Q: We rent a home that just went into foreclosure through no fault of ours. The home is being auctioned off in five days and we just got notice yesterday. We have two children (an infant and one who is a diabetic).

Do we have to be out of the house by the auction date or does the new owner have to evict us? How long do we have to get all of our stuff out of the home?

A: Usually the foreclosure proceedings notify all parties involved of the action and when the property is auctioned off, the new owner will want possession of the house. Depending on the laws in the state in which you live, the new owner may have the right to possession of the house upon closing of the auction and may have the right to demand that you move immediately.

You might want to talk to the clerk of the court handling the foreclosure process or the sheriff’s department in your area to obtain more information. If you’re lucky, you might get 30 days from the date of the auction to get out of the house.

If you remain in the home, you may want to contact the person that purchases the home at the auction to determine if they would like to keep you as tenants in the home. If you are unable to contact the new owner or are having difficulty getting information to determine the timing that you might need to meet, you should find alternate housing and should be prepared to move.

While some lenders are paying renters of foreclosed properties or the prior owners of those properties to leave quietly and with the property in good shape, with the auction around the corner, it may be too late to see if the lender would want to pay you to move.

If you find that the laws in the state in which you live in give you some time after the auction to move out, then that time should be available to you. However, you would be wise to have a backup plan ready in case the new owner wants you out.

Good luck.

NOTE: Ilyce R. Glink’s latest ebooks are "The Clutter Collector: How to Get Rid of Clutter Everywhere in Your Home" and "How to Save a Month," which are available at her new, all-video website, www.expertrealestatetips.net. If you have questions, you can call her radio show toll-free (800-972-8255) any Sunday, from 11a-1p EST. You can also write to Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact her through her website, www.thinkglink.com. © 2008 by Ilyce R. Glink. Distributed by Tribune Media Services.