Even the best of us fall under financial stress. If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your mortgage, contact the dedicated foreclosure defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Herzog. Our knowledgeable attorneys are here to discuss all of your options. We will explore all possible avenues to help you save your home. If loan modification does not work and a short sale is not a possibility, foreclosure proceedings may be inevitable. Let our attorneys help you through this stressful and legally complicated time. We always have our clients’ best interests in mind and work tirelessly to make sure we do all we can for them.
Foreclosure occurs when the mortgage lending institution takes possession of the mortgaged property when the borrower fails to make their required mortgage payments. In order for the lending institution to take possession of the mortgage property, they will file a foreclosure action against you, the borrower. You only have 20 days to respond to a notice of foreclosure so make sure you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Ideally, you should contact an attorney proficient in foreclosure defense as soon as you start finding it difficult to make your mortgage payments. The earlier you seek help, the better your chances are for finding a way to save your property.
If a foreclosure action has been taken against you, all hope is not lost. There are several defenses that may be available to you. For example, we help determine if the lending institution has done its job right. If not, this can be a defense to the foreclosure action. You may be surprised at how often lenders make mistakes.
If your lender has failed to make certain disclosures in your mortgage documents, they may have violated the federal laws Truth in Lending Act and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act. Fair lending practice require these disclosures to ensure that borrowers are fully informed about key terms in the loans to which they are agreeing.
There are also times when the foreclosing party can’t prove it owns the mortgage. This is a problem because in order to have standing to bring the foreclosure action, the owner of the loan must be the party to file the foreclosure action. This may seem like an easy thing to determine, but in todays lending climate, mortgages can be bought and sold by many different financial institutions. If the paper trail for who currently owns the mortgage has fallen short and the needed documentation is not available, the foreclosure action may not be brought.
Additionally, mistakes made by the mortgage servicer can act as a defense to foreclosure. The mortgage servicer is contracted by lenders to handle mortgage payments and disbursements and also to enforce the terms of the mortgage. If they failed to do something like credit your mortgage payments to the proper account, this is a serious mistake as it would affect the payment amount needed to reinstate your mortgage.
Besides logistical mistakes such as those described above, you may also be able to defend against foreclosure if you have been the victim of something like unconscionable mortgage terms. The real estate industry has come under fire in the past several years for things like predatory lending practices and unconscionable mortgage terms.
To defend foreclosure based on unconscionable mortgage terms, you must be able to show the court that the terms of your mortgage were unfair or that the lending institute took advantage of you in some unconscionable way. For example, if there were exceedingly harsh terms for a mortgage that resulted in something clearly beyond something you could afford and you were not able to review the terms of the mortgage before agreeing to the loan, a court may find that the mortgage terms were unconscionable.
Things like hidden and illegal fees or surprise balloon payment terms are becoming more and more common and can substantiate a claim of unconscionable mortgage terms. Florida has the Florida Fair Lending Act which was enacted to reduce unfair interest rates and eliminate deceptive and fraudulent loan practices. Have an attorney evaluate the terms of your loan to ensure it is in compliance with Florida law.
These kinds of mistakes and practices by mortgage lenders may lead to a successful defense to a foreclosure action.
Additionally, be aware that a foreclosure action may be postponed if you are an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces. This protection comes under the Service Members Civil Relief Act which allows you to request a postponement from the court in writing.
Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Here to Fight for You and Your Family
If you are having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments, do not wait until it gets bad enough to merit foreclosure. There are ways like working with your lender that can help you avoid this. Being proactive is your best defense. Contact the trusted foreclosure attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A. to discuss your options on how to save your home. If a foreclosure action has been instituted already, our attorneys will do everything in their power to fight for you and your home.