There are few things scarier for homeowners than finding a foreclosure notice in the mail. Your heart likely drops, and you start imagining the worst-case scenario. However, getting a foreclosure notice in the mail doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically lose your home. There are many options still available to you, and many reasons why you might not lose your home. A Florida foreclosure defense lawyer can advise on what all of your options are if your lender has sent a foreclosure notice. Below are five reasons why you may be able to keep your home even after receiving a notice from the bank telling you otherwise.
You Qualify for a Loan Modification
If you’re eligible for a loan modification, an attorney can advise you of this. They can also help negotiate with your lender to get a modification that works for you and that can help you stay in your home. After a loan modification, the principal on your mortgage may change, your interest rate may be reduced, or the length of your loan may be increased, making your monthly payments smaller.
Getting a loan modification isn’t always easy. Your lender will have to agree, and an agreement isn’t always easy to come to. An attorney can help ensure you get a loan modification if you qualify so that you can remain in your home.
The Lender Doesn’t Own Your Mortgage
Many homeowners don’t realize that there’s a very good chance that the lender that sent them the foreclosure notice doesn’t actually own their loan. Mortgages are often bundled together so the bank can sell them. Then, the company that purchased the mortgages may sell them to another buyer and so on. Without the borrower even knowing it, their mortgage could be sold five or six times, or even more.
Under Florida law, only the lender that owns the loan can file for foreclosure. When the lender that’s suing the borrower does not own the loan, homeowners can often stay in their homes. Due to the fact that mortgages are sold so many times, lenders that send foreclosure notices often don’t even know that they don’t own the loan. Then, they must determine who owns the loan, and that can also take some time.
The Loan Documents Were Robo-Signed
In the late 2000s, there was a massive scandal involving robo-signers. These were lenders that arranged for borrowers to sign hundreds of affidavits a day. The affidavits swore that the borrower knew of the existence of certain documents and that they were in effect without having any actual knowledge of it.
To deter robo-signers from fooling borrowers, the courts began throwing foreclosure cases out if a robo-signer is listed on the lawsuit or any other document pertaining to the foreclosure. The late 2000s weren’t all that long ago and, as such, many foreclosure documents may still have robo-signers listed on them; this could result in the case being thrown out of court.
When this is the case, borrowers might still face possible foreclosure down the line. However, the delay will work in the homeowner’s favor, as it gives them leverage and may give them time to negotiate a short sale or a loan modifier.
The Bank Made a Mistake
The lawyers that work for banks deal with a lot of foreclosures. Often, in their rush to move through their stack of paperwork, they make mistakes. When they do, it can serve as a great foreclosure defense. For example, in Florida the lender must give the borrower notice of the foreclosure at least 30 days in advance. If they send a notice out stating that the foreclosure will commence in two weeks, that is an error that will greatly, and negatively affect the foreclosure process. The lender will typically have to correct the mistake and start the foreclosure process all over again.
Again, the borrower may still face foreclosure in the future, but they will have time to negotiate another option, such as a short sale. This may not only help them avoid foreclosure, but also the deficiency judgments that often come with them, allowing the borrower to keep more of their cash at a time when they need every dime.
You Come to an Agreement During Mediation
Mediation is no longer required in Florida foreclosure cases, although they once were. However, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer an option for borrowers who are facing foreclosure. During mediation, the lender and its attorneys will meet with a mediator. The mediator will not provide any legal advice or make any decisions. Instead, they simply try to get the two sides to come to an agreement. Mediators will encourage compromise and suggest options that may be beneficial for both sides. If the two sides can come to an agreement, the mediator will then draft that agreement in writing and submit it to the courts for approval.
It’s important to understand that to take advantage of mediation, the lender also has to agree to it. This can be difficult, but a foreclosure defense attorney can help persuade them. For example, if there are other foreclosure defense options, an attorney can tell the lender about these, which may hold up the foreclosure process. When that is the case, a lender may determine that going through mediation is more beneficial to them than dragging out the process even longer.
A Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Can Help
Receiving a foreclosure notice in the mail is extremely scary, but it doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to lose your home. There are many reasons you may be able to keep your home, and a Fort Lauderdale foreclosure defense attorney can help you determine what those are. At Loan Lawyers, we know the many ways to help you stay in your home and we’ll use them to fight your foreclosure notice. If you’re facing foreclosure, call us today at (954) 523-HELP (4357) to learn about the options you have and how we can help you stay in your home.
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.