If you are in foreclosure, you need a partner by your side that is stable, reliable, and has the experience you need. A foreclosure attorney is able to fully explain all the alternatives to you. However, finding and hiring the best foreclosure attorney is hard to do. To begin, you have to find an attorney who doesn’t use only one method to stop your foreclosure. Rather, you need one that helps you select the best solutions for your facts and situation.
Hiring the Best Louisville Kentucky Foreclosure Attorney
The following list shows the bankruptcy action items an attorney with experience guides you through.
- Short selling a house.
- Modification of your mortgage.
- Workout agreement where the arrearage is added into the loan.
- Selling the home before it forecloses.
- Staying in the home longer and residing in the home while you search for another home.
- Doing a Deed in lieu and give the home up.
- Avoiding a judgment against you.
- Stop income tax debt from a 1099 c.
- Avoiding code violations that may cost you fines or even jail. As long as the property is in your name, you are responsible for maintenance and lawsuits, even from trespassers. Even filing for bankruptcy does not automatically get the property out of your name.
- Chapter 7 to delay the foreclosure, and eliminate any deficiency or tax debt.
- Chapter 13 where you catch up on the mortgage payments over 3 to 5 years.
In overcoming the challenges and recover your losses your attorney needs to explain and provide answers. In this article, we examine some of the most important things to know in foreclosure and in hiring your attorney. Every foreclosure case is different and yours might need particular skills.
What is Foreclosure?
In short, a foreclosure occurs when the mortgage goes into default. Normally foreclosure happens because you fail to do one of the following:
- Make payments.
- Pay property taxes.
- Maintain insurance coverage.
When the homeowner is about 60 days behind, the mortgage company will stop accepting payments. Then, the bank must follow the proper process to foreclose, which includes the time period requirements. However, if the judge orders a sale, the commissioner will advertise the property for sale for two weeks and then sell the property.
To start a foreclosure, the lender files a complaint in Circuit court in Kentucky, after which 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 timely and properly raise the proper defenses, the lender often quickly files a summary judgment. Then, they win because there are no issues of fact to argue over. Some homeowners file answers themselves and admit the default. However, this only speeds up the foreclosure.
This is the time to decide whether to keep a home or whether to surrender it. However, there are issues whether you keep it or abandon it. If you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you won’t have to be responsible for income taxes from a 1099 and it delays the sale. If you want to save the home, you may apply with the lender for a mortgage modification or file Chapter 13 in bankruptcy court. However, these are only some of the decisions, and planning steps a good attorney with experience will guide you through.
Hiring the Best Foreclosure Attorney • Who Can You Trust?
One of the critical issues that arise is turning for help to the attorney who works for the bank. Unfortunately, he is not your lawyer. Instead, he is working to make the maximum profit from you. Also, when you talk to these servicers or collectors, they often record the call to use it against you in court.
Property investors also keep a close eye on foreclosure homes in hopes of purchasing the property at a lower than average price. Of course, they will attempt to purchase your home at a bargain. Many people lose their homes or equity by trusting foreclosure rescue schemes that promise them help. Some places even 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 undesirable outcome?
What Louisville Foreclosure Attorneys Do for You
If you are in a situation in which you need to protect your legal rights, of course, the first thing that comes to mind is finding a good lawyer. This is a step in the right direction. In fact, hiring a foreclosure attorney in the early stages of the case dramatically increases the likelihood of success. Many defenses must be made at the start of the case, or you lose them forever. If you don’t raise the defenses on time, you lose. In addition, with each day that passes, you 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?
The Importance of Understanding All Your Options
Understanding your options is one of the most important items when it comes to increasing your chance of overcoming foreclosure. A well-educated and experienced foreclosure attorney will be able to explain the different available alternatives to you and make professional suggestions on which path to take. The more experience a foreclosure attorney has, the better chance you have of keeping your home. However, some of this does depend on you. For instance, Chapter 13 allows you to catch up on the payments but you then have to make payments on time.
There are different defense strategies to take, including loss mitigation, loan modification, short sales, and workout agreements. All these options involve working with the lender. But there are numerous defenses like truth in lending and other statutes. Litigation often only delays the process but delay may be what you need if you need time to sell a home.
Litigation and defending the foreclosure in state court or in Chapter 13 bankruptcy in federal court, is possible. It is the role of your attorney to provide an overview in detail of the advantages and disadvantages so that you can make the right decision. Finding an expert Louisville foreclosure attorney in Kentucky guarantees a smoother process and a higher chance of winning a case.
