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What is Foreclosure Defense and What Is A Foreclosure Defense Attorney?

What is Foreclosure Defense and What Is A Foreclosure Defense Attorney?

What is Foreclosure Defense and What Is A Foreclosure Defense Attorney? 150 150 The Law Office of Nadia K. Kilburn

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What is foreclosure defense?

Foreclosure defense occurs when you hire a lawyer to help you take advantage of all the legal protections available to you in order to stop, prevent, or delay foreclosure.

What is a foreclosure defense attorney?

If you are facing foreclosure, you should have a consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer as soon as possible. A consultation with a mortgage or foreclosure lawyer can offer you some help and peace of mind.

Following the consultation, you will understand:

  • What your options are to stop your foreclosure
  • The chances of success of the options discussed
  • How much time you have to take action
  • What you can expect moving forward from the foreclosure process

8 ways a foreclosure defense lawyer can help you

 

1. Help identify the government programs that offer foreclosure prevention.

More than 90% of all mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA.

If you have one of these investors on your loan and have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, there may be programs available to help you stop foreclosure.

2. Determine whether a loan modification can possibly help you keep your home and stop foreclosure.

A mortgage modification (or a loan modification) is one way to stop the foreclosure process and keep your home. A foreclosure defense lawyer should be able to speak with you about your individual financial situation to help you know whether you stand a good shot at being approved for a loan modification.

They will also explain to you what the process looks like so you know what to expect.

Through a negotiation with your servicer, you get approved to resume making regular mortgage payments without having to pay everything you owe at once. This agreement (the loan modification) stops the foreclosure process and gets you caught up on your mortgage.

3. Talk to you about other types of loss mitigation options that may help you stop foreclosure.

If you’re not interested in keeping the home, there are other types of loss mitigation options (and foreclosure alternatives) to help you get out of the home. Options like short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure options may be available to you.

4. Help you understand how foreclosure laws may protect you.

There are both federal and state laws that may be able to help you.

For homeowners in Washington State, you may be eligible for Foreclosure Mediation under the Foreclosure Fairness Act law. This is a government help program designed to stop foreclosure so you can communicate directly with your bank. A foreclosure defense attorney can help you with your mediation.

Alternatively, if you think your lender has done something wrong, you may want to consider filing a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit or a predatory lending lawsuit against your bank using the foreclosure litigation process.

There are also ways to use the civil litigation process to sue your bank under federal laws like RESPA, TILA, the FDCPA and the CFPB.

5. A bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you defend against foreclosure.

Sometimes, you may need to stop your foreclosure process fast. Or, you may have other burdensome debt in addition to your mortgage that needs to be handled.

If you’ve run out of time to work with your lender or servicer or want to know about options to handle additional unsecured debt, you may need to consider bankruptcy to stop foreclosure.

A Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy legally stops most foreclosure actions.

6. Help you understand whether you are facing a judicial foreclosure or a non-judicial foreclosure.

There are two types of foreclosure proceedings, judicial and non-judicial. Judicial foreclosures happen through the court system. Non-judicial foreclosures happen outside the court system through a series of foreclosure notices.

Based on what type of foreclosure process you’re facing, a foreclosure defense lawyer will advise on whether you will have a deficiency judgment against you in the event your foreclosure moves forward.

Consulting with a lawyer will help you know what type of foreclosure you’re facing, what types of notices will be coming your way and what the process will look like from start to finish.

7. Help you understand the timeline of your foreclosure process and how much time you have.

It is important to understand how much time you have before the foreclosure auction of your home. Depending on how far along you are in the foreclosure process, different options may be available to you. A foreclosure defense lawyer can help you understand which options you have time for and which you don’t.

8. Help you build a tailored plan for your particular situation.

Because foreclosure has so many moving parts – an lawyer is most helpful because they can put all the pieces together to build you a specific plan that applies to you to help you stop foreclosure, taking into consideration:

  • your financial situation
  • your desired goals
  • your lender’s programs
  • your foreclosure timeline

With so many moving parts, a consultation can help you feel settled, informed and ready for action.

9. Most importantly, a foreclosure defense lawyer can actually represent you against your lender to help you resolve the issue and avoid foreclosure.

A foreclosure defense lawyer will be able to:

  • Stay in constant communication with your servicer
  • Know when and how to escalate a problematic matter to management
  • Track your foreclosure status and keep you updated on your timeline
  • Negotiate agreements to keep the home, lower monthly payments and interest rates
  • Negotiate agreements to vacate the home and avoid a deficiency balance (short sale negotiation)
  • Serve as a distressed sale manager as you sell your home for equity to avoid foreclosure
  • Negotiate settlements for any additional liens on Title (or pull payoffs from additional creditors if negotiations are not feasible)
  • Handle the reinstatement process until your loan is brought current
  • Request and review payoff quotes from your mortgage lender
  • Communicate with your foreclosure Trustee about your sale date and any potential foreclosure postponements
  • Represent you in state-specific help programs like Foreclosure Mediation
  • Keep you advised of all available options, back-up options and timeline considerations as you move through your plan to avoid foreclosure

If you hire a foreclosure litigator to represent you, they will file suit against your bank and help you sue them. If you hire a bankruptcy lawyer, they will be able to file your bankruptcy, stop your foreclosure, and help you navigate through the process until you reach your goals.

Is foreclosure defense the same for everyone?

No! Foreclosure defense is a very nuanced practice area and does not look the same for everyone facing foreclosure.

Everyone’s situation is slightly different and you need a foreclosure defense attorney who understands that:

  • Not everyone facing foreclosure should file bankruptcy as a their solution
  • Not everyone facing foreclosure should apply for loss mitigation as their solution
  • Not everyone facing foreclosure should sue their lender as their solution
  • Not everyone facing foreclosure should sell their home
  • Not everyone facing foreclosure should apply for a loan modification
  • Not everyone facing foreclosure “just needs to refinance”

So many lawyers who claim to understand foreclosure defense just want you to do one thing (and it’s always the thing that they know how to do best).

The factors below need to be discussed and evaluated with respect to your individual situation:

  • Your income
  • Your foreclosure timeline
  • Available state-specific foreclosure protection programs (like Foreclosure Mediation)
  • Available federal foreclosure protection programs (like the HAF program)
  • Your financial hardship
  • Your short term goals
  • Your long term goals
  • Your health

Any lawyer who tries to slot you into a predetermined option does not truly understand what foreclosure defense is.

A good foreclosure defense lawyer will take into consideration the following things:

  • your financial situation
  • your desired goals
  • your lender’s programs
  • your foreclosure timeline

Using these factors, they should be able to build you a tailored plan that takes you all the way from your best case scenario to your worst case scenario so you are prepared for all possible outcomes.

The best foreclosure defense plan will combine different things with the lowest impact options being explored first.

Something to be aware of…

Companies that offer you a “foreclosure refinance” or an easy loan to stop foreclosure may be scamming you. These companies may not always be making you legitimate offers so be careful that you don’t get taken advantage of during a stressful time.

The reasons for speaking to a mortgage and foreclosure defense lawyer when you’re in this situation because:

The consequences of foreclosure can be devastating…

They often include an auction of your property followed by a short move-out timeframe. As soon as you are aware that you are facing foreclosure proceedings, you should get some help.

If you are in Washington State and looking for legal service or a foreclosure lawyer near you, please reach out to me at The Law Office of Nadia K. Kilburn: 425-654-1674.

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