Just because you’ve received foreclosure papers, doesn’t mean that you’re out of options.
Foreclosure is a legal process that provides rights for both sides involved, which means that homeowners have as many rights during the foreclosure process as lenders do.
If you’ve been recently served notice of a foreclosure, you’re probably feeling at a loss of what to do. Knowing and understanding what rights you have as a homeowner will help you navigate the process with ease.
You could even stop the foreclosure process altogether if any foreclosure requirements were violated under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). However, it’s difficult to know if and when your mortgage servicer violated a requirement without the help of an experienced foreclosure defense attorney.
At Denbeaux & Denbeaux Law, we work with homeowners going through foreclosure to make sure they know all of their rights and don’t have to go through the foreclosure process alone. Josh Denbeaux is an experienced lawyer who is familiar with homeowners rights against foreclosure in New Jersey. As a foreclosure defense attorney, Josh works with his clients to find mortgage servicing errors that were overlooked.
You shouldn’t have to face losing your home by yourself, especially if your rights have been violated. Contact Denbeaux & Denbeaux Law today for a free phone consultation and keep reading to learn more about your rights as a homeowner during foreclosure.
What Is RESPA?
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) is a law passed that essentially protects homeowners from illegal proceedings. It’s main purpose is to prevent abusive settlement charges that damaged the real estate industry back in 2008 and lead to the “Great Recession”.
With the CARES Act set to expire, the housing market is facing a “wave” of foreclosures that will result in millions of people losing their homes. So despite RESPA’s attempts to prevent yet another “Great Recession”, it seems our country is already in the midst of facing a similar catastrophe.
RESPA mandates certain disclosures to be shared with purchasers so they can make informed decisions, and it also prohibits certain unlawful practices. Hiring a RESPA attorney may help you better understand what rights that you have as a homeowner.
New Jersey Homeowner Rights
Homeowner rights gives you the chance to protect you and your family from the possibility of a foreclosure, especially if certain RESPA violations are made by mortgage servicers.
As a New Jersey homeowner going through foreclosure, it’s important that you know and understand all the rights you have so you can be better prepared to navigate the process and identify any violations that could help you get your home back.
Right To Challenge Foreclosure
You have the right to challenge a foreclosure if servicers made a mistake or violated RESPA. Sometimes, challenging a foreclosure can make the difference between losing or keeping your home. In order to know when servicers make mistakes, you also need to understand the laws and regulations under RESPA, which can take some experience and knowledge of the foreclosure process.
The most common mortgage servicing errors include:
- Servicer lost paperwork that resulted in misinformation
- Servicer lost payments you made and didn’t apply them to your loan
- Missing loan modification information, like payment amounts, term, etc.
- Neglecting to notify you your servicer has changed
If any of these have happened to you, your best path forward is often to challenge the foreclosure and prove to the servicer they made a mistake. But because mortgage servicers have already overlooked your rights once, it’s a good idea to get a foreclosure defense attorney to help hold the servicer accountable..
Foreclosure mediation started during the 2008 housing crisis in order to give homeowners the opportunity to work with servicers to find a middle ground for their mortgage loan payments. It usually consists of the borrower, neutral third party mediator, and the mortgage lender or their representative.
Foreclosure mediations can be used to discuss loan modifications, repayment plans, or other options that are available for you and your particular situation. That being said, mortgage servicers can play games in mediation that can result in outcomes that damage your property value, ability to stop foreclosure, or other negatives. You have the right to bring an attorney into that process to represent you, even though it’s not court.
Loss Mitigation Rights
Loss mitigation is the process when a homeowner works with their mortgage lender to discuss options that are available for the homeowner that could help to prevent a foreclosure filing. Lenders are required to send homeowners proper paperwork and contacts for loss mitigation options after a payment has been missing for a certain amount of time.
Loss mitigation tries to preserve the value of your home as much as possible but if your home is not as valuable as it once was, this may not be the best option for your foreclosure process. Talking with a foreclosure attorney can help you decide if loss mitigation is the right option for your property.
Make Payments to Get Current
Homeowners have the right to stop or halt foreclosure on their home by getting current on loan payments. You can pay off the sum of missed payments and late fees on your loan plus any additional charges to get up-to-date with your mortgage loan. Continue to stay current on payments in order to avoid a foreclosure filing on your home.
However, if the mortgage servicer lost payments you made you have in your records but didn’t apply them to your mortgage, you have the right to challenge that as well. Fighting with the mortgage company over missed payments can be complex quickly, however, especially if you find out for the first time when you’re served a foreclosure notice.
Pay Off Your Mortgage
Paying off the entire mortgage loan can be one of the fastest ways to stop foreclosure and is a right that homeowners should utilize if they want to stop foreclosure in its tracks. However, paying off your mortgage to stop foreclosure isn’t a right many people can take advantage of.
Why Your Homeowner Rights are Important
As a homeowner, it’s important to know all of your rights so you can be prepared if a foreclosure is filed against you. Knowing your rights helps you navigate the foreclosure process as smoothly as possible, or even avoid being foreclosed on all together if your lender violated specific foreclosure requirements.
If you don’t know your homeowner rights against foreclosure, you won’t know what options you have to stop foreclosure or you might miss something important that could help your case.
Mortgage companies don’t have your best interest in mind. No matter how nice they seem to be or tell you they want to work with you, they are not on your side.
Working with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney can help homeowners know and understand their rights against foreclosure. A lawyer can find violations that you missed or weren’t aware of which could help you prevent foreclosure on your home.
Get A Free Initial Foreclosure Defense Consultation
Knowing your rights is pivotal when trying to slow down or prevent foreclosure on your home. That’s why it is important to contact an experienced attorney who has both the knowledge and experience to help. A foreclosure defense attorney could find something that you either didn’t catch before or didn’t even know about.
Joshua Denbeaux is a New Jersey attorney with experience in foreclosures. He helps clients learn and protect their rights and works with homeowners to find any violations that could help them keep their homes.
To know more about your foreclosure rights, contact Josh Denbeaux today for a free consultation.