If you are facing foreclosure, you must take a pragmatic, level-headed approach to your foreclosure defense objectives. Often time is of the essence, and it will do you no good to explore unrealistic avenues of resolution. One important service that a good foreclosure defense attorney will provide to you is helping you to set realistic foreclosure defense objectives.
Assess your foreclosure defense options
Homeowners in the Washington, D.C. area who are facing foreclosure should very carefully examine all of their options. Your personal financial and investment goals will determine your foreclosure defense options.
If you cannot afford your mortgage payment then your options are more limited. Having a steady income, however, opens up more foreclosure defense options to you. If you have disposable income sufficient to sustain a monthly mortgage, then you have even more defenses available to you. Likewise, if your home has equity, your options expand even further.
Set your foreclosure defense strategy early on
Your foreclosure defense strategy depends upon whether you want to retain your property, surrender the property, or simply delay the foreclosure.
Retain the property. If you want to keep the property, you should consider mortgage modification first. If you have not yet defaulted, you may also want to consider refinancing or renting rooms to supplement your income. But f you have equity, then first and foremost you should consider selling the property prior to foreclosure. Pulling equity out of the property before your mortgage company can charge you for the costs of foreclosure often makes more sense than simply waiting. If you are 62 or older, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage.
File bankruptcy. If you want to keep your property but your mortgage company isn’t cooperating, consider filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to force your mortgage company to accept repayment terms. Chapter 13 not only immediately stops foreclosure. Many mortgage companies also approve homeowners for modification after a successfully confirmed Chapter 13 Plan.
Surrender the property. If you want to surrender the property, then explore your options for short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In some cases, consenting to foreclosure can save you money. Be sure to consult with an attorney to negotiate an antideficiency agreement with your lender prior to consenting to foreclosure.
Delay foreclosure. We rarely advise clients simply to allow a property to go to foreclosure auction. Try to keep all options open until you decide on the best option for your situation. When based on a good faith foreclosure defense, delaying the foreclosure provides you the time you need to figure out what to do. Failure to provide proper notice, reinstatement figures, or improper advertisement can all give rise to bona fide foreclosure defenses. Bankruptcy, too, can delay foreclosure while you attempt a workout with your lender.
You may have multiple foreclosure defense objectives
In many cases, starting with one strategy doesn’t mean that’s where you will end up. Sometimes, for instance, strategically surrendering the property may be your ultimate goal. Yet signaling surrender to your lender early in the process may be a big mistake. The further along that you get into foreclosure, the harder it will be to control the process. If you are facing foreclosure, retain a lawyer at the beginning of the process, not at the end.
If you are facing foreclosure in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia, Lee Legal will vigorously defend your rights during the mortgage foreclosure process. Setting realistic foreclosure defense objectives doesn’t mean exploring creative solutions. We will remain flexible in dealing with your mortgage company or servicer.