Amerihope Alliance Legal Services, which focuses on providing foreclosure defense and loan modification assistance, is proud to have accepted numerous awards for providing excellent service to our clients over the last 12 years.
This article was last updated July 10, 2020 at 10:45 a.m.
Federal Foreclosure Moratoriums
Federal laws now state that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA have been directed to suspend foreclosures and evictions due to the COVID-19 emergency. What does this mean? Any person with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage will not be evicted or foreclosed on before August 31st. This does not mean that your mortgage payments are forgiven for the next 2 months; you must still pay the money, the due dates have just been suspended. You will not be charged a fee for taking advantage of this forbearance. Also, as per the Federal CARES Act, your mortgage servicer is not allowed to ask you to pay a lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period.
If you don’t know whether your loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can verify it below.
Your mortgage payment is usually a PITI payment. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. When you make your payments each month, the "TI," or tax and insurance portions, are saved in an escrow account.
Here are just a few of the things I overheard last week:
- "Wells Fargo gave me a 3 month forbearance, I don't need to make any payments."
- "If they can't foreclose, why should I make my mortgage payments?"
- "Mr. Cooper is letting me skip three mortgage payments, I ordered new patio furniture."
How would you respond to each of these? Let's take a look.
Mr. Cooper Loan Modification
We received a modification for our client's mortgage with Mr. Cooper. They were 10 months behind, and in an active foreclosure case. This new modification lowers their mortgage payments from $803.82 per month to $743.64.
Do you have a Mr. Cooper mortgage that's past due? See some of our other Mr. Cooper case results here.
Only if you have to.
Our attorneys' COVID-19 advice:
- If you can afford to keep paying your mortgage during a hardship caused by Coronavirus, keep paying your mortgage.
- If you cannot afford to make your mortgage payments, our lawyers want to do everything possible to help you understand your options and be protected from your bank's misrepresentations.
A: Because in our experience, most mortgage "disaster relief" becomes a nightmare.
When your bank serves you with a foreclosure complaint for not paying your mortgage, you have a right to answer it and deny its charges, which you should.
You should also include something called affirmative defenses in your response to the complaint because they are a vital part of a good foreclosure defense strategy.
What Is An Affirmative Defense?
An affirmative defense in a civil lawsuit is a fact that defeats or mitigates the consequences of a charge. For example, in a foreclosure complaint the plaintiff will charge that you haven't been paying your mortgage and they're entitled to foreclose because of that. An affirmative defense wouldn't deny that (though the answer probably would), but it would basically say that it doesn't matter for some reason, like the plaintiff doesn't have the right to foreclose.
We would like to apologize in advance for the possible delay in our response time while we prepare ourselves for the approach of Hurricane Dorian.Our office will be closed on Monday for Labor Day, and office is tentatively open on Tuesday, September 3rd, but will be monitoring the hurricane closely and will keep you updated. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for news.
Clients: Please be advised that we have made arrangements for ALL upcoming hearings and urgent matters in the next two weeks. If our office loses power or our phone lines in the coming days you can always log in to your case.
If you are in foreclosure in a judicial foreclosure state, your case can "go to trial."
Some homeowners think they want to go to trial to have their day in court, a chance to tell their story to a judge or jury and get justice. However, real life is not like an episode of a legal drama show. There will be no sensational surprise at the end, and probably not much of anything exciting. And even if you do win, you will not get a free house.
In many cases, it makes sense to avoid going to trial because it's better to come to an agreement with the lender before it gets to that point. But sometimes that's not practical, and a case does end up at trial.
If you tell people that you're trying to get a loan modification to avoid foreclosure and keep your home, inevitably some of them will offer advice, whether they know what they're talking about or not.
Acting on bad guidance for something so important can be harmful to your chances of getting the outcome you want.
Here's some of the worst advice we've heard about loan modifications and foreclosure:
"Stop paying your mortgage to get a loan mod"
Homeowners who are current on their mortgage have been told that they need to stop paying their mortgage to be eligible for a loan modification.
This is wrong.
You do need to show that you've had a hardship that's making it hard to afford your mortgage, but you do not have to be in default to get a loan modification.