When Should You Consult With A Foreclosure Defense Attorney

When someone schedules an appointment with our office, one of the questions we ask prospective clients is whether or not they are in an active foreclosure lawsuit. More often than not, the answer is yes, and that is perfectly fine. However, it may beneficial for some clients to meet with us prior to the filing of a foreclosure. An example:

Say you are a homeowner who could not pay their mortgage due to a temporary job loss or a medical issue- if you have savings or can pull from a 401k account, you may be able to reinstate your loan. Reinstating a loan occurs when a homeowner pays the entire past due amount on the loan in one lump sum to become current. Reinstatement can be done at almost any time prior to a foreclosure sale, but reinstating your loan prior to a foreclosure suit could save you thousands. How so? Once a foreclosure suit is filed, certain fees and costs associated with filing the foreclosure are added to the amount past due- attorney fees, assessments relating to checking title on the property, and other collection-related amounts. I have personally seen fees from $2,500 to $4,500 added to a loan once a foreclosure is filed. Reinstating prior to foreclosure could help you avoid paying additional fees.

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Another example:

Say you are a homeowner who is saddled with credit card debt and behind on their mortgage, but could make mortgage payments if not for their debt burden. In a situation like this, filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection prior to a foreclosure suit may be your best option. Why? A chapter 13 bankruptcy plan can allow you to keep your home by making your monthly mortgage payment and paying off your arrears (the amount you are currently behind) over a payment period of five years. The amount you would pay towards your credit card debt would be limited by your capacity to pay and the amount of outstanding equity not protected by statutory exemptions. In addition to avoiding those additional fees outlined in the previous example, you would be able to discharge your credit card debt, often only for a fraction of what you actually owe.

These are just two examples of when consulting with an attorney prior to the start of a foreclosure lawsuit may be beneficial to you. Meeting with an attorney could save you money, or could even allow you to keep your home when you otherwise might not be able to later on. You have options- don't wait too long and risk losing them.

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