Foreclosures are complicated and highly emotional. If you want to fight a foreclosure to save your home and improve your financial well being, consider working with a foreclosure attorney.
Finding the right foreclosure attorney is easier if you know the standards which competent foreclosure attorneys should meet.
Why Hire a Foreclosure Attorney?
While it’s possible to represent yourself in foreclosure proceedings, it’s not advisable.
- You need a thorough understanding of foreclosure laws in your area. Lenders are not interested in helping you stay in your home. They only care about protecting their interests. Not all comply with federal mortgage servicing rules or follow state foreclosure procedures; but without relevant expertise, you wouldn’t know this, and lenders won’t admit fault!
- You have precious little time to respond, do research, file the correct paperwork, and prepare before the court date. You won’t get any special dispensation from the court just because you are representing yourself!
When To Hire a Foreclosure Attorney
Don’t wait until it’s too late, because often, it will be too late.
While federal law states that a lender cannot initiate foreclosure proceedings unless a homeowner has missed 4 payments, don’t wait. Schedule a consultation even if you have fallen 1-2 months behind and it’s clear you can’t catch up or make future payments. An attorney can negotiate with the lender to obtain a loan modification and avoid foreclosure.
If foreclosure proceedings are in motion, you’re more likely to lose your case if you represent yourself because you won’t be on equal footing with well-represented lenders.
What To Look For In a Foreclosure Attorney
Do your due diligence on foreclosure attorneys, including obtaining references from past clients. Look for:
- Clear and concise communication. It’s your attorney’s job to inform you about what to do and expect before, during, and after a foreclosure, explain legal terms in English, and help you understand the consequences of choices.
- Transparency about the scope and cost of representation, and how you will pay for it.
- An attorney who puts your interests first, upholds client confidentiality, acts professionally and ethically within the limits of the law, meets all deadlines, and files all paperwork correctly in compliance with local rules and procedures.
What To Do If You Can’t Afford an Attorney
If you can’t hire an attorney to represent you through the entire process, consider a consultation to understand your choices and your legal rights and responsibilities. If you meet certain criteria, a legal aid office may be able to help.
When Things Don’t Work Out
Try to resolve problems with your attorney to avoid wasting precious time searching for a new one. The proceedings won’t wait so you need to act fast.
Most problems are due to misunderstandings. Ensure clear and timely communication with your attorney and make sure you understand legal terms or requirements.
Reasons to fire an attorney include:
- Unethical behavior
- Lack of communication
- Failure to meet deadlines or show up in court
Being served with a foreclosure notice is devastating. Shock, anxiety, and overwhelm can paralyze you into inaction, which is the worst thing you can do. You want to take all measures to get out of the foreclosure process.
Schedule a consultation with a foreclosure attorney. Know your options. Educate yourself, but don’t try to go it alone. To lenders, your home is just an asset. To you, it’s home – and a foreclosure attorney will work with you to secure your home and enhance your future financial well being.