Steps of the Foreclosure Process

Foreclosure Terminology

Do I Really Need a Lawyer?

Should I Do a Short Sale?

Should I Do a Deed in Lieu?

What are the Tax Consequences of Deed in Lieu or Short Sale?

Do you need a lawyer to represent you in foreclosure?  YES!!

We see countless homeowners lose their homes because they try to go to court by themselves and face a skilled attorney from the bank and a judge who wants to move cases to finality.

Why hire attorneys to help you?

You Have a Defense and Want to Keep Your Home.  If you believe you have a defense to the foreclosure, and you want to keep your home, you most likely will need a skilled attorney to help.  In most cases, you’ll have to raise the defense timely or else they may be waived forever.

Some defenses include:

The loan servicer didn’t follow proper foreclosure procedures.  In a foreclosure, the foreclosing party must strictly follow state-specific procedures; in Florida the legislature set forth new standards effective July 1, 2013.  Only a skilled lawyer can review the bank documents and determine if they are in compliance with state law.

The foreclosing party can’t prove it owns your loan.  People still see securitized loans and automatically assume that a lender cannot foreclosure merely because the loan was securitized, and that they will automatically win their case.  FALSE.  A lender needs to show legal standing by demonstrating that it owned OR was the holder of the note at the time of the filing of the lawsuit.  Securitization is NOT in itself a defense to foreclosure.  Holes can be poked in standing though by showing endorsements without dates, or failure to timely assign the mortgage and/or debt.

Your loan servicer made a serious error with your account. Loan servicers often make serious errors when it comes to managing homeowners’ accounts such as misapplying funds, failing to credit payments to the account, or charging unreasonable and non-allowable fees.  An attorney who is familiar with reviewing servicer payment histories can help you figure out if the servicer made a serious error with your account that amounts to a foreclosure defense.

You did not receive notice of the default.  Most residential mortgages contain a clause which requires the bank to send certain notices before the foreclosure process in court can begin.  Recently, courts have issued a string of decisions upholding this requirement and even dismissing cases for failure to comply with this requirement.  Only a skilled lawyer can determine if your notice complies with these requirements and assert the proper defense timely in the foreclosure case.

Active military servicemembers.  Servicemembers have some special protections against foreclosure and have certain rights under federal law, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  Among other things, if you took out your mortgage before going on active duty, the servicer cannot foreclose unless it gets a court order or a waiver from you.

Loan Modification Assistance Because the Bank is Stalling or Dual Tracking.  An attorney can help you with the loan modification process if the bank is stalling or dual tracking your loan (pursuing a foreclosure and a loan modification at the same time) in violation of new federal and other mortgage servicing rules. Since it is very difficult to get your home back after a bank completes a foreclosure, you want to navigate a loan modification well before the property is scheduled for sale.