Whether you have recently defaulted in making your monthly mortgage payment, received a foreclosure Summons and Complaint, or about to be evicted from your home after having received a sheriff’s final notice of eviction, you may be thinking about what your possible options are, or whether you have any at all. Many wait until the very last minute when eviction is imminent, and only then start to seriously consider whether hiring an attorney can do much help or not. What are the basic steps that an attorney can take to assist you in the foreclosure process, or possibly obtain a loan modification, and even save you from losing your house?
Firstly, one of the first things that your attorney will do is to file what is called a Notice of Appearance, which officially informs the court and the bank that your attorney is officially representing you in the case. As soon as this happens, the bank that is trying to foreclosure on your property will communicate directly with the attorney.
Thereafter, in the event that you have already received a Summons and Complaint, your attorney will submit an Answer to the Summons and Complaint. This normally occurs in what is known as a judicial foreclosure state, where a lender must file a lawsuit in order to foreclose on your home. An attorney will be able to look through the Complaint, and check for any procedural defects in the foreclosure process, as well as any substantive defenses, and state these in the Answer as a way to start the foreclosure defense process.
In New York, as well as many other states, a mandatory settlement conference is held at the court where the homeowner and the bank’s representative meet with a court appointed referee to discuss a possible settlement. An attorney will attend the conference on your behalf and discuss various options that may lead to an outcome that avoids foreclosure altogether. Without an attorney, a regular homeowner would be up against a bank’s attorney who is obviously acting in the best interests of their client, the bank, and it would be much more advantageous for the homeowner to have proper attorney representation during these settlement negotiations.
While looking into loan modification options with the bank, a foreclosure defense attorney will be able to look into possible defense strategies, which in many cases, have been known to delay the foreclosure process for several years.
During this time, an attorney will be able to assist with obtaining a loan modification, which is the only permanent way to save your home. Many homeowners attempt to apply for a loan modification on their own and struggle to show that their income falls within an acceptable range to make them eligible for a modification. A seasoned attorney will know what is required for the process and assist with reaching the desired outcome for your loan modification application.
Ultimately, it is the attorney’s job to provide professional advice and exercise optimal judgment along each step of the foreclosure process. In order to be able to take advantage of as many defense strategies as possible, it is important to consult an attorney early on in the foreclosure process. If you struggling to pay your monthly mortgage payments or facing foreclosure, and would like to know more about what you can do to avoid foreclosure or losing your home, contact one of our foreclosure defense attorneys at 718-539-1100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.