Foreclosure Attorney Pittsburgh
Facing foreclosure due to job loss, medical bills, divorce, or other hardships can be a nightmarish experience. You need a real estate lawyer who can protect your rights and help you find a solution. At Very Law, we have the experience to help you keep your home, find alternatives to foreclosure, or defend you in court if necessary.
Whether you have fallen behind on mortgage payments, received a notice of foreclosure, or are struggling to negotiate with your lender, we can help. At Very Law, we have successfully helped numerous homeowners across Pittsburgh avoid the devastating consequences of foreclosure by:
- Negotiating a loan modification with lenders
- Creating a forbearance agreement
- Arranging repayment plans
- Pursuing a short sale
- Filing for bankruptcy
We know the Pennsylvania real estate laws inside out and will use our knowledge to your advantage. Call us at 412-430-0131 or fill out this form to get in touch with our foreclosure attorneys serving Pittsburgh residents.
Legal Options to Consider When Facing Foreclosure in Pittsburgh, PA
If you have mortgage arrears and are consequently facing foreclosures, there are many options that could help you save your home or minimize the damage to your credit.
Apply for loss mitigation
Loss mitigation refers to various alternatives to foreclosure, such as:
- Loan modification
- A repayment plan
- Short sale
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure
All these options can help you lower your monthly payments, reduce your interest rate, extend your loan term, or avoid a foreclosure sale. To apply for loss mitigation, you need to contact your lender or mortgage servicer and submit a complete application with all the required documents.
Apply for HEMAP (Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program)
HEMAP is a state-funded mortgage program designed to protect homeowners in Pennsylvania facing foreclosure due to circumstances beyond their control. HEMAP loans can be used to bring your mortgage current or help with ongoing payments to prevent foreclosure. There are several steps involved in applying for it, but the main thing you need to keep in mind is its strict eligibility criteria which mandate that you must:
- Live in the home
- Be no more than 24/36 months or $60,000 behind on your mortgage, whichever comes first
- Have a financial hardship beyond your control, such as job loss, pay cut, or medical issue
- Have a reasonable chance of resuming full mortgage payments within 36 months, with proof of future income improvement
Participate in a foreclosure conciliation conference
Another option you might have is a foreclosure conciliation conference between you and your lender or servicer, facilitated by a court-appointed mediator, to discuss possible solutions to avoid foreclosure.
In Pittsburgh and throughout Allegheny County, you can request a mandatory conciliation conference within 30 days after receiving an “Act 91 Notice” from your lender or servicer. An Act 91 Notice is a legal notice that your lender must send you if you are at least three months behind on your mortgage payments and they intend to foreclose on your home.
You may also be able to request a voluntary conciliation conference at any time before a judgment is entered against you in the foreclosure case.
Defend yourself in court
If your lender files a foreclosure lawsuit against you in court, you have the right to defend yourself and challenge the validity of the foreclosure. Your Pittsburgh foreclosure attorney can file an “answer” to the complaint within 20 days after being served with it. In this answer, you can admit or deny the allegations in the complaint and raise any defenses or counterclaims you may have.
For example, you can argue that your lender:
- Didn’t comply with the notice requirements
- Charged excessive fees or interest
- Didn’t prove ownership of the mortgage note
- Engaged in fraud or misconduct (such as robo-signing or dual tracking)
- Violated consumer protection laws (such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)
As you can see, there are several ways to avoid falling victim to foreclosure in Pittsburgh; however, these options are not easy to pursue on your own, and they may not be available or suitable for your situation. Contact our Pittsburgh real estate attorneys to receive accurate guidance regarding the best course of action.
FAQs About Foreclosure in Pittsburgh
How does the foreclosure process work in Pittsburgh?
It generally starts with the lender filing a foreclosure complaint in court. After receiving notice, you have the opportunity to respond. If no resolution is reached, the court may issue a judgment of foreclosure, resulting in a sheriff sale (public auction). The property is then sold at auction, and the proceeds go toward satisfying the debt.
What is the difference between a judicial and a nonjudicial foreclosure?
In a judicial foreclosure, the lender must go through the court system to obtain a foreclosure order. But in a nonjudicial foreclosure, there is no court involvement; the property is foreclosed as per the process outlined in the mortgage or deed of trust. Pennsylvania is a judicial foreclosure state.
Can I stop foreclosure once it has started?
Yes, it might be possible. You can work with your lender to negotiate a loan modification, apply for foreclosure prevention programs like Act 6 (HEMAP), or consider bankruptcy, which can halt foreclosure proceedings.
What is a loan modification, and how can it help me avoid foreclosure?
A loan modification is a change in the terms of your mortgage to make your monthly payments more manageable. The “modification” can be made to extend the loan term, reduce the interest rate, or add missed payments to the end of the loan. Since it makes your mortgage more affordable, you may be able to avoid foreclosing.
Can I be evicted during the foreclosure process?
Yes, after the sheriff’s sale is completed and the property is sold, the new owner may initiate eviction proceedings to remove occupants from the property.
What happens to my credit score if my home goes into foreclosure?
Foreclosure can lower your credit score by 100 points or more. This can affect your ability to get credit, loans, or housing in the future. Foreclosure usually stays on your credit report for seven years.
How long does the foreclosure process take in Pittsburgh?
There is no fixed time frame; it can take several months to a year or more from the start to the completion of the foreclosure.
How much notice do I get before a foreclosure sale?
You generally receive notice of the sale at least 30 days before the sale date.
Can I stop the foreclosure by paying the overdue amount or the full loan balance?
Yes, paying the overdue amount or the full balance of the mortgage before the foreclosure sale can stop the legal proceedings. This is known as “curing the default.”
What happens if the foreclosure sale does not cover the full amount of my debt?
The lender may sue you for the difference; this is known as a deficiency judgment.
Stop Foreclosure in Its Tracks – Contact Our Pittsburgh Foreclosure Defense Lawyers Today!
Losing your home to foreclosure can be a devastating experience. That’s why ourPittsburgh law firm is committed to fighting for your rights and saving your home from ruthless banks. We will leave no stone unturned while we stand by your side and challenge the foreclosure. If you have any questions or you’d like to schedule a consultation, call us at 412-430-0131 orcomplete this form.
Think you may have a case? Let’s talk.