Finances can get tight. If you are struggling to make mortgage payments, you are not alone. The threat of foreclosure can be enough to tip things over the edge. So, what should you do?
The first thing you should do, ideally before the bank sends you a late notice (at which point your credit will already be taking a substantial hit) is talk to your lender. Most banks would rather resolve the issue than foreclose – which costs them in legal fees, time, and hassle. In many cases, they might be willing to come up with a repayment or “forbearance” plan to allow you to pay only what you can afford.
At the same time, you will need legal advice. Yes, that is an additional cost, but without it you are not going to be able to properly protect yourself. If you are unable to come to an arrangement with your bank, you will be in the court system very quickly.
Foreclosure laws are complicated and vary from state to state. You should not call just any lawyer, but look for one that specializes in real estate law and foreclosure defense, like the professionals at First Legal.
The government’s Housing and Urban Development department also approves housing counseling agencies that can give advice on avoiding foreclosure, but if you end up in court, they cannot give you the same level of defense and protection as a lawyer.
A lawyer is particularly important if you want to keep your home. They can help you find a valid defense – which often involves catching the bank out over complicated foreclosure procedures. If your bank is pursuing both a foreclosure and a loan modification, this is actually a violation of federal rules and you definitely need a lawyer. A foreclosure defense attorney like First Legal in Broward County, Florida, can help you straighten everything out and start to get your life back on track.
Make sure you contact a reputable lawyer. Foreclosure “rescue” scams are common – your notice of default is a computerized public record and can easily be found. One scam is to pretend to be a foreclosure “consultant” and then charge exorbitant fees for things you could easily do yourself, or simply charge fees and never actually do anything. A reputable real estate lawyer will tell you what you can do yourself and what you need to have them do for you. Also, a good lawyer will establish their costs up front and make sure you know how much you will need to pay for their services.
Above all, don’t panic. You are not alone, and it is not the end of the world! If you need a foreclosure lawyer in Palm Beach, Florida, First Legal can help you. We offer foreclosure defense and loan modification services, and pride ourselves on integrity, transparency and tailoring our services to your exact needs.