Are you facing foreclosure and wondering whether you need a foreclosure attorney to help you through the process? Well, the answer is that yes, you do need an attorney, but let’s take a look at why…
Why You Need a Foreclosure Attorney When Facing Foreclosure
What is Foreclosure?
Let’s start with the issue of foreclosure – what is foreclosure? When you take out a mortgage on your home and fall behind on your payments, the mortgage company or bank that loaned you the money to purchase your home will come calling for their money. When they don’t receive their money from you for a certain period, they will begin foreclosure proceedings. That is, they will take ownership of the property.
The Foreclosure Timeline
In the state of Florida foreclosure officially begins when a mortgage company or a bank files a lawsuit and serves a complaint and a summons on a borrower.
Once you have been given notice of action, you MUST respond to the complaint and summons in writing within 20 days. This is where hiring a foreclosure attorney to help with your case comes in particularly handy. Your attorney can make sure that you meet this deadline for responding to the complaint. What happens if you don’t respond to the complaint before the deadline? The complaint will be admitted by the court and you may well lose your case for a failure to respond in a timely fashion.
The “discovery” period comes next. During this period, documents are exchanged and information is requested by both sides (the plaintiff and the defense). This is a period where you will be exceptionally thankful for having an attorney on your side. If you don’t have an attorney during the discovery period it will be up to you to determine what information you need to request in order to prove your case. This can be an extremely complex process that involves plenty of legwork, but your attorney can utilize their professional knowledge and experience to get this done for you, do it properly, and do it within a timely period.
After the discovery period, the judge may use a summary process to reach a final conclusion on the case. If this happens, the result may be a final judgment being made against you and the sale of your home.
If things don’t go through the summary process, the case will end up going to trial. This is the pinnacle of your case and the time when you need your attorney the most. When your case moves to the trial period you will not only be expected to have an understanding of the legal system, but you will also have to deal with the pressure of the courtroom. Without an understanding of the legal system, it is very easy for you to get railroaded at this point in your case. Very few individuals who tackle their own case without a lawyer ever win and they end up losing their homes.
Working with a foreclosure attorney, however, gives you a much better chance at working out a resolution that is amenable to both parties. For example, your attorney may be able to work with the mortgage company to create a plan that will keep you in your home and have you making a payment arrangement to make that possible.
Whether a final solution is worked out in your case via the summary process or through a jury trial, once that decision is made, very seldom can anything be done to change the outcome of the case. While an attorney may be able to assist you with post-judgment motions and appeals, it is far easier to fight foreclosure before a final decision is made.
What Exactly Can Your Foreclosure Attorney Do For You When Fighting Your Case
When it comes to having a foreclosure attorney on your side, there are a number of things that they can do for you, these include:
- Stop the foreclosure process in a cost-effective way
- Identifying foreclosure cases that have been filed improperly
- Identifying and filing substantive and procedural defenses
- Identifying when the lender is in violation of the Florida Unfair Lending Act
- Identifying when the lender is violating any other predatory lending violation
- Establishing whether or not a lending company can prove that they own your loan
- Establish that you are in the military and necessary measures should be taken to protect your homeownership under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- Help you to stay in your home while you are fighting the foreclosure process
- Help you to get a loan modification if the bank is dual tracking or stalling on your loan
- Help you to sell your home at a fair price to repay the money owed to the lending company
- Help you to continue collecting rent on a rental property while going through the foreclosure process
- Help you to apply for a court-ordered repayment plan
- Help you to file chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Assist you in making your defense to the courts if you have a valid reason for falling behind on your payments or if you have proof that you have been making payments and they have been mismanaged by the lending company.
Looking for a Foreclosure Attorney in St Pete?
If you’re on the lookout for a foreclosure attorney in the St Pete, Florida area, Weidner Law can help. To set up your first consultation with one of our attorneys all you have to do is give us a call at 727-954-8752 or drop us a note through our website contact page here. We have been working with real estate litigation and foreclosure since 1999 and would be more than happy to fight for you in your foreclosure case.