Section 35-10-71

Initiation of foreclosure proceedings against surviving spouse or estate of certain mortgagors.

(a) A mortgagee shall not initiate a foreclosure proceeding pursuant to this chapter against the surviving spouse or the estate of a mortgagor who is a service member who dies while deployed overseas on active duty military service for at least 180 days following the death of the service member; provided that the surviving spouse or the estate gives the mortgagee written notice identifying the service member, stating that the service member died while being deployed overseas, describing the mortgage or the property subject to the mortgage and the debt, providing a telephone number or other means to communicate with the surviving spouse or the estate, and asking that foreclosure be delayed for six months. No particular phrasing of the notice shall be required.

(b) A mortgagee shall not, individually or acting through another person, foreclose, sell, or attempt to foreclose or sell real estate with the knowledge that the foreclosure or sale is invalid under this section. A person who violates this subsection is subject to a civil fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000); provided that the surviving spouse or the estate gives the mortgagee written notice identifying the service member, stating that the service member died while being deployed overseas, describing the mortgage or the property subject to the mortgage and the debt, providing a telephone number or other means to communicate with the surviving spouse or the estate, and asking that foreclosure be delayed for six months. No particular phrasing of the notice shall be required.

(c) The Attorney General may file an action in the circuit court to collect a civil fine under this section. A civil fine collected under this section shall be deposited into the Military Family Relief Fund created in the State Treasury and used by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, at its discretion, to assist military families in need.

(d) This section does not apply to a mortgage entered into before August 1, 2009.

(Act 2009-626, p. 1905, §2.)