Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Near Me
Indiana is one of the only judicial foreclosure states in the country. Before lenders foreclose on real estate loans, they must obtain court orders. A basic foreclosure claim that the owner is behind on payment is easy to establish. However, there are always extenuating circumstances. In many cases, these additional facts and circumstances could rise to the level of a legal defense.
Generally, when lenders foreclose on real estate loans, they do not want to assume control of a vacant property and take over management responsibilities. They want the owner to remain in the property, care for the property, and pay the bills. Since both parties usually want the same thing, a foreclosure defense lawyer near you from Whitten & Whitten can generally, and successfully, resolve these matters. A successful resolution is even more likely if a legal defense might apply.
Procedural defenses are often very effective in foreclosure matters. Once a bank makes a procedural defense, there is no way the bank can go back in time and correct that error.
Paperwork errors are very common. Banks must file certain legal documents in certain places in a certain order. A misstep in any area could derail the foreclosure process. These errors are especially common in electronic document submission matters. Banks often use this time-saving method. However, when push comes to shove, the original document, along with proof of filing in the proper place at the proper time, may be unavailable.
The statute of limitations, which is normally four years in Indiana contract cases, could be an issue as well.
Assume Tina falls behind on her mortgage payments. The bank sends Tina a notice of acceleration and an opportunity to cure letter. This letter, which is normally the first step in the foreclosure process, basically gives Tina thirty days to make the loan current.
If Tina brings the loan current, the bank may forget the matter. As mentioned, the bank only cares about money. If the bank does not formally reinstate the loan at that time, the bank may lose the right to foreclose on the property, even if Tina falls behind again. Substantive defenses usually involve violations of the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement and lender fraud.
In the wake of the 2008 housing crash, large mortgage servicing companies agreed to follow certain rules. Dual tracking is a good example, Under the NMS, banks cannot simultaneously pursue foreclosure and offer loan modifications. Lender fraud usually means making a false statement to induce the buyer to sign on the dotted line.
Payment arrangements are common in these cases. Once again, the bank and the owner both want the owner to stay in the house and pay the bills. Banks will not wait forever for their money, but they usually are willing to make some accommodations.
If the fraud or other evidence is strong enough, the bank may agree to partial UPB forgiveness or a similar kind of relief. Foreclosure alternatives are often available as well, such as a short sale. The bank lets the owner sell the house at a loss and then writes off that loss. Short sales do not look as bad as foreclosures on credit reports.
Bankruptcy is, hands down, the best foreclosure alternative. There is no need to have a defense or obtain the bank’s permission. Chapter 13 debtors get up to five years to erase past-due mortgage payments by using an income-based repayment plan.
During those five years, the bank cannot restart foreclosure proceedings or take any other adverse action against debtors without special permission from the bankruptcy judge. A foreclosure defense attorney near you works hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Contact a Tough-Minded Lake County Attorney
Banks are not automatically entitled to foreclosure. For a free consultation with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney near you, contact Whitten & Whitten. Convenient payment plans are available.
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At Whitten & Whitten, we offer a free consultation during which we will examine the facts of your case and advise you on how best to proceed