A bill making its way through the Tennessee Legislature would give homeowners less advance warning before their homes are sold at a foreclosure auction.

State Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, and state Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir, have filed companion bills that would allow lenders to publish only one newspaper notice – instead of the current three – announcing that a mortgage is in default and a home is headed to the auction block.

The Tennessee House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Tuesday.

Under the proposed legislation, a common description of the property wouldn’t be required to be included in the new notices. Also, any errors or “defects” in the new notices would not prevent the foreclosure sale from going forward.

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Bill Summary

*SB 1299 by *Johnson. (HB 1920 by *Matlock, Fitzhugh, Pitts, Sexton, Montgomery, Casada, Sargent, Harmon, Johnson C.)

Civil Procedure – As introduced, amends the requirement of advertisement for judicial or trust sales to one publication in the county where the sale is to be made and alters the description required in such advertisement. – Amends TCA Title 35, Chapter 5.

Fiscal Summary


Bill Summary

Under present law, in any sale of land to foreclose a deed of trust, mortgage or other lien securing the payment of money or other thing of value or under judicial orders or process, advertisement of the sale must be made at least three different times in some newspaper published in the county where the sale is to be made. This bill decreases the number of times the advertisement must be published from three to one.

Present law requires that the advertisement or notice:
(1) Give the names of the plaintiff and defendant, or parties interested;
(2) Describe the land in brief terms, including the street address if available; and
(3) Mention the time and place of sale.

This bill revises (2) to require that the advertisement or notice give a concise description of the land; such description means a reference to the deed book and page that contains the complete legal description of the property, and may also include a common description of the property, which may include, if available, the street name, number and map and parcel number. The description of the land must contain only the reference to the legal description of the property, and does not have to contain the full legal description contained in the deed book. Any error or defect in the common description of the land will not in any way void any sale of the land.

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Any legislator may be reached at 1-800-449-8366, then enter the last five digits of their office phone number.

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