Foreclosure Defense Attorneys are not very plentiful. This is why you see numerous out of state law firms and other scams that prey on North Carolina consumers. A proper defense of a foreclosure is something that can take months or years. It requires knowledge of a broad array of practice areas. To properly counsel you regarding your foreclosure, an Attorney should be well versed in not only bankruptcy and real estate law, but tax law and estate planning. Additionally, foreclosure defense is time intensive. There is sometimes no shortcut to spending 4 hours on the phone with your bank/lender. Harry Marsh has built his firm around this practice. He has dealt with 1000's of mortgage cases and has negotiated with nearly every lender. He knows the process (which may vary with each lender) and knows the law. Call Harry Marsh Law before you turn to an out of state law firm, a local bankruptcy attorney or realtor.
After a few years of practice in this area, you realize the same questions keep popping up. I will try to elaborate concerning a few of the issues that I commonly see. As always, these are generalizations and there is surely an exception to every rule. Nothing should take the place of contacting an Attorney in this field that knows the particular idiosyncrasies of the different lenders and how to deal with them. Please read our FAQ to learn more
If you are already sure of the manner in which you would like to ‘defend’ your foreclosure, lets get started, tell me about your foreclosure defense case or read my foreclosure faq for more info. If you are unsure, continue reading…
The first consideration in your case should be your intentions: do you want to keep the house or get rid of it? For some people, the emotional attachment, history and other personal factors make getting rid of the house impossible. They must do everything they can to keep the house, regardless of the repercussions. Borrowers in this situation should first look at a loan modification and the bankruptcy process, if the loan modification fails or there is not enough time to process a loan modification. Click on loan modification above, to learn more.
For other people, the decision to keep or get rid of the house is an economic one. We live in a day and age where the property value of your home may have decreased 50% since the economic implosion of 2008. If you owe $250,000 on a home that is worth $120,000, no one can fault you for what is often labeled a ‘strategic default.’ In a strategic default, you realize that continued payments on your property are not in your best interest. You could default on the loan and force the bank to consider other alternatives, such a modification that drops the interest rate, modification that drops the principle balance, or a short sale that removes the property from your ownership. Click on short sale above, to learn more or click here.
Foreclosures can happen quickly in North Carolina, as opposed to other states where it may take years to process the sale of your property. It may also take years in North Carolina, but it depends on the circumstances. Harry Marsh has a few foreclosure defense clients who have not paid a mortgage payment in over three years. For any number of reasons, you may need to delay or stall the foreclosure process. When an HOA forecloses, for example, your outstanding HOA bill may instantly add $1,200 in Attorneys Fees to your account. If you were only behind in HOA payments by $200, you could instantly owe a foreclosing Homeowner’s Association $1,400. Meanwhile, you may have access to monies that will come at some future date. A foreclosure could be delayed by a period of several months to give you time to make your account current or investigate other avenues for resolution, such as the short sale or loan modification. Even if you have no plans to keep the house, many borrowers view additional time in the property as ‘free rent’ and give them the opportunity to save a few dollars to move, or make other arrangements.
Everyone should have their day in court, if they want it. Numerous clients throughout the years have simply requested that Harry Marsh investigate the foreclosure and ensure that it was properly conducted. We have all heard the horror stories about CountryWide, robo-signing, lost notes and improper endorsements. These issues may rear their ugly head at any time during a foreclosure and you, as a homeowner, may not know how to pursue your rights. When handed 30 documents by the foreclosing attorney on your day in court, will you know if an endorsement is proper? As part of every foreclosure case that Harry Marsh investigates, he will look at your documentation to see if you have other claims or remedies. Mortgagers, homeowner’s associations, servicers and others should all be held accountable for due process. Harry Marsh will help you determine if you have a case.
Bankruptcy should be your last resort, unless you have substantial other debts or obligations. All too often, bankruptcy attorneys will push a borrower like yourself into the bankruptcy process to resolve their default status with the lender when a loan modification could have been pursued or a short sale could have been more beneficial. Remember that when you speak to an Attorney who only practices in the bankruptcy world that he will probably ask that you file a bankruptcy, immediately. Keep in mind that pursuing a loan modification may take 30 hours of work and require two months of constant attention. You can understand that your bankruptcy attorney might prefer to use two hours of his time to file your bankruptcy petition and move to his next client. A bankruptcy attorney will probably not make money from your loan modification or short sale, so he is unlikely to pursue those paths. At Harry Marsh Law, we will pursue the path that is most beneficial to you, not the path that makes the firm the most money or is the easiest to process.