Homebuyer, Homeowner & Tenant Information

Buying a Home

Before consumers begin shopping for a home, they should educate themselves about the home-buying process. Consumers who know their legal rights and responsibilities and who can recognize housing-related scams are less likely to fall victim to discriminatory, predatory or otherwise destructive loans and mortgage schemes.

The Attorney General recommends that consumers review the educational brochures and information from his federal partners before consumers enter the home-buying market:

  • Buying a Home. Information about deciding what you can afford, borrowers’ rights, predatory lending, FHA loans, manufactured homes, home inspections, homeowners insurance and much more. (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
  • Owning a Home. Learn about loan options and the closing process and get a closing checklist. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
  • Looking for the Best Mortgage. Shopping around for a home loan helps you get the best financing deal. A home loan is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars. (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
  • 5 Tips: Shopping for a Mortgage. A guide to five important factors you should consider when shopping for and comparing home loans. Includes a mortgage shopping worksheet. (Federal Reserve)
  • Reverse Mortgages. Advertisements for reverse mortgages make these loans look simple and beneficial to older adults who own their homes. But reverse mortgages come with significant risks, which most ads fail to mention. Read this consumer advisory if you are considering a reverse mortgage. (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Foreclosure

Homeowners who experience financial distress and do not want to lose their homes need to initiate contact with their loan servicers immediately. By the time a foreclosure sale is scheduled, it may be too late or economically impractical for the servicer to stop the sale. Loan servicers are not legally required to modify a home loan.

The Attorney General’s Office may be able to facilitate more productive and transparent communication between the parties during the loan modification process. Ultimately, however, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to provide his or her servicer with all of the documentation and information needed to make a final decision. The Attorney General cannot force a servicer to modify a loan or to stop a foreclosure sale.

The following publication is available to help homeowners better understand their rights and responsibilities before, during and after foreclosure:

  • Foreclosure Prevention: A Workbook.  A foreclosure-prevention tool for homeowners to help them evaluate their finances, understand their options and make informed decisions about their mortgage loans.
  • FAQs. Answers to common questions about Idaho’s foreclosure laws and process, including mandatory notices regarding mortgage loan modifications, foreclosure rescue scams and postponed trustee sales.
  • Foreclosure Statutes. Links to Idaho’s foreclosure laws, as well as its mortgage licensing and practice statutes and its consumer protection laws.
  • Sample Foreclosure Forms. Examples of the foreclosure notices and affidavits required by Idaho Code §§ 45-1505, 45-1506(8) and 45-1601.

Tenants

Under Idaho law, tenants and landlords have certain rights and responsibilities. An oral or written agreement (i.e., a contract) between the tenant and the landlord, however, may modify those rights and responsibilities, or they may impose additional obligations. Such agreements are binding on all parties and are enforceable in court.

The Attorney General’s Office does not enforce Idaho’s landlord-tenant laws and does not mediate breach of contract disputes. We do accept, however, consumer complaints in which the tenant alleges the landlord has engaged in false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices as outlined in the Idaho Consumer Protection Act (ICPA) or the Idaho Rules of Consumer Protection (ICPR). Before filing a complaint with our office, tenants should read the ICPA and the ICPR to make sure the misconduct they allege falls within the scope of those laws.

To help tenants and landlords better understand their rights and responsibilities under Idaho law, the Attorney General recommends the following publications and information:

  • Landlord and Tenant Manual. Information about lease agreements, security deposits, property management companies, moving out, evictions, foreclosed rentals, manufactured homes and other topics.
  • Tenant Rights, Laws and Protections: Idaho. Know your legal rights and responsibilities as a tenant living in Idaho. (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
  • Rental Assistance. Learn about renting and HUD-rental assistance programs. (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
  • Idaho Court Assistance Office. Provides a tenant’s request for repairs form and forms for defending an eviction action.