Should I Get A Lawyer if My House Is Being Foreclosed?
There are many reasons you should have an experienced lawyer to assist you if your house is being foreclosed. It is always wise to hire a lawyer if your lender is foreclosing your property, even if you are not contesting the foreclosure. Each foreclosure situation is different, with complicated factors that can determine the outcome of your case. A lawyer will give you valuable insight into the foreclosure and any potential post-foreclosure debt issues.
You will need to file a lawsuit if the foreclosure is non-judicial or to respond to the foreclosure lawsuit in a judicial foreclosure. Both processes involve making legal arguments, filing documents with the court, and following the rules of evidence. An experienced lawyer can help you formulate your arguments, navigate the court rules, submit the proper paperwork, and help with all aspects of real estate litigation.
Most importantly, a lawyer will know all the possible defenses to your particular foreclosure case. Many defenses would likely require the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer, including the following:
• Right to a breach letter. Typically, mortgage contracts have a clause that requires lenders to send written notice to inform you when you are in default.
• The foreclosing party cannot prove it owns your loan or has the standing to foreclose.
• The server made a grave error with your account.
• You are in the military. Active military service members have special protections against foreclosure and certain rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
• The servicer is dual tracking. If you have applied for loss mitigation and the servicer is foreclosing while an application for a foreclosure alternative is pending, you will want to handle this violation immediately.
• The server did not follow all proper foreclosure procedures.
Another reason you should hire a lawyer if your house is being foreclosed is the importance of knowing the foreclosure laws in your state and understanding your rights. Foreclosure is a vigorous legal process, and you have specific rights based on your state’s law and the mortgage documents you signed.
In Maryland, the following is involved during the foreclosure process:
• Notice of Intention to Foreclose (NOI): The NOI is a warning notice to the homeowner that a foreclosure action could be filed against them in court.
• Order to Docket (OTD): The OTD is the first filing of the foreclosure action in court.
• Foreclosure mediation: Mediation is an in-person hearing between the homeowner, their mortgage company, and a neutral third party called an administrative law judge. The homeowner must be living in the property to be eligible for mediation.
• Foreclosure sale and eviction: The foreclosure sale, also known as a foreclosure auction, is when the mortgage company sells the property secured by the mortgage loan.
There is a good chance you will need help with a loan modification or getting another loss mitigation option. Hiring a lawyer could make the difference between lowering your mortgage payment through modification and losing your home to foreclosure. You might also want to consider filing for bankruptcy to stall foreclosure. In that circumstance, you would also like an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process.
Annapolis Civil Litigation Lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen Can Help With Your Foreclosure Case
If your house is at risk of being foreclosed, speak with one of our experienced Annapolis civil litigation lawyers at Oliveri & Larsen. For an initial consultation, call us at 410-295-3000 or contact us online. Located in Annapolis, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Ocean City, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Worcester County, Kent County, and the upper and lower Eastern Shores of Maryland.