Mortgage Foreclosure Process
For a plethora of reasons, more people are dealing with the foreclosure process than ever before. And the fear and uncertainty involved with this process is something I have to face with my clients on a regular basis. What my clients find, usually within their first office visit, is that this process is understandable, manageable and bearable with just a little help. I cannot offer you a magic pill to make a mortgage foreclosure stop after you haven’t made mortgage payments for the past half year. If you find an attorney who claims this, do not give them your money. You are dealing with a fraud. This is not an article about how to get out of having to pay your mortgage and keeping your property at the same time. You can’t, at least not in the long run.
I generally break mortgage foreclosures down into two categories.
The first are situations where there is an actual defense to the action. This means that you have made all of your payments, or have tried to, and still find yourself in the throws of a foreclosure. If this is your case, you need to contact a reputable attorney immediately! The longer this goes along, the more damage your position is taking. If there is truly some accounting discrepancy, it is very likely that with communication and clarity, this can be corrected.
The second category of foreclosure occurs where payments have not been made due to financial difficulties and there is no defenses to the action. In essence, at its most basic level, a mortgage foreclosure is simply a breach of contract action. You agreed/contracted to pay a certain amount each month in exchange for a lender to provide you with funds to purchase your home. By not paying, you have broken/breached your contract. What follows is called a foreclosure. The lender hires an attorney who files some paperwork that basically says you haven’t made your payments and therefore the lender should be able to try to sell your property in an attempt to recoup what was loaned to buy the house in the first place. Prior to filing a foreclosure, the lender is required to provide you with certain notices, and it’s when my client gets these that I get called.
It is at this point where you, as a person not paying their mortgage, have several options. But most importantly for this article is the following; you have some time before you will be required to move out of your house. It is not as though you will be kicked out of your home tomorrow. Now, does that mean you should do nothing? Not at all. It means you should immediately contact counsel to discuss what options you do have, given your specific situation.
Very often I have clients who are scared to death that they and their children will be required to move out within a week and they literally feel like the world is caving in on them. It is not, and you have many options. A good attorney will discuss those options with you and almost every person I have ever met with in this situation has ended our conversation saying “I feel much better.” That doesn’t mean you will have everything go your way. That doesn’t mean that you will be able to keep your house. But if one person reads this who was afraid that someone would be kicking down their door and throwing them on the street after getting served with a complaint doesn’t feel so bad, then this article has served its purpose.
If you’d like to learn more about this process, head over to Part II to read more.
Count on Mooney
One thing is clear, if you are having issues with your mortgage, do not hesitate to get legal help. Our legal team has decades of experience in complex foreclosure cases. We stand ready to assist you in your time of need and you know you can Count on Mooney, whatever your legal need.
Mooney & Associates has 15 offices spread throughout Central Pennsylvania including: