Fight the Bank – Don’t Just Let Them Take Your Home!

PLEASE NOTE: the following is not intended as legal advice and is given only for example purposes only. You should consult a licensed attorney in your state to handle your foreclosure defense and offer any legal advice he or she may deem appropriate. The forms provided are for examples only and have not been tailored to any particular legal situation. You should consult a licensed attorney in your area regarding your particular legal situation. This article does not establish any attorney client relationship, and the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not intended as legal advice.

So you just got that knock on the door and have been served the bank’s complaint against you. What should you do? Well there are three options. 1) Call a lawyer and meet with him or her to talk about your options. 2) Do nothing and hope that the bank forgets you owe them thousands of dollars. 3) Read the complaint and earnestly try to answer the banks big bunch of numbered paragraphs.

The first option should be heavily explored. There is no better way to keep your home than to talk to a bared attorney in your state that focuses on foreclosure defense. Some offer affordable payment plans that may even be cheaper than your monthly mortgage payment. I know that our firm can work out payment plans as low as $500 dollars a month with a $800 dollar set up fee. But, that is not what this article is about. If you decide to go with a law firm you should check the local and state bar for referrals, or if someone has told you about an attorney you should look the firm up on your states bar pages. Give the state bar a call you’ll be glad you did.

The second option all though it sounds appealing will never work. In fact if you do nothing the bank can get what is called a default judgment against you. That judgment will allow them to take your home back in as little as 2 to 4 months depending on how backlogged your local court is. Many people I know chose this option because they were not sure that they could even stay in their home after the banks complaint was delivered to their door. Some of them told me that they feel like they were free loading by staying in their home and that the bank had every right to take it back.

I have to say that these people are dead wrong! You can stay in your home the entire time the bank is trying to foreclose on you. It is not freeloading. Look at it this way you may have put down a substantial amount of money to buy your home. In some cases up to 40% of your home’s value before the bubble burst. You have no way to get that money back in a foreclosure situation save someone who will pay way more than your home is currently worth. So, you should look at staying in your home while the foreclosure process is going on as a way to recoup some of your down payment. You paid a lot of money upfront to stay in your home- you have prepaid for the time you are staying while the bank forecloses. Use that time to save up money in case you have to move.

Even if you were lucky enough to put no money down on your home because of your excellent credit you are still not a free loader. Because of what some call the bank’s predatory lending practices you have no credit. Look at the time you avoid paying rent as compensation for the credit rating you lost because some banker may have intentionally over valued your home.

Further, the bank may have engaged in practices that were against state or federal law in which case they are the bad actors not you. You can even use the banks illegal activities to fight against the foreclosure process. To learn if your loan and your lender did violate the law you should get what is called a forensic audit on your loan. You need all the loan documents from closing along with all the preliminary paper work your lender or broker provided to you in order to get one of these audits done. It takes anywhere from 7 to 45 days to get one of these audits done depending on who you use to conduct the audit. In Florida, there is a company called Amstar Litigation Support, based in Sarasota Florida, that can perform these audits for a reasonable price. These guys can perform audits in many states so you may want to look them up after your done reading this article. Amstar is not the only place that performs these audits again you may want to contact your state bar for more qualified examiners.

Now we come to option three. This is what the article is all about. You may not have any money to pay a lawyer to defend your foreclosure. In which case, as we talked about above, you don’t just want to do nothing. So here is what you do. First, if you have not already done so, you immediately contact a local Realtor who knows how to perform short sales in your area. You sign them up to list your home and speak to the bank about getting you approved for a short sale. If you do have some income you may want to first talk to the bank about the Making Homes Affordable Program or other such bank initiated program which allows you to modify your loan. In either case the you you immediately go to step number two.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.