After receiving a notice of foreclosure from your lender or servicer, you may think the situation is hopeless and simply start packing your bags. This is, in fact, the worst thing you can do for your case. You may not know of the several defenses that are available to fight foreclosure, but a foreclosure defense lawyer will. Most people that are facing foreclosure are already in financial hardship and so, they do not think they can afford a foreclosure defense lawyer. However, it is important to find a lawyer that offers free consultations so you can determine if you have a good case, and learn more about their payment structures.
Most people are surprised to learn how affordable foreclosure defense lawyers are, and do not consider what they have to lose if they do not work with one. Below are just a few of the things a lawyer will do while working on your case and helping you to stay in your home.
Explain Your Options
First and foremost, a foreclosure defense lawyer will explain the options you have available to you. Again, too many people think that when they are facing foreclosure, the only option they have is to allow the bank or servicer to proceed with the foreclosure. This is not true. There are many options available to you when facing foreclosure. You could be eligible for a loss mitigation, loan modification, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, a short sale, or more.
Foreclosure defense lawyers have an incredibly strong grasp of the law in a way that most people do not. Their judgment and experience will save you time, help you avoid mistakes, and give you the best chance of saving your home through one of the available options. An attorney will also explain the pros and cons of all options to help you determine which one is right for you.
Enter Into Settlement Negotiations
Sometimes, there are more options than defending against a foreclosure or allowing the lender to take the home. Foreclosure defense attorneys are skilled negotiators and are often able to settle a case before the homeowner leaves the home.
Reinstatement may be an option in your case, in which you bring the loan current, or the lender may offer a payoff option. While these options are rarely used because the homeowner simply does not have the funds for them, sometimes they are able to collect the funds necessary. In other cases, a short payoff, in which you do not pay the full amount due but still pay a lump settlement amount, is possible. Regardless of the settlement options available, an attorney will enter into negotiations to give you the best chance of being able to use one of these options.
Raise Defenses at Trial
If the lender or servicer is not willing to negotiate with you to reach an agreement that can help you keep you home, your case may go to trial. This is a scary prospect and many homeowners think that when their case gets this far, it is too late and there is nothing they can do to keep a home. This is also not true.
At trial, your lawyer will raise certain defenses that will help you keep your home. For example, if the lender did not have standing to foreclose on the home, this could help you keep your property. Standing means that the person filing the foreclosure lawsuit has something to lose by you not paying the loan. It is easy to assume that lenders who file a foreclosure lawsuit always have standing, but it’s not always the case. If the lender has sold the loan, which is very common, they no longer have standing and cannot file a lawsuit.
This is just one defense available in foreclosure lawsuits. The mortgage assignment may have been unlawful, or you may have been the victim of unfair lending practices. After reviewing your case, an attorney will identify the potential issues in your case and use them as a defense to help you keep your home.
Defend Against Deficiency Judgments
It is not uncommon for homeowners to feel a small sense of relief when their home is foreclosed on. Although the situation is a dire one, homeowners only find themselves in it because they cannot afford to pay their mortgage. The release of that debt is a huge burden off of their shoulders, or so they think. Lenders are still able to obtain a deficiency judgment in court and, when they are successful, they can pursue the homeowner for the remaining amount. This makes a difficult situation almost impossible.
Fortunately, a foreclosure defense lawyer can defend against deficiency judgments, too. A foreclosure defense attorney may negotiate with the lender before or during the trial and have them agree to waive their right to pursue a deficiency judgment, or they may raise defenses against this type of judgment in court, too. Without a lawyer, you may be surprised when a lender or servicer tries to obtain a deficiency judgment. A lawyer will foresee this problem and fight against it before it even becomes an issue.
Help You File Bankruptcy
In some cases, the only defense to foreclosure is filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which may make sense for many homeowners. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your debts are restructured so it is easier for you to pay them. You typically have three to five years to pay off your debts. Fortunately, unlike with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to keep your home and other assets, therefore allowing you to avoid foreclosure.
Contact Our Foreclosure Defense Lawyers in Florida Today
If you have defaulted on your mortgage payments, or your lender has already sent you a foreclosure notice, do not take on your case alone. At Loan Lawyers, our foreclosure defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale know the defenses to help keep you in your home, as well as the other options available to you. 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.