Most homeowners facing foreclosure do not hire an attorney. In this post I will argue that this is a mistake for three reasons.
The first reason is that your attorney might be able to provide you with a favorable settlement. This could save you from lengthy court proceedings, having to pay opposing counsel's attorney fees, and a court judgment, which could leave a mark on your credit.
The second reason to hire a foreclosure attorney is to win money damages. There are consumer protection laws that regulate the notices that must be provided and the procedures that must be followed, even before the bank files in court. Courts have awarded large sums to homeowners who have been victimized by banks.
The third reason to hire a foreclosure attorney is that the attorney may be able to prevent the foreclosure. Let me give you an example. I represented a homeowner facing foreclosure for being substantially behind on mortgage payments. Upon examination of the pleadings I discovered that the wrong bank had foreclosed. Because of this, the foreclosure could be stopped by filing a court pleading. But had I not been hired, my client may have handed the house keys to someone with no rights to the property. What would have happened when the correct bank foreclosed? Would my client have been held responsible?
Most homeowners facing foreclosure are not aware that, in order to foreclose, the bank must present certain evidence. And the 2008 foreclosure crisis showed us that banks are surprisingly careless. In some cases, mortgages were sold so quickly that banks lost evidence of ownership, resulting in, in theory, a free house for the homeowner. But homeowners that do not hire a lawyer allow the bank to win automatically, and never know the difference.
Some homeowners worry about the time and cost of hiring an attorney. But a good attorney may be able to provide you with a speedy resolution. And most consumer protection laws authorize attorney's fees.
If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you should meet with an attorney to explain your options. But if you wait too long, your case will be irredeemable. I represent homeowners facing foreclosure. Contact me for a free consultation.