Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Attorney
At the height of the foreclosure crisis, more than a million Florida homeowners were fighting to keep their homes. Today, things have changed. While it is less common now, homeowners facing foreclosure have new tools under Florida’s bankruptcy and debt collection laws. When you work with a Jacksonville FL foreclosure defense attorney at Gahanian Law, PA, we can help you understand all of your legal options, as well as help you build a strategic plan that may help you keep your home and rebuild your finances.
What Is the Foreclosure Process?
A mortgage is a secured loan. If you don’t make timely payments, the lender can take your home and sell it at a public auction. However, the bank can’t simply come to your home and change the locks. Instead, it must go through a legal process called foreclosure.
When a bank or mortgage lender starts the foreclosure process, they must send you a written notice, sometimes called a notice of intent. Because foreclosures in Florida are court-supervised, you’ll need to attend a series of hearings. If you cannot resolve your issues with your lender, they can sell your home and take the proceeds.
If you’ve received a foreclosure notice, it’s crucial to act quickly. A foreclosure defense attorney can help you identify possible defenses and respond to the bank’s allegations and claims. Sometimes, a lawyer can help you remain in your home and restructure your mortgage.
Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
No one wants to see their home foreclosed. The process is stressful and emotional; you may find yourself worrying about when you’ll need to leave your home, how you’ll rebuild your credit, and where your family will stay. If you’re experiencing sleepless nights, worried that you’ll default on your mortgage and home loans, it’s time to talk to a foreclosure defense attorney.
Gahanian Law assists Florida families and individuals with debt relief issues. If you’re at risk of foreclosure, we want to learn about your situation and can suggest a plan of action. Your options include defending the lawsuit, renegotiating the loan terms (modification), and/or filing a bankruptcy. Each situation is different and the best foreclosure lawyers practice in all three areas and can help you determine which is best for you. Many people don’t realize that a strategic bankruptcy filing can help postpone foreclosure, give you a chance to negotiate with the bank about the terms of your loan, and may let you remain in your home.
What Happens to My Home When I File for Bankruptcy?
Every bankruptcy case is different, and it’s best to consult with a foreclosure defense attorney who can give you personalized advice. However, there are a few key issues that you need to know.
Once you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay will go into effect, which puts a stop on creditor collection activities. That means that lenders, including your mortgage company, cannot continue their debt collection activities while you sort out your bankruptcy. While this stay is only temporary and ends once your bankruptcy is complete, it provides a welcome respite for many homeowners.
There are two kinds of personal bankruptcies: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to keep your house after filing for bankruptcy. A foreclosure defense attorney can help you determine your eligibility under the personal bankruptcy chapters and understand how it will impact your homeownership.
When Should I Talk to a Foreclosure Defense Attorney?
We understand how overwhelming mortgage debt can feel, and how you’d rather talk about anything other than your unpaid loans. However, talking with a foreclosure defense attorney may be your first step towards renewed financial stability. Don’t delay this conversation simply because you’re embarrassed. We want to help and empower you. Plus, your consultation with us is confidential.
If you’re about to default on your mortgage loan, we can help. With fewer foreclosures in Florida, some mortgage companies are responding quickly to defaults. We’ve seen mortgage lenders initiate foreclosure proceedings in as little as 60 days from the first missed payment.
However, if you’ve already received a foreclosure notice or your home is going to auction, you should still consult with an attorney. Every foreclosure case — and every foreclosure defense — is different. Don’t assume that you’re out of options. Even if you’re far along in the foreclosure process, a lawyer at Gahanian Law may be able to help you identify ways you can keep your home.
Can I Save Investment Properties From Foreclosure?
In addition to saving personal residences, a foreclosure defense attorney can help you protect your investment or vacation properties. If you have a secondary residence or an investment that is upside down, there are tax and other implications if you decide to short sell your investment. And if the sale doesn’t cover your unpaid loan, you’ll still have to pay the remaining debt. Rather than struggle with these issues, you may want to consider a personal bankruptcy, especially if you have other unpaid debt.
During a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may be able to renegotiate the value of your property and roll it into your repayment plan. This can prevent the sale of your investment property, help you get a fresh financial start, and avoid an unwanted tax bill. To learn more about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and your other legal options, contact us today.
Consult With a Foreclosure Defense Attorney
Gahanian Law, PA is dedicated to helping homeowners maintain their homeownership. There are many ways to stop or reverse the foreclosure process, including defending the foreclosure action, loan modification, and bankruptcy. We can help even before the house is in foreclosure. We have two convenient offices in Jacksonville and proudly serve our community.
If you are having difficulty paying your mortgage, please give us a call right away. It is best to have a plan in place for the inevitable, especially since the situation can be very stressful. We will review your entire financial picture and help you move toward the best outcome. You will know that your house is in good hands with us as we provide you with the guidance you need to move toward financial security and stability. Call for a free consultation.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION FORECLOSURES ARE A HUGE PROBLEM IN FLORIDA
Often, in Florida, its not the mortgage lender foreclosing, it’s the homeowner’s association (HOA). Once you get behind on your HOA payments, the HOA has a right to collect ALL of its reasonable collections costs from you. When the debt is turned over to an attorney, the amount that is owed multiplies quickly.
As an example, let’s say you owe $100/month to the HOA and you don’t pay it for 6 months (or even less), the HOA can turn the debt over to a collection attorney. The attorney will then charge $1000 to review the file, file the lien, add late fees and interest. Now, the $600 you owe is $1600. And, to work out a payment plan is another $200 fee to the HOA’s attorney. This leaves Florida homeowners vulnerable and unsure how the amount went up so quickly. But there are things that can be done to stop the collection efforts and reduce the amount owed to the HOA. Each case is different. Its best to have an experienced foreclosure attorney on your side. Gahanian Law, PA has the experience you need to fight the homeowner’s association.