If you are in foreclosure, it is essential to have a stable, reliable, and experienced partner by your side. A foreclosure attorney is a person that will be able to explain all the alternatives. He will help you select the best solutions that are effective. A good foreclosure attorney can guide you, assist you, and support you in overcoming the challenges and recover your losses. In this article, we examine some of the most important things to know before hiring the best Foreclosure attorney in Kentucky for you.
What is foreclosure?
Before we start, it may be worth reminding ourselves what foreclosure actually stands for. In short, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner becomes overdue on his payments. When the homeowner is about 60 days behind the mortgage company will stop accepting payments. The bank has to follow the proper process to foreclose which includes waiting the proper periods of time.
The lender files a complaint in Circuit court in Kentucky and the debtor has 20 days to file an answer. If the debtor does not answer the bank wins by default. If the debtor does not properly raise the proper defenses the lender will often quickly file a summary judgment and simply win because there are no issues of fact to argue over.
This is a time to decide whether to keep a home or whether to surrender it. Whether you keep it or surrender it there are issues. If you surrender it properly you won’t have to be responsible for income taxes from a 1099. If you want to save the home you may need to negotiate with the lender or file a Chapter 13.
Who can you trust?
One of the key problems is the attorney who filed the foreclosure works for himself and the bank. He is not your lawyer. He is working to make the maximum profit from you for himself and the bank. When you talk to a servicer or collector they often record the call to use against you in court.
Property investors keep a close eye on foreclosure homes in hopes of purchasing the property at a lower price than the average on the market. Property investors will attempt to purchase your home at a bargain or at the sale. Their goal is to also make a profit from your situation. Many people lose their homes or equity by trusting foreclosure rescue schemes. Some places will often pretend to be government or law offices. How can homeowners stop the process of losing their property and what can be done to prevent this undesired outcome?
What does a foreclosure attorney do?
If you are somehow involved in a situation, which is related to protecting your legal rights, it is only natural that the first thing that comes to mind is finding a good lawyer. And this is certainly a step in the right direction. An experienced foreclosure attorney is your best chance of avoiding a severe loss and saving your home. Hiring an attorney in the early stages of the case will dramatically increase the chance of success. Many defenses have statutes of limitations. If you don’t raise the defense on time you lose. With each day that passes you may lose rights.
But what can you really expect from a foreclosure attorney and what do you need to know before choosing the best available option?
Foreclosure attorney responsibilities
Introducing you to all of your options
Understanding your options is one of the most important factors when it comes to increasing your chance of overcoming foreclosure. A well-educated and experienced foreclosure attorney will be able to explain all the different available alternatives to you and make professional suggestions on which path to take. The more experience your attorney has, the better chance you have of keeping your home.
There are different defense strategies that you could take, including loss mitigation, loan modification, short sales, and workout agreements. All of these involve working with the lender. But there is also litigation which may be a foreclosure defense in state court or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in federal court, and more. It is the role of your attorney to provide a detailed overview of the advantages and disadvantages of both in order for you to make the right decision. Finding an expert foreclosure attorney in Kentucky guarantees a smoother process and a higher chance of winning the case.
Filing a Entry of Appearance
An Entry of Appearance or EOA is filed with the aim of taking away the pressure of you playing the role of the intermediary between the bank and your attorney. The EOA is filed with the court and your bank and once approved, all relevant information will be directly received by your foreclosure attorney.
This gives your attorney complete freedom to act on your behalf. Considering this, it is already clear that you must be one hundred percent certain of your attorney’s transparency, reliability, capabilities, and legitimacy. It can also stop the harrassment.
Support and represent you at medication and settlement conferences
Settlement conferences are common for certain states, which support the idea of offering a chance for the bank and the homeowner to reach a way to resolve the issue in a more alternative way, in order to prevent foreclosure from taking place.
Your foreclosure attorney can represent you at such conferences and increase the possibility of reaching an outcome which will be in your favor. On the contrary, if you don’t have an attorney to represent you, are you obliged to face the bank’s attorney alone. Most bank attorneys are extremely knowledgeable and experienced, leaving little chance to someone who is not familiar with the laws and practicalities surrounding foreclosure in detail.
Work towards getting a loan modification
In most cases, foreclosure takes places as a result of the inability of the homeowner to continue making payments on his loan or mortgage. This may be a result of job relocation, unexpected medical situations, divorce, or others. To avoid losing their home, a potential defense strategy is to pursue a loan modification.
A loan modification aims to amend your loan terms with the aim of making it possible for you to afford the payments under your current situation. Load modification doesn’t cost anything but it is extremely complicated for a bank to agree to this proposition. It will take a lot of expertise and practical know-how to convince your bank that a loan modification should take place. This is another crucial part of the foreclosure process that your attorney can be of help in.
They have the ability to gather and present all necessary financial information that the bank may require in order to reach a decision. In order for the bank to agree, it must be convinced that your income is eligible for a loan modification. If successful, you will be approved for a new loan and you will be able to continue owning your property.
Support you in pursuing loss mitigation
Loss mitigation is the mortgage negotiations that can help the homeowner keep their property. It is related to a third party that supports the homeowner in avoiding foreclosure. If you go through the process alone, there is a chance that you are not familiar with which loans carry loss mitigation options that may be helpful in your situation. In addition, it is not certain whether all lenders will be open enough to share this information with you. Having this in mind, it is up to your attorney to lay out all the available options when it comes to loss mitigation and guide you on what the best way to handle loss mitigation would be.
Find mistakes and use them to your advantage
In such a complicated world, one can never be sure of anything without checking first. Even in matters related to the law, mistakes can sometimes occur due to human error, technological failure, and more. There are about 130-140 different legal defenses alone.
There is a small chance that the bank may have made a mistake in foreclosing your home. Identifying such mistakes is no easy task for the ordinary homeowner. However, a foreclosure attorney has the experience to spot issues and may uncover the information which may help your foreclosure. If the mortgage company breaches the contract, or does not perform preliminary steps they may not have the right to foreclose. If a foreclosure law was violated, or the foreclosure party is not the owner of the mortgage debt, your attorney can help you see the missing pieces and respond accordingly in your favor.
Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one resort you can use to catch up payments. If other tactics and not likely to be successful you may want to skip those options. Witing too long to file a Chapter 13 merely increases the amount which has to be repaid.
Filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy will give you up to five years to recover your payments and will allow you to keep your property. It is another potential alternative to foreclosure a good attorney can assist you with and offer experience and information that you may otherwise struggle to discover.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is often used to avoid having any deficiency or 1099-C tax debt as a result of a foreclosure. Unpaid debt becomes income under the tax code when the lender claims a loss. Even if you plan to surrender the home a Chapter 7 will probably be necessary.
Offer professional judgment
Foreclosure may be a dramatic and emotional moment for your family. A qualified foreclosure attorney has the ability to offer professional advice and solutions, but also provide security. Knowing that you are in good hands will help you get through the process more easily and can make you feel calmer and less stressed.
We have gone through some of the main responsibilities of a foreclosure attorney and have looked at how they can be of help when it comes to avoiding foreclosure. It is worth noting that one of the most important things to remember before making your choice is to check whether the attorney is qualified. If possible, do as much research as you can to find out how many years of practice they have had as a foreclosure attorney and what their portfolio looks like. This way, you will be a step closer to making an informed decision, increasing the chance of you keeping your home and all the lovely memories you have in it.