It can be very easy to think that foreclosure is not a big deal. After all, everyone makes mistakes, right? However, filing for foreclosure can have major financial repercussions. For example, even a short sale can cost you a lot of money in closing costs and taxes.
When you are facing foreclosure, it is important to understand the process and know your rights. You should also know what to expect from your foreclosure lawyer. Here are some things you need to know before hiring a foreclosure lawyer:
1. The foreclosure process
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a homeowner who owes more on their mortgage than their home is worth is forced to sell their property. The foreclosure process can be different in each state, so you will need to know how it works in your state. Your lawyer should be able to explain the process to you and help you understand what to expect.
The steps of the foreclosure process are:
- Foreclosure Notice – The lender (the bank that originally gave the homeowner the loan) sends a notice to the homeowner informing them that they have 30 days to come up with a payment plan or face foreclosure. This notice usually includes specific information about how much money needs to be paid each month, what kind of payment plan would work best for the homeowner, and when an auction will take place.
- Bank Repossession – If no agreement is reached within 30 days, the bank may repossess (take away) the property by force. This usually happens after several unsuccessful attempts at negotiating a payment plan with the homeowner.
- Auction – Once repossession has been attempted unsuccessfully three times, or if there has been no response from the homeowners after receiving two notices (a “judicial sale”), then the auctioneer will commence the sale. The proceeds from this sale go to the creditor, not the homeowner.
The judicial sale is a process by which repossession can be completed without going through regular court proceedings or involving homeowners who may have legal rights to their property. After two notices (a “judicial sale”) are sent to homeowners, and there has been no response from them after three attempts, then an auctioneer will proceed with selling off of the home at public expense. This money goes directly towards creditors–not homeowners–who were responsible for obtaining repossession in the first place.
2. Your rights
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a homeowner’s mortgage is transferred to a lender in order for the homeowner to be sold out of the property. The foreclosure process can take many different forms, but it all starts with an owner’s notice to quit. This notice usually comes as a letter from your lender, and it gives you 30 days to either pay off your mortgage or move out. If you don’t respond to the notice, your lender can start the foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit against you.
Once your lender files suit, they will likely send you a Notice of Default (NOD). This document tells you that your home has been seized by court-ordered sheriff deputies and that you have 60 days to come up with money owed on your mortgage or face eviction proceedings. If you don’t respond to the NOD, the court may enter an Order For Sale (OFS) against your property. An OFS means that your home will be auctioned off and sold at public auction; this could happen any time after 60 days from when the NOD was issued.
If all this sounds like too much hassle, contacting a lawyer might be worth considering. A lawyer can help protect your rights and can also help negotiate a settlement with the other party.
If you decide to pursue legal action, be prepared for a long and difficult process. You may need to gather evidence, testify in court, and wait months or even years for a resolution. However, if you are able to win your case, recovering damages could be significant.
3. What to expect from your lawyer
You should expect your lawyer to be knowledgeable about the foreclosure process and your rights. He or she should be able to answer your questions and help you understand what is happening.
When you hire a lawyer to represent you in a foreclosure, it’s important to know what to expect. Here are some of the things you should expect your lawyer to do:
- Be knowledgeable about the foreclosure process and your rights
- Answer your questions and help you understand what is happening
- Help guide you through the legal process
- Handle all aspects of the case, from filing paperwork to negotiating settlements
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4. How much it will cost
You will need to pay your lawyer’s fees, so you should ask about that before you hire him or her. Be sure to get an estimate of the total cost so you can budget for it.
When you are considering hiring a foreclosure lawyer, be sure to ask about their fees upfront. You will need to pay these fees in order to have your lawyer take on your case, so it is important that you know how much they will cost. Additionally, be sure to get an estimate of the total cost of the case so you can budget for it.
A good rule of thumb is to expect to pay between 10 and 25 percent of the value of the property being foreclosed upon. So if the property is worth $100,000, you could expect to pay $10,000-$25,000 in attorney fees alone. It’s also important to remember that these costs may increase as your case progresses; don’t hesitate to ask your lawyer for an updated estimate as needed.
5. When to contact your lawyer
If you are facing foreclosure, it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you get started, the better. There are many things to consider when hiring a lawyer, and your best bet is to consult with an experienced one who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Here are some tips on when to contact your lawyer:
- As soon as you receive notice that you are facing foreclosure. This includes any kind of written notification from the lender or mortgage servicer (such as a letter or email).
- If there has been any change in your situation–for example, if the amount of money owed on your mortgage has increased or if new documents have been submitted to support the foreclosure process.
- If you have questions about what is happening in your case or want advice on how to deal with specific aspects of the foreclosure process.
You should contact your lawyer as soon as you receive notice that you are facing foreclosure. The sooner you get started, the better. If you are facing foreclosure, don’t try to deal with it on your own. Hiring a foreclosure lawyer can help you understand the process and protect your rights.
So, now you know what to look for in a foreclosure lawyer and what to expect during the process. I hope this article has helped you decide whether hiring a foreclosure lawyer is right for you. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!