‌Foreclosure and Selling Your House: Do You Need a Lawyer?

Written by Divine Magazine

The dream of owning a home is crushed when it goes into foreclosure. Just because you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments does not mean that foreclosure is unavoidable. If you know where to look, you can find options. 

 When it comes to foreclosure, getting legal representation early on gives you access to more options. A lawyer, for example, can arrange a deal with the lender to allow you to stay in the home or, if necessary, fight the case in court with a strong defense. 

 Continue reading to find out when hiring a lawyer is necessary and how they may help you.

When is it Time to Get Help?

 The lender may start the foreclosure process if you fall too far behind on your mortgage.  Often, more than one is “20 days late” as per federal law. A foreclosure enables the lender to reclaim your home and sell it to recoup its investment. 

 According to the requirements of the legal mortgage contract, the lender must send you a notice via mail. That is before formally starting a foreclosure. 

A “Breach Letter” is the letter the lender sends before foreclosing. If you don’t bring your debt current, the lender will begin foreclosure proceedings. It would be stated in the breach letter. You’ll have a set amount of time, usually 30 days, to bring your loan current in to stop the bank from proceeding with these actions.

Do I Need a Foreclosure Attorney?

 You must determine whether you want to fight the foreclosure.  And also decide whether it is worthwhile to hire a foreclosure lawyer to assist you if you are facing foreclosure. At times, retaining legal counsel is necessary. For instance, you’ll need a lawyer’s help if you have a good defense against foreclosure and wish to keep your home.

How Can A Foreclosure Attorney Help?

 Even for a North Carolina foreclosure attorney, understanding the foreclosure laws is difficult. Foreclosure court processes differ from state to state, and even from court to court. Additionally, both judicial and extrajudicial foreclosure processes are available. Additionally, each state handles non-judicial proceedings in a different way. 

 You must have a thorough understanding of the rules governing evidence if you intend to contest the foreclosure. As a result, you need a knowledgeable foreclosure lawyer who can advise you on your alternatives. A lawyer can assist in completely avoiding foreclosure by negotiating a “loss mitigation” agreement.  It is like a loan modification. Additionally, a lawyer can assist you or fight the foreclosure on your behalf.

Can A Foreclosure Lawyer Stop Foreclosure?

 A lawyer might be able to reach an agreement with the bank to halt foreclosure if there is enough time. 

 Here are some methods a foreclosure lawyer can use to avoid going to court and save your home: 

  • You Want to File for Bankruptcy

You should speak with a bankruptcy lawyer if you wish to declare bankruptcy to stop the procedure or keep your home.

  • Help You Modify Your Loan

 A loan modification is an agreed-upon change to the original conditions of the loan between the lender and the borrower. You can negotiate a loan modification with your lender with the aid of a lawyer. A change might lead to new repayment conditions or a lower interest rate. While you are in mortgage default, exercise caution when pursuing a loan modification. A foreclosure action against your house might be legally halted through the loan modification process. 

  • Guide You About Loss Mitigation

 Loss mitigation alternatives are available with some mortgage types, such as FHA loans. You can restore your equilibrium by choosing one of these alternatives. You might be eligible for a “partial claim,” for instance, which would bring the payments up to date. It’s possible that your lender won’t let you know about these options. A lawyer can tell you better options.

  • Foreclosure Mediation

 Some states give debtors the choice of foreclosure mediation. In which mortgage lenders and property owners meet to discuss alternatives to foreclosure. An attorney can assist you in this process and ensure that the bank treats you fairly.

Defenses an Attorney Can Raise in Court

 An attorney may be able to strengthen your defense by highlighting particular mistakes the bank made. Potential counterarguments that a lawyer might make include:

  • The mortgage company or lender violated the terms of the loan, such as by refusing to accept your payments. 
  • The person who filed for foreclosure cannot establish ownership of the mortgage.
  • You are an active army member and should be legally protected against foreclosure.  It is provided under Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
  • The lender or mortgage servicer did not follow the proper foreclosure process.
  •  If your lawyer offers a convincing defense and the judge concurs, the lender may agree to a settlement. The court may also decide to halt the foreclosure process.
  • You Need Help With a Loan Modification or Getting Another Loss Mitigation Option

 Even though you can apply for a loan modification on your own, in some situations, hiring an attorney will help. It may be the difference between saving your home from foreclosure and getting your mortgage payment reduced. This is through a modification.

If You Decide to Hire a Lawyer

It’s a good idea to chat with several different attorneys before choosing one to represent you. That is if you decide to hire one to get many viewpoints and learn about all your possibilities. When considering hiring a lawyer to help you with foreclosure difficulties, consider the following questions: 

  • How many court cases have you handled, and how much experience do you have representing homeowners in foreclosures? 
  • How long have you been assisting homeowners with loan modifications, 
  • How many loan modifications have you successfully secured for clients? 
  • What action plan do you suggest? 
  • How will you or your team keep me informed on the status of the foreclosure? 
  • How much would hiring you cost, and what services are included in the fees?

Consider having a meeting with a lawyer to assist you to determine what to do. And also to clarify your legal rights and obligations if you are unable to afford one to represent you during the entire process. If you meet the requirements, a legal aid office may be able to assist you for free if you cannot afford even one appointment with an attorney.

© 2022 – 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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