As with securing any legal representation, it’s important to choose an experienced foreclosure lawyer who knows the foreclosure laws in and out, is ready to go to bat on your behalf, and who will check to make sure the foreclosure proceedings are done correctly by your lender to avoid even more trouble down the road.
There are times when foreclosure is unavoidable. However, it’s possible you have alternative choices you don’t even know about. While you can speak with a lawyer about your options, you can also reach out to an HUD-certified counselor who can offer “mortgage delinquency and default resolution counseling.” It’s possible for a counselor to work on your behalf to modify your mortgage if that’s a realistic possibility for you and your current situation.
It may also by feasible to sell your home through a short sale process or those sell my house fast for cash companies. Speaking with a counselor or lawyer will help you gain more insight on your options and how each will impact your current financial situation. If foreclosure is in fact your only option, here’s how to find the right lawyer.
Before contacting a foreclosure lawyer, it’s essential to get all of your paperwork in order. No one will be able to successfully help you if they cannot get an accurate read on your current situation. This means collecting all the paperwork you’ve accumulated while owning the house including a copy of your lender application and any additional paperwork you submitted and the letters you received as you began to fall behind on your mortgage payments. Your foreclosure lawyer will sort through all the documentation to see f there was any wrongdoing or unfair practices implemented when your mortgage was created and you were approved for a loan.
If you have copies of your communication with the lender, that’s ideal as well. As is a one-page chronological compendium of what’s happened to you from purchase to foreclosure.
Find the Lawyer
You can try doing a basic search like “foreclosure lawyer in my city” on search engines like Google. It’s also becoming increasingly popular for business professionals, especially those with their own practices, to have review pages on sites like Yelp that you can check out to get a better idea if you want to work with them. You can also ask for referrals through legal aide resources in your city that are likely available. Depending on the income requirements, they may even be able to appoint one to you.
Look Out for Bad Lawyers
While doing your due diligence during your lawyer search will help you avoid bad lawyers, they’re still out there and some are great at fooling the general public. When researching and consulting with potential foreclosure lawyers keep your eyes open for red flags. One of the biggest is the lawyer who agrees to take on your case without any background knowledge. Would you use a real estate agent who never asked about your budget? You also want to avoid lawyers that try to make you see it for what it is and say things like “well, there really isn’t much I can do.” There is a big difference between honesty and laziness.
Keep It Professional
Remember, your new lawyer isn’t here to be your friend and quite frankly you don’t need him to be. The lawyer is there to help you solve your problem with as little upset to your life as possible, not to grab a drink with at happy hour. Bottom line is you need to keep it professional to protect your credit score and know what you want so you can clearly articulate it to the foreclosure lawyer.
Know What Went Wrong
The first thing most lawyers even personal injury lawyers, look for poor lending practices that may have violated a law on either the state or federal level. They will comb through that documentation you put together earlier looking for clear evidence you were lied to or defrauded or given a loan that was too large for you to realistically be able to pay. They will also consider the type of loan you were given, for instance an FHA loan, and see if your loan met all the requirements set forth by the government that dictate the terms of the loan. It’s even possible to challenge the foreclosure itself if the original loan cannot be found or if there were other basic procedural errors during the lending process.
Understand the Plan
After your initial consultation, you have have a solid understanding of the plan your lawyer has laid out. Don’t just take their word for it, either, ask for a detailed step-by-step list of each step and what you’ll be responsible for and what they will.[/column]