Approximately 250,000 families enter into foreclosure every 3 months due to delinquent home loan payments or delinquent property taxes. Each of these homeowners has one thing in common: they have to make the decision of whether or not to fight for their home. However, if you want to fight the foreclosure and keep your home, it's time to find a foreclosure defense attorney. Here are some reasons why:
COVID-19 has put the world through the ringer lately, and homeowners have not been an exception.
Though the government has tried to help out, only so much can be done when unemployment is increasing and businesses are closing.
Over 40 million people have filed for unemployment. Even before the pandemic about 10-15% of homeowners reported to being “housing insecure”, meaning that homeowners were worried about their ability to make payments. In April 2020, 1 in 3 Americans did not pay rent, and even though evictions have been halted, there are still people being evicted!
If you have secured a COVID-19 mortgage forbearance that works for you and your family this can be a great help. However, it is important to discuss with your mortgage servicer how they will be handling your past due payments at the end of the forbearance. 30 days before the forbearance ends you should assess your situation with your mortgage servicer to determine your next steps. Some servicers are requiring borrowers to make one large balloon payment when the forbearance ends, which is the worst case scenario for many homeowners. Other options are:
- repayment plan
- payment deferral
- loan modification
Until a foreclosure takes place you have the right to live in your home. Sometimes you can even remain in the home for a period of time after the foreclosure auction if your state has a post-sale redemption period. Until you are evicted you should continue to maintain your home. Read on for a few reasons why.
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.
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.
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.
You did the hard work of applying for a loan modification and making your trial modification payments. Congratulations!
After making that last trial payment, the only thing to do is wait for the bank to send you a final modification offer, then you can finally put your foreclosure nightmare behind you forever and move on with life. Right?
Unfortunately, your permanent modification offer may not come right away. Why is that?
Applying For A Loan Modification
Applying for a loan modification is no easy task. You have to submit a package of documents called a Request for Mortgage Assistance or RMA. Often the servicer will require the homeowner to continually resubmit newer versions of the same documents such as bank statements while the application is under review.
Bankruptcy could help you delay foreclosure or avoid it entirely. So, if you're facing foreclosure, does that mean that you need to file bankruptcy? And if so, when?
There are ways to deal with your mortgage default that don't involve bankruptcy, some of which may be better. Whether or not bankruptcy is right for you depends on what other options are available to you and how close you are to losing your home.
If you've just defaulted, you probably have time to work toward a solution that doesn't involve bankruptcy. But if you've been served with foreclosure papers (in a judicial foreclosure state), have a sale date in the near future, and no other options, then bankruptcy could be right for you.
If you're like most people, you probably get more junk email than you know what to do with.
That's a big problem when it becomes hard to sort through all the messages you don't care about to find the really important emails, like those from your lawyer.
When you hire a lawyer, it's because you need help with an issue that you can't handle on your own. When your attorney sends you an email, it's not just to say hi. It's because they either need to tell you about a development in your case or ask you for something they can't get without you.