When you’re facing a foreclosure and want to keep your house, it’s best to hire an attorney quickly to help ensure that you have as many options available possible. An attorney can help you negotiate with your lender if you need to stay in your home longer or even fight the foreclosure in court. If you wait too long to hire an attorney, it’s possible that it’ll be too late to stop or delay the process of the foreclosure on your home.
The foreclosure process is complex and can be very difficult to understand because every state, and sometimes, different courts within a state, has different procedures regarding the process. If you are ready to proceed and fight the foreclosure of your home, it’s time to hire an attorney you can trust to guide you through the lengthy and difficult process. At Thomas Weiss & Associates, our team is dedicated to helping you with your unique situation and representing you and your needs.
Here’s a brief list of why it’s important to hire an attorney and what to expect during the foreclosure process:
What’s A Foreclosure?
A foreclosure is a legal process that is prompted by the lender if the mortgage payments are delinquent, meaning they go unpaid for more than 120 days under federal law. The foreclosure allows the lender to sell your home in order to repay the loan. Typically, the lender must mail you a letter called a breach letter giving you notice of their intention to begin foreclosure. To prevent the bank from moving forward with the foreclosure, you must make your mortgage payments current within a specific amount of time, which is usually 30 days.
Once you receive the breach letter, consider hiring an attorney immediately, particularly if you know you will not be able to catch up on your payments. An attorney will help you meet all the necessary deadlines, file the paperwork, and represent you in court.
What Are My Options?
If your lender will not modify your loan or you cannot afford to take it to court, you can consider filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you qualify for bankruptcy, then you can keep your home and make your mortgage payments current over the next three to five years.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you choose to hire an attorney, it’s important to first ask a few questions before starting the paperwork. Here are some examples:
- What defenses do I have for the foreclosure, if any?
- How long do you think the foreclosure process take in my specific case?
- Are you able to help me negotiate or work out an alternative to foreclosure with my lender?
These questions will help you and your attorney determine the best course of action for your case.
As you proceed, it’s important that you and your attorney understand how to file documents with the chosen court, rules of evidence, deadlines, the court’s specific procedures, and more. Your attorney can help you navigate the foreclosure rules and regulations and be able to offer you the best options available.
A foreclosure lawyer may also be able to raise certain defenses in court or even point to the bank’s errors during the foreclosure process. For example, your attorney can make the following potential arguments:
- The lender breached the loan contract by failing to accept payment, etc.
- The foreclosing party cannot prove that it owns the mortgage debt in question
- The lender did not follow the appropriate foreclosure procedures detailed by the state or court
- The federal Service Members Civil Relief Act, which states that if the borrower is an active military member who is entitled to protection against foreclosure
These are just a few defenses that an attorney can discuss in court. If your attorney does raise a legitimate defense and the court agrees, the lender can consider a settlement, or the court can dismiss the foreclosure.
An attorney can also help work with your lender to avoid the foreclosure altogether. If your attorney is given enough time, they can work out a deal with the bank to do the following:
- Help you modify your loan
- Inform you about loss mitigation options
- Ensure that the lender follows the rules
- Represent you in foreclosure mediation
At Thomas Weiss & Associates, our legal team can help you navigate the complicated process of foreclosure. As experienced and knowledgeable Long Island real estate attorneys, Thomas Weiss & Associates have been serving Suffolk county and the surrounding areas for nearly 20 years. Our firm is focused on individuals and their specific situations, and we are dedicated to helping you with your case.