Richards Layton & Finger

Delaware Mortgages Unsealed

June 29, 2016

On June 28, 2016, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law House Bill No. 353, which made an important change to Delaware law on mortgage foreclosures. With the new law, a mortgage may be foreclosed by the more expedited foreclosure proceeding in the Delaware Superior Court (a scire facias sur mortgage action) regardless of whether the mortgage was made under seal. Until now, a mortgage that was not made under seal had to be foreclosed through an equitable foreclosure proceeding in the Delaware Court of Chancery. The differences in the procedures are many, but for lenders, the most important change is the limit on the defenses available to a foreclosed mortgagor in the Superior Court proceeding. The Act was effective when signed and applies to all foreclosure proceedings filed on or after the effective date, including foreclosures of mortgages signed before the effective date. This new law dramatically alters the foreclosure landscape in Delaware.

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