Filing an Answer and an Entry of Appearance
An Entry of Appearance (EOA) files with the court and the bank’s attorney at the start of the case. With that, all of the subsequent court notices go to your foreclosure attorney. This ensures your attorney knows what is going on. At that point, you shouldn’t be negotiating with the bank or their attorney.
Your foreclosure attorney must be transparent, reliable, capable, and legitimate. Remember, he can stop the harassment. So, get an attorney with the right qualifications and experience to file the answer within 20 days of your being served. When you do, he takes over the remaining process of filing the discovery, requests for mediation, and defending of summary judgments.
Mediation and Settlement Conferences Support and Representation for You
First, be aware that settlement conferences are common. Settlement supports the idea of offering the bank and the homeowner a way to resolve the issue and prevent foreclosure from taking place. Your foreclosure attorney should represent you at such conferences. In addition, his suggestions should increase the possibility of reaching an outcome that will be in your favor.
If you don’t have a local Louisville foreclosure attorney to represent you, you face the bank’s attorney alone. Normally, a bank attorney has thousands of cases towards his experience. This leaves you little chance against them without a good attorney.
Work Towards Getting a Loan Modification
In most cases, foreclosure takes place as a result of the inability of the homeowner to temporarily make payments on his loan or mortgage. This may be a result of job relocation, unexpected medical situations, divorce, or other issues. One potential defense strategy is to pursue a loan modification.
A loan modification aims to amend your loan terms to make it possible for you to afford the payments under your current situation. A loan modification doesn’t cost anything, but it is complicated to process. That’s why it takes a lot of expertise and practical knowledge to convince your bank that a loan modification should take place. This is another part of the foreclosure process that your attorney’s help is crucial in properly asking for the application.
For instance, you must gather and present all the necessary financial information that the bank requires to reach a decision. Then, for the bank to agree, you must convince them that your income is reasonable for a loan modification. If successful, you will be approved for a new loan at often a lower interest rate. Then, you continue owning your property!
Support in Pursuing Loss Mitigation for Your Case
Loss mitigation is the mortgage negotiation that helps the homeowner keep their property. The most common option is a workout where the lender adds the arrearages to the principle. If you go through the process alone, you don’t know which loans carry loss mitigation options that may be helpful in your situation. The problem is, not all lenders are 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 for loss mitigation. He must also guide you on the best way to handle loss mitigation.
Finding Mistakes and Using Them to Your Advantage
In a complicated world, one can never be sure of anything without checking first. This is true even in matters related to the law. So, mistakes sometimes occur due to human error, technological failure, and more. Also, there are about 130-140 different legal defenses to any collection lawsuit.
There is also the chance that the bank makes a mistake in foreclosing your home. Identifying errors is no easy task for the ordinary homeowner. However, a foreclosure attorney has the experience to spot issues and knows how to uncover information to help your foreclosure.
For instance, if the mortgage company either does not perform preliminary steps or breaches the contract, they might not have the right to foreclose. Additionally, if a foreclosure law is violated, or the foreclosure party is not the owner of the mortgage debt, your attorney helps you see the missing pieces and responds accordingly in your favor.
Hiring the Best Foreclosure Attorney • Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one tactic to use to catch up on payments. If other tactics and defenses are not likely to be successful, you may want to skip those options. Remember, waiting too long to file a Chapter 13 only increases the amount which has to be repaid!
Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy gives you up to five years to recover your payments and allows you to keep your property. It is another potential alternative to foreclosure that a qualified 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, Chapter 7 will probably be necessary because bankruptcy is a tax exempt method to discharge the debt.
Foreclosure may be a dramatic and emotional moment for your family. A qualified foreclosure attorney can offer professional advice, solutions, and provide security. Knowing that you are in good hands will help you get through the process more efficiently. It also makes you feel calmer, thereby lowering your stress level.
Now you know some of the primary responsibilities of a foreclosure attorney. To recap, a Louisville foreclosure attorney with the right qualifications will help you avoid foreclosure. It is worth noting that one of the most important things to remember before making your choice is to check the attorney’s qualifications. So, do thorough research to find out how many years of practice they have had as a foreclosure attorney and their education. However, don’t rely on advertising. Instead, do your own research and read reviews. This way, you are closer to making an good decision, and thereby increasing the chance of keeping your home and all the lovely memories you have in it.
Resources for Foreclosures
Where to Report Foreclosure Scams
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for foreclosure scams.
Trustee Regions and Offices for foreclosure scams that involve bankruptcy
Other Related Information
If you’re facing foreclosure see us about your defenses. I handled many of these cases for over 30 years. Call me to get the conversation started now. Nick C. Thompson, Attorney: 502-625-0905