The prospect of losing your home to foreclosure can be devastating no matter how long you’ve owned it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new homeowner or have owned the property for decades. But there is hope!
Delaying or recovering equity in your home depends on the circumstances and the expertise of the foreclosure lawyer who represents you.
Signs of Foreclosure
Many new homebuyers find that foreclosure is easy to miss. If you’re a homeowner whose property has been repossessed by a bank, you might experience warning signs of foreclosure.
If you notice the following signs in your home, it’s time to hire a foreclosure lawyer:
- Bankruptcy court documents filed on your property
- Locked doors with security cameras
- Security cameras posted at windows and doors
- Insurance companies stopping work on your property
How to Find the Right Foreclosure Lawyer
You can’t begin to feel the effects of foreclosure unless you’ve been foreclosed upon. But there are steps you can take to keep from being foreclosed upon. Hiring an attorney to represent you in the case is a must. The best way to do that is by calling a local foreclosure lawyer in your area. He or she will be able to refer you to a foreclosure attorney who specializes in your state.
Local foreclosure lawyers don’t have the resources of large national firms, but a local lawyer may be able to meet with you in person. If you trust your lawyer’s advice, seek his or her suggestions to help you find the right foreclosure lawyer.
Foreclosure defense attorneys are well-versed in the defenses that should be brought to the court’s attention in a motion, which is why they are the best lawyers for the job. When you are facing foreclosure, it is essential that you have a qualified attorney on your side.
The law can confuse and be intimidating. Added to that, homeowners rarely have an opportunity to explain their position in person at a foreclosure hearing. That’s why you need someone who can ensure that your rights are protected, fight for you in court, and be your voice.
Actions your Foreclosure Lawyer May Recommend
A written answer – Your attorney can file a written answer that may include substantive defenses to the lender’s claims. These answers fall into two categories:
The answer to your problem may include substantive defenses like the fact that you’re not behind on your payments, or that the lender doesn’t have a right to sue you because they don’t own your mortgage.
The answer may also include affirmative defenses, which are defenses that suggest reasons for the court to deny a foreclosure even if everything the lender has stated is true.
Certain affirmative defenses can be procedural. For example, if the lender did not attach any papers to the complaint, or if they sent it to the wrong person or address. Other affirmative defenses can involve prohibited conduct by the lender, such fraud or failing to disclose the full cost of the loan (the interest rates and/or other charges) when the lender issued the mortgage.
A motion seeking court action
Your attorney can draw the court’s attention to defenses you may raise in a written motion and ask for a ruling on that motion. If you’re in need of some extra time to pay back your debt, then a debt consolidation loan may be just the thing. This could give you more time to resolve any lack of payments and possibly settle with the lender.
An accomplished foreclosure defense lawyer can often resolve the case quickly if the lender has undeniably violated the law (i.e., omitting required information on the mortgage). Even when the court rules against you, your foreclosure attorney may suggest you:
- Obtain forbearance from your current lender, either through The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CARES) or through negotiation, giving you time to get caught up and pay down your debt.
- File for bankruptcy. Filing a chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop your foreclosure proceedings for the duration of the bankruptcy, giving you some much-needed breathing room.
- Obtain a deed instead of foreclosure. If you can’t keep up with your mortgage payments, a deed in lieu of foreclosure is an option that will allow you to walk away from the property without a foreclosure on your record.
- Seek a short sale. If you don’t want to keep the home, your lender may agree to accept less than the amount you owe from a new buyer in order to sell the home more quickly.
In conclusion, the threat of foreclosure is a very serious matter that you should take seriously. It is your responsibility to make sure that your home is in good condition before it becomes vacant. But remember, you do not have to lose your home because of the hardship of foreclosure. You can regain your home and be back in the black with just a little legal effort.