If you have fallen behind in paying your home loan, a mortgage company will eventually take remedial measures to foreclose on your property. The foreclosure process is a legal course that allows the lender of the mortgage to take possession of the property and remove the owner from the home. Owners can take action in this process in order to keep their homes and challenge the foreclosure process.
An experienced foreclosure attorney would be able to examine your mortgage and decide whether the lender can legally foreclose on the property. An attorney would also assist you in representing you in any court hearings and work with your lender to see if the foreclosure of the home can be avoided.
Understanding the Foreclosure Process
Understanding the foreclosure process and the legal steps that are involved may help you decide whether an attorney is necessary for help. The foreclosure process takes the following steps:
- The lender contacts the homeowner to find out why no payments have been made.
- The lender sends a notice of default demanding payments.
- The lender files a foreclosure complaint with the court.
- The homeowner receives a copy of the complaint with a period to answer.
- The lender’s attorney files a motion for a default judgment.
- If the court grants the motion, an order of sale will be provided to a sheriff.
- An appraisal of the home would be made by the sheriff.
- The home would be advertised for a foreclosure sale or public auction.
- The home is sold and the court enters a judgment of sale and orders a new deed to the buyer.
- The buyer becomes owner and has the right t ask the sheriff to evict homeowner in possession.
- A deficiency judgment goes against homeowner for the difference of the foreclosure sale and the amount still owed by homeowner.
Dealing with the Mortgage
When somebody buys a house, they will probably have to take out a mortgage – a loan in which the lender gets to take possession of and sell the house if the homeowner defaults on their payments.
Given what’s at stake, it makes no sense to sign one of these agreements without having a lawyer review it, and explain exactly what you’re agreeing to. Of course, a lawyer can’t make the decision for you, but he or she can enable you to make an informed decision.
Seeking legal advice early and often might be the best way to avoid foreclosure in the long run. The fees that a lawyer charges for his or her time may seem steep, but if it helps a homeowner keep his or her home, it will be worth the money.
Seeking Legal Help
A real estate attorney can help you in many ways throughout the process. An attorney will not only defend you in the foreclosure proceeding, but will also work with your lender to figure out alternatives which may help you remain in your home.