It’s become clear the mortgage industry has been riddled with predatory lending practices that put people in mortgages they shouldn’t have had. Homeowners who’ve been victimized by these practices are increasingly turning to real estate attorneys for advice on how to head off foreclosure.
A foreclosure attorney can help you figure out how to proceed with your case, negotiate with your lender, and, if necessary, defend you in a foreclosure proceeding. You should expect your foreclosure attorney to fly-spec the terms and conditions of your purchase agreement, mortgage and other relevant documents to make sure you weren’t the victim of predatory lending practices. Your attorney will also want to know if there were extenuating circumstances that caused you to fall behind on your mortgage payments such as a job loss or illness.
Having gained a full understanding of your situation, a real estate attorney will be able to go over your options and help you decide how to proceed. In many cases, this will involve negotiating with your lender to secure a forbearance, a loan modification, a short sale, a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or other method of avoiding foreclosure.
If the attorney suspects you’ve been the victim of predatory lending practices or determines that the bank or mortgage company made errors in the handling of your case, you can expect that a vigorous defense of your rights in a court of law will be provided. There are a number of reasons an attorney might challenge the legitimacy of the foreclosure.
It’s not at all uncommon for the mortgage service entities that receive your payment, and take action against you if you’re in default, to make mistakes when dealing with borrowers. If your lender didn’t adhere to any number of state procedures required to foreclose on your home, you might be able to halt, or at least forestall, foreclosure proceedings.
Most mortgages are sold, often more than once, on the secondary mortgage market. This often makes it difficult for the bank that ends up with the mortgage to prove that it’s the rightful owner. If it can’t produce the appropriate documentation, the bank can’t foreclose on your home.
Congress has passed laws to prevent unfair lending practices. If your lender violated federal law by not fully disclosing required information in your mortgage documents, and the violation is deemed significant, the court could cancel, or rescind, the loan.
A qualified real estate attorney can advise you on how to defend yourself against foreclosure. If all else fails, and your overall financial situation warrants it, the attorney can also help you decide whether to seek protection under chapter 7 or chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code and file a petition on your behalf.