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Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Who Are the "Unknown Parties" In Your Foreclosure Case?

Homeowners who fall seriously behind on their mortgage often notice something strange when they are served a foreclosure complaint: under defendants, alongside their name, there are other “unknown” defendants listed. Who the heck are these “Unknown Parties”, and why are they on your complaint? 

Before I answer that, let's look at an example of a foreclosure complaint from a recent client of our firm in Collier county, Florida (my bold):

“VERIFIED MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association, sues Defendants (Names Redacted); Any and All Unknown Parties Claiming By, Through, Under, and Against the Herein Named Individual Defendant(s) Who Are Not Known to be Dead or Alive, Whether Said Unknown Parties May Claim an Interest as Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, or Other Claimants; Unknown Party #1, Unknown Party #2, Unknown Party #3 and Unknown Party #4, the names being fictitious to account for parties in possession, and alleges...”

You can see from that excerpt that US Bank is suing homeowners in a foreclosure lawsuit. After the owners names, they also list as defendants “Any and All Unknown Parties (who)...May Claim an Interest” in the property. They use language that covers any possible way that a person could have an interest in the subject property, such as “Spouses, Heirs, Devisees, Grantees”.

6 Tips for Success for Our Foreclosure Defense Clients

A successful relationship between a client and a law firm requires both parties to do their job. The firm may have the most work to do, but there are some things that only the client can do. Even the greatest attorney in the world can't get you what you want if you're not playing ball.

If you hire our law firm, take the steps below to ensure that you have the best relationship with us and the highest chance of getting the outcome you want.

1. Add our phone numbers to your contacts and return our calls.

Have you ever received a call from an unknown number and not answered it because you assumed that if the caller was important to you, you'd already have their number saved in your phone? Probably a telemarketer, you figured. Then you get a voice mail and realize that the caller was someone very important to you, but you didn't add their number to your contacts yet. Crap!

Don't let that happen with a call from your lawyer. Add our number to your contacts and answer when we call you -- it's probably important. If you're a client of our firm, you will be getting calls from 877-882-5338 or 866-558-2408. You might also want to add your paralegal's direct fax number, so you have it handy while you're doing #3 below.

Georgia Couple Avoids HOA Foreclosure on Inherited Florida Condo

A recent client of our law firm, who I'll call Mrs. McMillan to protect her privacy, hired us to help her elderly mother save her Florida condo from foreclosure.

Mrs. McMillan had power of attorney for her mother, who owned a beautiful condominium, worth more than $800,000, located on the water on the northern gulf coast of Florida. It has almost a half a million dollars in equity.

Usually our clients are being foreclosed on by the bank because they've missed mortgage payments, but our client's mother was facing foreclosure due to missed homeowner's association (HOA) payments.

Mrs. McMillan hired us in January of 2017, and shortly thereafter her mother passed away. Now she had to deal with the property for herself since she was the sole heir to her mother's estate.

Though she and her husband lived in Georgia, they did not want to lose the property. Their goal was to avoid foreclosure and keep the condo in the family if at all possible. 

Mrs. McMillan and her husband, a doctor, were doing pretty well financially, and were able to pay the mortgage on the property. That kept the bank from trying to foreclose. But they didn't have full rights to the property and weren't able to pay all the past-due HOA fees to get out of foreclosure. It was going to take some work to fix that.

How Do You Deal with Foreclosure on a Reverse Mortgage?

How do you end up in foreclosure because of a reverse mortgage? And is that a reverse foreclosure? What do you do if you inherit a house that has a reverse mortgage?

Before we answer those questions, let's first define what a traditional and reverse mortgage are.

Traditional Mortgage

In a traditional mortgage, you borrow a lump sum of money to purchase a home, then pay it back in monthly installments, plus interest, over time. You start out with little or no equity and build it as you pay down the balance of the loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, your home will be foreclosed for defaulting.

Is Unclean Hands An Effective Defense Against Foreclosure?

Our firm recently received a question from a homeowner in Pennsylvania who wanted to know if he could use an unclean hands defense to avoid foreclosure, and if he could he sue his bank?

Unclean Hands

First, what is an unclean hands defense?

An unclean hands defense is when one party in a lawsuit didn't wash their hands before coming into court and gets dirt all over the legal documents and the judge throws the case out. Precedent for the unclean hands defense was established in 1975 with the landmark Pigpen v. Wells Fargo case, which went all the way to the supreme court.

What Does a Foreclosure Defense Attorney Actually Do for You?

If you're considering hiring an attorney to help you avoid foreclosure and/or get a loan modification, you may be wondering what specifically an attorney will do to help you keep your home. You know your mortgage issues are too important to try to handle alone, but how exactly does an attorney help?

Do they just show up in court and say something in Latin “Your honor, the corpus juris, et cetera, entitle my client to keep their house. Also, carpe diem, and liberum domum (free house), please.”

Of course not. So what does an attorney actually do when you hire them to defend you from foreclosure and assist you in getting a loan modification?

Still Trying to Work with Your Mortgage Lender for a Loan Modification?

Homeowners across the country are trying to get mortgage loan modifications that will allow them to avoid foreclosure. They're behind on their house payments, and a permanent change to the terms of their loan that reinstates it with a lower payment is their only hope of keeping their home.

But, for many people, working with their bank on their own simply isn't getting them the results they need. So they're wondering if they should continue to go it alone or get professional help. If you're trying to decide, here are some things to take into consideration.

First, it is possible to get a loan modification on your own. You don't have to pay anyone to assist you. And considering that it also doesn't cost anything to apply for or get approval for a loan mod, trying for yourself can seem like an attractive option.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

Click to Read Our Super Loan Mod Success Stories

Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

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