5 Tips To Prevent Foreclosure
The foreclosure of your home can be a traumatic loss; or it can be an avoidable one. What you do not know can hurt you. For this reason, having the assistance of experienced foreclosure counsel during this time is a huge benefit. Here are some helpful tips on how to get prepared.
- Get Organized. Gather the necessary documents and create a file. It should include the following:
- Promissory note(s)
- Loan modification agreement(s)
- Monthly billing and escrow statements
- Payment records
- Correspondence to and from the mortgage loan servicer
- Property tax records
- Property insurance records
- Know Your Legal Rights. Read the documents in your file. They contain crucial information about your legal rights. For instance, the mortgage and promissory note will tell you:
- Whether you can reinstate the loan by paying the past-due balance (e.g., state laws that offer a right to restore)
- The monthly late fee amount
- The types of fees the loan servicer can charge when you fail to make payments
- Obligations a loan servicer must fulfill prior to filing for foreclosure (under federal law in some cases, a creditor cannot file for foreclosure unless a borrower is at least 120 days delinquent on the loan repayments)
Foreclosure laws vary by state. Getting familiar with the foreclosure laws in your state helps to provide a timeline for the foreclosure lawsuit; and a timeframe for exercising loss mitigation options.
- Know Your Options. There are temporary and permanent loss mitigation options for those seeking to avoid foreclosure. The following are the most common:
- Forbearance contracts are suitable if you are temporarily unable to make your monthly loan payments. Under this type of agreement, the creditor agrees to decrease or suspend loan repayments for a specific period of time. At the end of this period, you will be required to pay the skipped or reduced payments pursuant to a schedule or loan modification.
- Loan Modification. This option can change the loan terms permanently. This is primarily accomplished by extending the loan repayment period, or by decreasing the interest rate associated with the loan. A loan servicer can also add past due balances to the outstanding amount on the loan. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a Freddie Mac Flex loan modification, a Fannie Mae loan modification, or an in-house loan modification.
- Short Sale. If you run out of options in trying to keep your house, you can still avoid foreclosure by selling it in a short sale.
- Deed-in-Lieu. You can also avoid foreclosure by giving the house by deed to the creditor.
- Beware of Scammers. Foreclosure-reprieve companies are known for offering loan modifications, debt counseling and other similar types of relief for a fee. With good reason, these for-profit businesses have a reputation for scamming and providing the troubled homeowner with little or no assistance.
- Stop Foreclosure. Benefits of Counsel. Know that you can prevent foreclosure even though you defaulted on your loan. Foreclosure lawsuits often reflect transactional or procedural errors or omissions by a creditor; or they might be improperly filed with the court. Experienced foreclosure attorneys can pinpoint these issues, file defenses on your behalf and negotiate the best possible outcome for your particular circumstances. This can result in getting the client anything from extra time to remedy the situation, to keeping the house, to being absolved of mortgage payments.
Oppenheim Law | Foreclosure Attorneys
2500 Weston Rd #404
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33331
Serving the state of Florida, Oppenheim Law is located in Fort Lauderdale with convenient freeway access to better serve clients. If you are falling behind on your mortgage, it is in your best interest to plan a foreclosure defense strategy. Don’t ignore a notice from your bank and don’t wait until a sheriff’s deputy is knocking down your door. Contact us online or give us a call at 954-280-5739 today for a consultation to discuss your options.