Receiving a Notice of Intent (NOI) or knowing that your home is at risk of being foreclosed on can be overwhelming as a homeowner. Not only do you face going through a complicated process that requires extensive time and money, but you also have to wrestle with the possibility of losing your home.
You have certain homeowner rights that may grant you the ability to defend yourself in foreclosure. There are many approaches you can take and it could be difficult to determine what option is best for your particular situation. Luckily, you don’t have to go through it alone.
If you are dealing with foreclosure, contact Denbeaux & Denbeaux Law today to speak with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney about your options to delay or stop foreclosure. Joshua Denbeaux has been defending New Jersey homeowners for over 15 years. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Foreclosure Defense?
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a mortgage lender attempts to recover a balance owed to them by the homeowner by forcing the sale of the home. Foreclosure defense is a legal strategy to stop or delay a foreclosure. There are many different mortgage foreclosure defense strategies that can be used, depending on the details of your foreclosure case and what will work best for your specific situation.
As part of the pre-foreclosure process, a lender will send a NOI to foreclose. The NOI is a letter that outlines the amount owed to the lender and when it needs to be paid in order to avoid foreclosure.
When you receive an NOI, it is important that you pay attention to it and take action as soon as possible. If you ignore an NOI, it is possible that the lender can fast-track the foreclosure process by requesting a summary judgment, in which a judge will allow the lender to move forward with the sheriff’s sale of your home.
Whether you have already received an NOI or are anticipating receiving a letter from your lender, you still have strategies you can use to defend yourself against foreclosure.
Common Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Strategies
These foreclosure defense strategies are common ways homeowners challenge foreclosures. Using these tactics in your foreclosure case does not guarantee that your foreclosure will stop, but it’s a good place to start.
Before beginning any foreclosure action, however, we recommend that you consult an attorney on the specifics of your particular foreclosure case to understand which strategy will work best.
You can speak with our experienced foreclosure attorneys to help you find the best solution for your unique situation. Schedule a free consultation today.
RESPA and Federal Regulations
Certain laws are put in place to protect homeowners from illegal proceedings, and mortgage servicers must follow federal regulations throughout the foreclosure process. If your servicer did not correctly follow these regulations, you might be able to delay or stop a foreclosure.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) protects homeowners from illegal proceedings by the mortgage lender or servicer by requiring lenders or servicers of home loans to provide timely disclosures about the type and cost of the real estate settlement process to borrowers.
Servicer Made a Mistake in the Handling of Your Loan Account
If the mortgage servicer made a mistake in handling your mortgage, the lender’s foreclosure claim could be invalid. There are several types of errors a servicer can make in handling your loan. A foreclosure claim could be invalid if your servicer misapplied your mortgage payments, overcharged you, used improper loan modifications, or ‘dual-tracked’ your loan account. If you are unfamiliar with foreclosure procedures, these mistakes could be difficult to recognize, but consulting with a foreclosure attorney can help you identify servicer mistakes.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations sets the time frame in which parties can start legal proceedings. If the statute of limitations on your loan has passed, the lender or servicer no longer has a right to file for foreclosure. The statute of limitations for foreclosure varies depending on which state you’re in, so it’s important to make sure that you are aware of the specific rules for your state.
You Are a Military Service Member on Active Duty
If you are a military service member on active duty, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) puts extra measures in place to protect you against foreclosure. The SCRA requires a lender to get a court order in place to foreclose on your home while you are actively serving in the military and for a year after you finish your service.
If you think that your servicer might have made any of these mistakes with your loan or in filing your foreclosure, you should consider contacting an attorney to help you handle your foreclosure defense. Contact us for a free consultation to help you discover if your lender made any of these mistakes during the foreclosure process.
Avoiding Foreclosure Tips
If your servicer did not make any violations in your loan or in filing for foreclosure, you have other options to stop an impending foreclosure. Options to avoid foreclosure mainly involve paying off your loan in some way. You can also apply for a modification to your loan if paying off your loan is not a viable option for you.
- Pay off your entire loan. Paying off your entire loan will stop an impending foreclosure because you would no longer owe money to the lender
- Get up-to-date on payments. Paying the amount you are late or missing on your mortgage can also stop a foreclosure because once you are up-to-date on payments, you should no longer be in default on your loan
- Get a loan modification. A loan modification is a change to your original loan to help you stay up-to-date in your payments to the lender
- Sell your home in a short sale. A short sale is when a home is sold for less than the amount due on on your mortgage, with all of the money from the sale going to the lender in the hopes that the lender will forgive the remaining balance on your mortgage
Depending on your situation, you may not be able to utilize all of these foreclosure defense tips, or you may have other options available to you like forbearance or a repayment plan, which are different from a loan modification. One of the best ways to figure out the best course of action is to get the advice of a foreclosure attorney.
Be Prepared With a Foreclosure Defense Attorney
The foreclosure process is extremely complicated, and homeowners may not have the knowledge or experience to correctly navigate through. Take the risk out of foreclosure and speak with a foreclosure attorney today.
The lawyers at Denbeaux & Denbeaux Law have helped NJ homeowners for over 15 years and may be able to defend you through the foreclosure process. Contact us today to set up a free phone consultation with Joshua Denbeaux, and learn more about how to defend your home.