The new appellate decisions are a treasure trove of obvious answers to frequently asked questions. Among them is Mirjafari v. Cohn, reported February 16, 2010, No. 38. It confirms that a purchaser out of foreclosure, if bona fide at the time of the sale, is free to devise the foreclosued property if the borrowers take an appeal but fail to obtain an order staying the effect of the judgment overruling the borrower's exceptions.
This question has come to me three times over the last month, by three different insurance adjusters. It's nice to finally have a black letter case declaring the obvious proposition. My partner and I refer to this as a "the sky is blue" propositions-- the legal maxim is obvious, but there doesn't seem to be a reported decision on the issue.
Of course, if the court holds the foreclosure purchaser is not bona fide, he takes title subject to the outcome of the appeal. It is the finding of bona fide status that is key.