It's Your Home, Fight for It - Taking on the Foreclosure Process

Just because you've been informed that your home is either about to be foreclosed on or has already been initiated into the process, this doesn't mean that you don't have any ways of fighting back.  Although foreclosure laws may differ from state to state, there are still different ways of slowing down the process or stopping it altogether

Foreclosure is a scary business, but you don't have to be alone in the process, and you don't have to give up the hope of retaining your home.  Here we'll go over various pieces of advice specifically geared toward battling foreclosure and how the right attorney can help you turn everything around.

The Homeowner's First Steps

You can do a lot to help yourself in the foreclosure process before you even pull a lawyer into the mix.  Time is crucial when it comes to foreclosures, so you really need to seize the moment and start acting right away.  Remember that time is going to be working against you, and in favor of the bank in terms of a foreclosure, so the more that you can accomplish early on, the more likely it is that you'll be able to stop the bank from taking your home. 

The very first thing you need to do is contact your bank or money lender to get some details about your situation.  Don't sit around thinking that if you just ignore the situation then things won't proceed any further.  This isn't like owing a few hundred dollars on a medical bill and ignoring collection calls.  Many people fall victim to the mindset that if the bank can't speak directly to them then it can't immediately act. 

The bank is going to act with or without your involvement, so if you wait around you're likely to have someone show up at your house telling you that you have to vacant the premises within a certain number of days, as the bank has seized the property as its own. 

If you can contact them, you can find out precisely how much money you owe and whether or not you could get into a collection program that will keep you in your home and fix the issue, as well as a lot of important information that will be useful in fighting the foreclosure should the bank offer you no other options.

There's a certain atmosphere of fatalism that surrounds foreclosures, so much so that homeowners who find themselves facing the process automatically panic over the belief that the bank is going to automatically start looking for buyers they can sell the house to.  However, more often than not, banks are going to be more willing to work with homeowners in order to find a solution that's satisfactory to both sides. 

When a bank forecloses on a property, it's then responsible for finding a buyer, a process that isn't always guaranteed to recoup the money it has invested in the property.  Banks tend to want to keep homeowners in the house if they can be assured that there's some sort of way of ensuring the payback of the loan. 

If you can find a way to show the bank that you have some kind of assets to draw on or will have shortly, then it's likely to work out some kind of program that will allow you to catch up on your past due payments.

Bringing in a Lawyer

A lawyer that has experience with real estate issues is going to be able to help you pinpoint valuable opportunities when facing a foreclosure.  It may be possible that you could declare bankruptcy and your lawyer can help walk you through this.  Declaring bankruptcy will stop the foreclosure process, but it doesn't mean you can walk away from your loan.  In fact, it requires both you and your creditors to sit down and figure out a way of repaying what you owe.  If you can't repay it, then you may still end up seeing your property and other assets being liquidated.

Another option open to you that your lawyer is likely to talk with you about is approaching the bank with a request to modify the loan attached to your home.  Loan modifications can be much more appealing to homeowners than simply having their homes seized and auctioned off, especially since it offers more opportunities for homeowners to remain in their homes. 

Modifying your loan may allow you to let someone else assume the title to the property, such as a relative, provided they offer a down payment that covers your past due balance.  A modification may also allow you to sell the property to a specific buyer before the bank can set up an auction for it.  If none of these options work, then you can always fight the foreclosure process in court.

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Jason S. Stevens, LLC

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