You’ve missed your last two mortgage payments. You lost your job, and the creditors are calling you every day, demanding payment and threatening to take you to court. You want to save your home, if possible, but you don’t know what to do next.
Hopefully, you’ve never been in this situation. But perhaps a friend or relative has? Many people facing foreclosure refuse to hire an attorney, given the additional expense. However, depending on the situation and the amount of legal experience you have, it may make sense to seriously consider engaging an experienced foreclosure attorney.
Here are a few ways a foreclosure attorney could help:
- Dealing with your lender – Most lenders don’t want to go through the hassle of a foreclosure. Your attorney might be able to work out a deal that avoids foreclosure and doesn’t involve going to court.
- Key skills – Years of specialized training, courtroom experience and knowledge of your state’s foreclosure laws probably puts your attorney miles ahead of you in knowing and understanding the procedures you’ll be facing.
- Changing laws – Foreclosure laws often change at the state and federal level. State and federal courts hand down decisions that alter how these laws are interpreted and implemented.
- Preparing arguments – To successfully build your defense, you’ll need to locate, read and digest complex legal documents, including legislation and court decisions, and then prepare written and oral arguments for the courts. This alone may be enough reason to hire an attorney.
- Adhering to court procedures and deadlines – Once a lender files a foreclosure petition with the court, the clock starts ticking, and you’ll have about 20-30 days to respond in writing. If you miss the deadline, the lender wins the case automatically, and the court will move forward with a foreclosure sale. However, if you have an attorney, he/she can raise procedural and/or substantive questions that slow down or halt the process.
- Present alternative options – During foreclosure proceedings, your lender is unlikely to outline all your options. Your attorney, however, can discuss “loan modification agreements” or “partial claims” or other options that may help you keep your home.
- Guard against unethical practices – Most lenders act ethically, but occasionally a company may try to force people out of their homes before the law requires. A good attorney won’t let that happen.
As you can see, there are numerous options to explore for those headed toward foreclosure, as an attorney, like a foreclosure lawyer from a firm such as The Law Offices of Ronald I Chorches, can explain.