How are trust deeds or mortgage liens treated in Wyoming?

Wyoming primarily operates as a title theory state where the property title remains in trust until payment in full occurs for the underlying loan. Foreclosure is a non-judicial remedy under this theory. The document that secures the title is usually called a deed of trust. However, Wyoming law also permits mortgages to serve as liens upon real property and for judicial foreclosures to occur through the courts.


How are Wyoming mortgages/trust deeds foreclosed?

The primary method of foreclosure in Wyoming involves what is known as non-judicial foreclosure. This type of foreclosure does not involve court action but requires notice commonly called foreclosure by advertisement. When the trust deed is initially signed it will usually contain a provision called a power of sale clause, which upon default allows a trustee to sell the property in order to satisfy the underlying defaulted loan. The trustee acts as a representative of the lender to effectuate the sale, which typically occurs in the form of an auction. Because this is a non-judicial remedy, there are very stringent notice requirements and the legal documents are required to contain the power of sale language in order to use this type of foreclosure method.

Power of Sale Notice Requirements:

  1. Prior to initiating a foreclosure the lender must file a written notice of intent to foreclose to be personally served at least 10 days before the first publication of the sale date. A copy of the notice of default must be published for 4 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the property is located and if there is no newspaper of general circulation in the county then in a state circulated paper in the county the property is located.
  2. Written notice of intent to foreclose as described above must contain certain information, including the date, time and place of sale, a description of the default, the name of the borrower, the name of the lender and the recording information from the deed of trust and the amount of default.
  3. Foreclosure sales must take place between 9AM and 5PM on a day other at the courthouse on the time, place and date designated in the sale notice as part of a public auction. The trustee or sheriff will auction the property to the highest bidder. The foreclosure sale may be postponed by effectuating a notice in the newspaper of original advertisement.

In Wyoming, the lenders can also go to court in what is known as a judicial foreclosure proceeding where the court must issue a final judgment of foreclosure. If the deed of trust does not contain the power of sale language, the lender must usually seek judicial foreclosure. The property is then sold as part of a publicly noticed sale. A complaint is filed in court along with what is known a lis pendens. The defendant has 20 days to answer the complaint. A lis pendens is a recorded document that provides public notice that the property is being foreclosed upon.


What are the legal instruments that establish a Wyoming mortgage?

The documents are known as the deed of trust, and in a commercial transaction, a security agreement. Sometimes the mortgage document is combined with the security agreement. Alternatively, a mortgage is filed to evidence the underlying debt and terms of repayment, which is set forth in the note.


How long does it take to foreclose a property in Wyoming?

Depending on the timing of the various required notices, it usually takes approximately 90 days to effectuate an uncontested non-judicial foreclosure. This process may be delayed if the borrower contests the action in court, seeks delays and postponements of sales, or files for bankruptcy.


Is there a right of redemption in Wyoming?

Wyoming has a post-sale statutory right of redemption for judicial foreclosures, which would allow a party whose property has been foreclosed to reclaim that property 3 months after the sale by making payment in full of the sum of the unpaid loan plus 10 percent interest from the date of the sale.


Are deficiency judgments permitted in Wyoming?

Yes, a deficiency judgment may be obtained when a property in foreclosure is sold at a public sale for less than the loan amount which the underlying mortgage or deed of trust secures.


What statutes govern Wyoming foreclosures?

The laws that govern Wyoming foreclosures are found in Title 34 of Wyoming Statutes, Chapter 3 (Deeds of Trust) and Chapter 4 (foreclosure of Mortgages and Power of Sale.