Our Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Lawyers Can Save Your Home
When defending a mortgage foreclosure, our lawyers are not simply defending a lawsuit, we are defending the American dream, a home of your own. The mortgage foreclosure process is a complex one and many different options and legal strategies exist for the benefit of the homeowner. The lawyers at Sadek and Cooper pride themselves on the ability to keep our clients in their home for a long, long time. There are several tools that our firm uses to help homeowners. Below are some of the concerns potential clients may have and some of the methods used by our lawyers to help homeowners in danger of losing their residence.
How Does a Homeowner End Up Facing Foreclosure?
At Sadek and Cooper, we realize that it was not your intention to fall behind on your mortgage. We also realize that the monthly mortgage payment is one of your highest priorities. For a variety of reasons; illness, decreased earnings, unemployment, insurance increases, unforeseen repairs and/or uncontrollable credit card debt, good people like you can quickly become seriously delinquent on monthly mortgage payments. From our five conveniently located offices in the Philadelphia region, our lawyers have assisted thousands of homeowners stop mortgage foreclosure and establish long-term solutions for home retention. If you are behind on your mortgage, received a Notice of Intent to Foreclose, received a Foreclosure Complaint or a Sheriff Sale date has been set, it is imperative you contact competent legal counsel. Call our office at 215-545-0008 to put our experience and knowledge to work for you.
Mortgage Modifications Can Prevent Foreclosure
A mortgage modification is requested by a mortgagor or borrower usually once they have fallen behind on mortgage payments or in danger of mortgage foreclosure proceedings. A successful modification generally takes 3-8 months to complete. A mortgage modification may include placing mortgage arrears, interest, delinquent taxes and/or insurance in the principal balance. Further, a mortgage modification may reduce the interest rate on the subject loan. Although a mortgage modification can lead to a reduced monthly mortgage expenses, generally it results in a lengthened mortgage repayment term. Our office has handled mortgage modifications for both residential and investment properties. Lastly, mortgage modifications are often granted during the course of a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Proceeding.
A Pre-Foreclosure Forbearance Plan is Another Way To Stop Foreclosure
Prior to a mortgage foreclosure taking place the mortgagee may be amenable to postponing a sale based on the reinstatement amount being repaid over a short period of time. The pre-foreclosure forbearance plan repayment is different than a modification in that it does not alter the overall terms of the loan. A pre-foreclosure forbearance plan is usually extended up to 6 months and requires that regular monthly mortgage payments plus the amount needed to cure all arrearages be paid within the time agreed upon.
What Notices Will a Homeowner Receive Before a Foreclosure?
In Pennsylvania, mortgage agreements frequently require the lender to provide a breach letter or a demand letter. The demand letter must be sent by the lender before it can accelerate the loan and commence foreclosure proceedings. While clauses differ, most will require the lender to provide certain information about the loan including the loan is in default, what the homeowner needs to do to cure the default, the date the default must be corrected by, and the consequences of a failure to cure.
Even if your mortgage does not have a clause requiring a demand letter, Pennsylvania and federal law requires the party that wishes to start the foreclosure process to provide notice. Under Pennsylvania law, the Notice of Intent to Foreclose, sometimes called an Act 6 Notice, must be provided to the homeowner no less than 30-days prior to the foreclosure. The notice must set forth that the homeowner has an opportunity to cure the default. Furthermore, the homeowner must also be provided with another document, frequently referred to as an Act 91 Notice, that sets forth their rights, the assistance that may be available, and the homeowner’s ability to apply to Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for relief.
Depending on the county where the foreclosure will occur, other forms of notice may be required of the foreclosing party. For instance, Philadelphia County, Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program requires conciliation to occur before the lender may file for a Judgement of Foreclosure. In other counties, different rules and notification requirements may apply. If you are facing foreclosure in Buck’s County, Philadelphia County, Delaware County, or elsewhere in Pennsylvania it is essential to ensure that all required notices have been provided and that the foreclosing party has otherwise complied with state and local rules.
Can I Litigate in Pennsylvania State Court to Stop a Foreclosure?
For Pennsylvanians who have previously lived out-of-state, they may be aware that in the United States foreclosures can generally follow a judicial track or a non-judicial track. When foreclosures are judicial, it means that the lender must file a lawsuit in state court to commence the foreclosure proceedings. The foreclosure is handled through the court. Pennsylvania is a judicial foreclosure state meaning that all foreclosures must be filed with and handled through the state court system
As such, litigation strategies are often an option when facing a foreclosure in Pennsylvania. Hwoever, litigation strategies depend on the particular situation at hand. Sadek and Cooper has successfully defended Mortgage Foreclosure Actions through State Court Litigation. One of the reasons why a bankruptcy attorney can prepare to execute a strategy of this type is due to the fact that federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau servicing rules (effective January 10, 2014) require a lender to wait until a borrower is at least 120 days behind on payments before they can file in state court to start the foreclosure. For individuals who seek the services of an attorney quickly after receiving this notice, this time can be utilized to explore potential state law based defenses.
State court Litigation defense is generally more effective earlier in the mortgage foreclosure litigation process. Our defense commences with filing an Entry of Appearance on behalf of the homeowner in the Court of Common Pleas and filing Preliminary Objections and/or an Answer, Counterclaim to the Foreclosure Complaint.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Provides Another Option To Stop Foreclosure And Protect Your Home
In some situations, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may present the highest likelihood of stopping the foreclosure process. A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is a payment plan and is commonly used to stay mortgage foreclosure or lower overall monthly expenses. A Chapter 13 Plan is filed with the court and later confirmed can allow the Petitioner to repay mortgage arrears and to pay only cents on the dollar of their unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, collection accounts, and certain tax obligation, among others). A Petitioner usually qualifies for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy protection based on equity in real estate (house) or based on higher income qualifications.
A Short Sale Can Mitigate the Consequences
A short sale of property is a tool used to stay an imminent mortgage foreclosure. A short sale is where the mortgagor sells the subject property “short” of the mortgage amount. For example, if one owes $100,000.00 on their home, but they have an agreement of sale states a purchase price of $80,000.00, a short sale may be a possibility. A short sale has several obstacles, primarily; it must be approved by the mortgagee. Further, the sale is dependent on the potential buyer receiving a mortgage in order to buy the subject property.
We Have Successfully Represented Clients in Philadelphia, Bucks and Delaware County, Pennsylvania
If you have any questions regarding defending a Mortgage Foreclosure Proceeding call the lawyers at Sadek & Cooper at (215)-545-0008. We offer a FREE and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss your situation in detail and devise a legal strategy which best suits your needs.