Foreclosures: When to Hire a Lawyer
When you fall behind on your mortgage payments, it’s advisable to consult with a foreclosure lawyer before you receive that dreaded breach letter from the lender. Most lenders only allow 120 days of arrears before they take action. So, if you want to keep your home, hiring an attorney early in the process ensures that he or she will have time to stop the foreclosure.
Before the lender can officially begin the foreclosure process, they must notify you of their intention to take possession of your home. Typically, you will be given 30 days to bring your loan current. Choosing an attorney before these actions begin makes it more likely that a loss mitigation option or loan modification can save your home.
When Do You Need a Foreclosure Lawyer?
Each case is different, and the laws vary from state to state. Also, there are some defenses that you may not be aware of that could make or break your case. For example:
- The lender didn’t follow proper procedures. Each state has specific procedures that the foreclosing party must follow. Sometimes the lender makes mistakes. It’s possible that these mistakes could warrant dismissal of the case.
- The mortgage holder made a significant error on your account. These errors could include failure to credit payments to your account, misapplying funds, or charging unnecessary or unlawful fees. An attorney can interpret the payment history and determine if you have a defense.
- The loan servicer cannot prove that it owns your loan. These companies often bundle and securitize loans. An attorney can help you determine if you have a defense on these grounds.
- The lender is stalling or dual tracking. Some lenders pursue a loan modification and foreclosure at the same time. Although it is a federal and state violation, it’s not uncommon.
It’s also important to note that if you are in the military, there are special protections against foreclosure. If your loan originated before you left for active duty, the lender must obtain a court order that allows him to proceed with foreclosure. These protections are covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Understanding the complexities of SCRA requires the skills of an attorney.
When you decide to seek the advice or assistance of a professional, finding the right one for your needs takes some time and research. A Google search for “foreclosure lawyer near me” is a good way to begin. Also, you may have a friend, coworker, or relative who can recommend one in your area.
Choosing a Foreclosure Lawyer
Finding the right foreclosure attorney can be a stressful experience. How do you know if they will work in your best interests? Will the attorney make promises without knowing the whole story about your situation? Is the lawyer up-to-date with recent changes in bankruptcy laws?
Begin by choosing a few potential attorneys and schedule a consultation. Bring all the documents that they requested, and include a list of questions that you want to ask. The consultation is the best way to determine whether the attorney is the right one for your needs.
Why Bartifay Should be Your Choice for Protecting Your Home
Most lenders don’t want a large inventory of foreclosure homes to sell. The whole process is time-consuming and costly. As such, a lender is often willing to offer other options if they are approached early enough.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Bartifay Law Offices, P.C. today for a free consultation. Our team of experts specializes in mortgage law and has served the Pittsburgh area since 1993. We look forward to helping you protect the home you love from foreclosure.