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Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

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?

5 Years Behind with Wells Fargo, This NY Client Avoided Foreclosure

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

In February of 2015, we were hired by homeowners in Brooklyn, New York who wanted to avoid losing their home to foreclosure. To protect their privacy, we'll call them the Voshenkos.

The Voshenkos were in very serious trouble when they came to us. They were in foreclosure because they hadn't made a mortgage payment to Wells Fargo in more than five years. But they wanted to find a solution to keep their home, so we started working on their case.

New Foreclosure Laws In New York To Prevent Foreclosure, Kill Zombies

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation intended to prevent foreclosures and reduce the harm done by zombie properties in the Empire State.

Homeowners in New York already have some advantages that people in some other states don't. New York is a judicial foreclosure state, which means the bank has to go through the courts to foreclose on your home. That takes longer and affords homeowners more time to find a resolution. 

Also, settlement conferences, which are a mediation between you and your lender, are mandatory for most foreclosure cases in New York. The purpose of the conference is for you and your bank to meet in person and come to some agreement that doesn't involve foreclosure.

Attorney Demands Bank Proves Reason For Denying Loan Modification

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

Everybody needs help from professionals sometimes. That's especially true for people trying to save their home from foreclosure. Despite many homeowners best efforts, they're not able to get the results they want on their own because they lack the knowledge and experience needed to do so, and the consequences of failure are unacceptable. So they seek outside help.

That's the case with a recent client of ours who retained us to help them avoid foreclosure. To protect their privacy, let's call this couple the Livelys. The Livelys have a home in Bronx County, New York and they fell behind on their mortgage payments in August of 2013.

Solo Loan Modification Attempt

Since they wanted to keep their home, but didn't have the massive amount of cash ($91,251.00) needed to reinstate their loan, the Livelys applied for a loan modification which, if successful, would have gotten their loan back to normal and eliminated the threat of foreclosure. They submitted an RMA (Request for Modification Assistance) to Ocwen, their mortgage loan servicer.

Areas Of New York Experiencing Worse Than Average Foreclosure Rates

Real estate information company RealtyTrac recently released its Foreclosure Market Report for the first quarter of 2016, and the news is mostly good. But some areas, including three metropolitan areas in New York, reached new foreclosure activity peak levels.

In the first quarter of 2016 the U.S. saw less foreclosure activity than in any quarter since the fourth of 2006, with one in every 459 homes in the country having a foreclosure filing. That means there was a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession on 289,116 properties.

Does Your State Require Judicial or Nonjudicial Foreclosure?

When you do not pay your home loan payments, your lender is required to follow the laws and procedures of your state to take ownership of your home and sell it. Some states require lenders to file a lawsuit in court in order to foreclose, which is known as judicial foreclosure. Other states allow lenders to foreclose without filing a lawsuit in court, which is known as nonjudicial foreclosure. Roughly half of the states have judicial foreclosure rules and half have nonjudicial. 

Can a Home Be Foreclosed If Property Taxes Are Not Paid?

Few people have been more universally hated throughout history than tax collectors. They take your hard-earned money, but it always seems like too much for what the government they represent provides in return. It's a story as old as civilization. Nobody likes paying taxes.

Hire a Foreclosure Defense Attorney? What Happens When You Get Served.

You’ve been served and you weren’t playing basketball. If you’re a couple months behind in your mortgage, you probably knew it was coming. You asked for more time to pay the back mortgage payments. Instead, your lender starts threatening you with the F-word. You have two options when facing foreclosure: let your lender win or hire a foreclosure defense attorney and fight.

The Judicial Foreclosure Process

Whether you live in New York, Illinois, Florida or New Jersey, foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender must file a lawsuit in state court. The court allows a lender to start the foreclosure process after you miss three payments. However, most lenders wait for you to become more than three months behind. How nice of your lender, right?

7 Reasons Not to Hire a Foreclosure Attorney

You are an attorney or you currently work or have worked for a bank and know their guidelines. You already know how many documents will you need to submit to your bank for a loan modification. **Free Amerihope Alliance Legal Services Document Checklist**

 

You know the general foreclosure laws and procedures in your state. For example in Florida, foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender must file a lawsuit in state court. The lender starts the foreclosure by filing a complaint with the court and having it served to the borrower, along with a summons. If you lose the case your house will be sold to satisfy the debt.

 

You don't need a foreclosure attorney to prove that the foreclosing party doesn't own your loan. In other words you know that your loan was bundled and securitized. Which means that in a process called securitization, your loan and other loans (includes both the promissory notes and the mortgages) with similar qualities are pooled, and then sold in the secondary market, often to a trust. Basically, securitization takes individual mortgage loans, bundles them into a package, and turns them into marketable securities (called “mortgage-backed securities”) that can be bought and sold. With that being said you believe you have a defense based on the fact that the foreclosing party can't prove that it owns your loan.

Why Hire a Foreclosure Attorney?

If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, it's encouraged that you speak with an experienced and knowledgeable foreclosure defense attorney who can properly inform you of the best solutions for your specific situation. Not to mention that on average, a defended foreclosure usually takes anywhere from one to two years or longer.

Each foreclosure case is different and has complicated nuances that can ultimately make or break the case. For example if you have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit in Florida and New York you have 20 days to file a proper legal response in court. In Illinois, you have 30 days to reply. In New Jersey, you have 35 days. In your reply you can:

  • Accept the Claim -OR-
  • Dispute the Claim – Perhaps your loan servicer didn't follow proper foreclosure procedures or the foreclosing party can’t prove it owns your loan. Maybe your loan servicer made a serious error with your account such as misapplying funds, failing to credit payments to the account, or charging unreasonable and non-allowable fees. Or you’re in the military and as an active military service-member you have some special protections against foreclosure and have certain rights under the Service-members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). -OR-
  • Claim Affirmative Defenses – Which means that without denying responsibility, you may claim that the foreclosing bank had contributing negligence or perhaps there is an expiration of the Statute of Limitations.

Failure to file a legally satisfactory Answer could result in default being entered against you and not being able to fight the foreclosure.

The Attorney’s Role

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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