After receiving a foreclosure notice, you may think there is nothing to do except wait until the bank forces you out of the home. You may not even think about hiring a Florida foreclosure defense lawyer or realize how much a lawyer could help you. Truthfully, there are many ways a foreclosure defense lawyer may help with your case and the sooner you speak to one, the better chances you will have of a successful outcome. While there are many reasons to hire a foreclosure lawyer to help with your case, the eight main reasons are listed below.
An Understanding of the Law
Without a lawyer, your lender may have violated the law or infringed on your rights and you may not even know it. There are many different laws outlining what actions are and are not legal for a lender to take. The Florida Fair Lending Act and Service Members Civil Relief Act are just two of these. A foreclosure defense lawyer will understand these laws, as well as when the lender has broken them, and can use this as a defense to help you keep your home.
An Understanding of the Process
When facing foreclosure, there are many forms you will have to obtain, fill out, and submit within a certain deadline. You also have only 20 days from the date you receive the foreclosure notice to respond to the complaint. Many homeowners are not aware of the process or what it entails and that lack of knowledge can significantly hurt your case. A foreclosure defense lawyer will know the process because they deal with it every day and can advise on what to expect.
They Will Review Your Case for Free
If you are facing foreclosure, it is likely due to the fact that you fell into hard times financially. You may not think that you can afford to even speak to a lawyer, never mind have one help you through your entire case. However, most foreclosure defense lawyers will review your case free of charge and offer legal advice to help with your case. The right attorney for your case will also always be straightforward and upfront about the costs and fees you will incur throughout your case.
Avoid the Rocket Docket
Florida has been one of the hardest-hit states for foreclosures since the housing crisis in 2008. Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning that lenders have to take homeowners to court so a judge can approve the foreclosure. Combined, these facts have meant that the courts are always backlogged with foreclosure cases. As a result, certain courts attempt what is known as a rocket docket.
A rocket docket is a way to accelerate the foreclosure process for homeowners that do not have legal representation. This process can result in losing your home in as little as 60 to 90 days. However, if you work with a foreclosure defense lawyer, you can delay that time up to 12 months, or even remain in your home permanently.
Help You Seek a Loan Modification
Just because a lender has started the foreclosure process does not mean you are out of options. When you start early, you may be able to work with your lender and come to an agreement that will allow you to stay in your home. One of these is a loan modification. Through a loan modification, you can change many different terms of your loan including the interest rate, the length of the loan, and even the principal of the loan. These modifications can make it easier to pay your mortgage and stay in your home.
Loan modifications are not easy to obtain, and lenders must agree to them. A foreclosure defense lawyer will negotiate with the lender and draft a hardship lender to convince the lender to agree to a loan modification.
Avoid Dual Tracking
If you are successful and your lender agrees to a loan modification, the lender has an obligation to stop the foreclosure process. Unfortunately, too many lenders do not abide by this and they continue on with the foreclosure even as they accept the payments made for the loan modification. This is known as dual tracking and it is against the law. A foreclosure defense lawyer will identify when it is happening, put a stop to it, and ensure the lender is upholding your rights.
Help with the Bankruptcy Process
There are times when a homeowner’s only defense to foreclosure is filing for bankruptcy. While a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will likely result in you losing your home anyway, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you restructure your mortgage so it is more affordable for you to pay. This is a very good alternative for some homeowners, but the bankruptcy process is not easy. One small mistake could affect your chances of successfully filing, but a foreclosure defense lawyer will ensure those mistakes do not happen. A lawyer will advise on which type of bankruptcy is right for you, and help you navigate the process to give you the best chance of success.
Prepare an Exit Strategy
You may think that if the bank is successful in foreclosing on your home, the only thing there is for you to do is to vacate it. However, a proper foreclosure exit strategy involves much more than that. A proper exit strategy involves defending you against a deficiency judgment for the balance remaining on the mortgage, which could lead to wage garnishment or other hurtful actions taken against you.
Call Our Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyers Today
Facing foreclosure is one of the most challenging experiences a homeowner will ever go through. If you are behind on mortgage payments, or your lender has already started the foreclosure process, you do not have to go through it alone. At Loan Lawyers, our Fort Lauderdale foreclosure defense attorneys are here to help. We know how to defend against these cases and will give you the best chance of staying in your home. Call us today at (954) 807-1361 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Loan Lawyers has helped over 5,000 South Florida homeowners and consumers with their debt problems, we have saved over 2,000 homes from foreclosure, eliminated more than $100,000,000 in mortgage principal and consumer debt, and have recovered over $10,000,000 on behalf of our clients due to bank, loan servicer, and debt collector violations. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we may be able to help you.