The difference between judicial and non-judicial states …

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The difference between judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states is relatively simple, but an important and often misunderstood part of the foreclosure process. There’s a lot of confusion among homeowners about this issue, so here’s some clarification.

Judicial Foreclosure

A “judicial” state requires a judicial review of the foreclosure case before it can be officially processed. The foreclosure process actually begins by filing a Lis Pendens (“a lawsuit pending”) document in a court of law.

The following are the states that require judicial review:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont.


In “non-judicial” states, lenders or trustees file a Notice of Default with the county recorder’s office to commence the foreclosure process, and the process does not need to go through the courts.

These states include:

  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia.

The remaining 25 states allow both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure, though some have tendencies toward one practice or the other.

“Some states allow both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures and there are states that allow judges to have enormous discretion as to how to handle a foreclosure.”

Dana Ash-McGinty, ASH | MCGINTY Principal Broker

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About Dana Ash-McGinty 172 Articles
Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC based internal medicine physician. They are often referred to as "The Danas".

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