As a homeowner, you may be wondering what to do when you get served with foreclosure papers. Like many others, you might be tempted not to respond to the Notice of Intent (NOI), but that’s actually one of the worst things you can do.
Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t know what they should do after receiving a foreclosure letter and aren’t aware of what options are available for them. As a result, they miss out on an opportunity to save their home.
What happens when you get a foreclosure notice? It’s the start of a long and complicated process, especially for someone who isn’t familiar with foreclosures and fighting against them. Hiring a foreclosure defense attorney early in the process helps ensure that you have the best options available to you. Josh Denbeaux is an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who is familiar with the New Jersey foreclosure process and works to help his clients keep their homes.
Above All, Answer The Complaint
By not answering the Notice of Intent to Foreclose you are forfeiting your rights to fight against the foreclosure. If your house is being foreclosed on, it’s important that you answer the complaint and understand other options available to you that could help you fight the foreclosure and keep your home.
What happens after foreclosure papers are served? If you don’t respond to the complaint, your house goes directly into foreclosure and will be sold in as little as 6 months.
If you aren’t sure how to answer the complaint, talk to a lawyer. An attorney with experience fighting against foreclosures can help you figure out how to respond and why it’s an important first step to take.
There are 5 things you need to do when you’re being foreclosed on to start the process but it all starts with answering the complaint first.
Gather Mortgage Paperwork & Communications With Your Bank
The next step homeowners should take after receiving and answering the Notice of Intent is to gather all mortgage paperwork and communications from your servicer and lender as well as any loan modifications. This helps you keep track of important timelines and information as well as give you the information to fight back.
Gathering all of your paperwork could help to figure out if you really should be foreclosed on or if the mortgage company screwed up and violated your rights. If this happens, you could have the opportunity to delay the foreclosure or stop foreclosure altogether.
Having the paperwork is one thing, but figuring out how it can help you is another. An experienced foreclosure defense lawyer can help you figure out what paperwork you need and identify any mortgage violations you may have missed or not known about.
Explore Your Options In Foreclosure
It’s always a good idea to explore your options after receiving a foreclosure notice. You have multiple options to foreclosure, from walking away from the house to defending your foreclosure rights to negotiating with the lender to keep your home. Here are some examples of options you have as a homeowner fighting against foreclosure:
1. Loss Mitigation
Loss mitigation is the process where servicers work with homeowners going through foreclosure to figure out some ways that the mortgage loan can be made easier to handle. Mortgage servicers could offer loan modifications, an extended length of time, refinance plans, or other options that are available for you and your particular situation.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act was initiated to help homeowners struggling to maintain mortgage payments in lieu of the Great Recession. With that came rules and regulations for mortgage lenders and servicers aimed to help struggling borrowers. If these rules are violated, lenders and servicers could face legal backlash, including fines and penalties.
If your lender or servicer violated RESPA, you have the opportunity to fight against the foreclosure and possibly keep your home. Homeowners that aren’t familiar with the foreclosure process or RESPA requirements could miss out on important details that might help you keep your home. An attorney can help you identify any violations made that you might have missed or not known about.
3. File For Bankruptcy
Another option homeowners have is to file for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy will halt the foreclosure process, and allows you the time you need to get back on the right track. With this time you can work on getting updated on payments and figure out other solutions that will help you get out of foreclosure.
That being said, bankruptcy isn’t always the best solution and jumping straight into filing for bankruptcy may prevent you from taking further actions that would have saved your home in the first place. Exploring if there were RESPA violations first is often a better idea than going straight into filing for bankruptcy because not only does investigating violations give you more time in your home, it may discover other options that have better outcomes.
How Can A Foreclosure Defense Attorney Help?
The foreclosure process is difficult to understand, especially since the laws and procedures vary state-to-state. New Jersey’s foreclosure process is often considered one of the most complex in the country because of additional protections homeowners have in our state.
Our foreclosure defense attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience working on foreclosure proceedings. They will guide you step-by-step through the process and may be able to help you with aspects of foreclosure that you might not have caught or known about at all.
Although it’s possible to respond to a Foreclosure Complaint by preparing an Answer “pro se” (without hiring an attorney), it is highly recommended that you consult with a foreclosure attorney first. Defense attorneys might be able to help you write an Answer, identify defenses or flaws in the lender’s complaint that you didn’t notice, or file a Motion to Vacate Default if an Answer was not filed correctly or on time. And that’s not even all of the options you could try!
Contact Our Foreclosure Defense Attorney Today
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation of losing or about to lose your home and need guidance on what your options are as well as the next steps you should take, download the strategic foreclosure process guide to learn more about the process and contact foreclosure defense attorney Josh Denbeaux for a free consultation.
No one should have to go through the foreclosure process alone. Call (201) 970-6534 for a free phone consultation today.