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How Long Can I Keep My Home After Receiving A Foreclosure Summons?

You may be able to keep your home after a foreclosure for another three to four months in some states. Every case depends on how the litigation process materialized, and whether the borrower is defending the case. If no response is filed, or you fail to respond, then you must be out of your home within that allotted time frame. The process does not take long, but if there are issues concerning a promissory note, or trying to pursue lost mitigation, you may be able to stay for several years.

At What Point Should I Get An Attorney Involved In A Foreclosure Situation?

Certainly, you should retain an attorney once there is an actual foreclosure case filed in court. Once there is a case number, and an active foreclosure case, it is necessary to have an attorney. I recommend having an attorney on-board as early on in the process. If you know that your loan is going to go into default, because the interest rate has gone up, or something has happened, where the terms of your deal are different, or you lost your job, it is best to have an attorney from day one. As soon as there is any possibility that the mortgage is going to go into default, everybody is best served by knowing his or her options early in that process.

What Steps Should I Take After Receiving A Foreclosure Notice?

After receiving a foreclosure notice and you have been served, you have twenty days to respond. You need to have the response that was filed, which is called An Answer, and you need to respond about that foreclosure complaint. An answer is a technical legal document, which is best prepared by an attorney. I tell clients that they would not try to operate on themselves, and they should pay a doctor. Same analogy with this situation, if you are going to court unrepresented, it is like operating on yourself. You should retain an attorney as soon as possible once you are served. At a bare minimum, I always tell anybody I meet with, that even if you cannot afford an attorney, for whatever reason, you cannot afford not to. Always make sure you file a response within those twenty days, and send a copy to the bank’s lawyer.

That way you will not lose the case by a default. You might agree that you owe the mortgage, and that payments are past due, but when you file a response that means you are going to be in the loop about all the proceedings. The courts, and banks will have to notify you of your due process rights, and you will be notified of every step. If you file no response, then the court assumes that you are not contesting the case, and it is very easy for the bank to get a foreclosure sale date set right away. That is about a three-month scenario after someone is served. If you do not file a response, and stick your head in the sand so to speak, then the process accelerates to the detriment of a borrower.

Should Someone Ever Work With A Debt Resolution Company Before Hiring A Lawyer?

In my experience, debt consolidation companies are losing proposition for borrowers, and debtors. I do not think they provide much value, certainly not the value that a good attorney can provide. In my experience, these companies make promises about what they are going to do, but you are not always dealing with somebody who is actually a Florida lawyer. Some of these companies cannot appear in court to represent you. You might think that you have retained them, and that they are taking care of the problem, but meanwhile, the foreclosure is on its own track to continue with the proceedings. These types of companies, in my experience, are a bad idea, and usually my client’s money is better saved by retaining an experienced attorney.

What Is Loss Mitigation? How Is It Used In Foreclosure Defense?

Loss mitigation is an alternative to a foreclosure. The bank is looking at a loss, and the property is not worth what is owed. Therefore, they are trying to mitigate that loss, it can take the form of a deed in lieu of foreclosure, where the borrower deeds the property back to the bank, and the bank goes away. It could take the form of a short sale, where the bank agrees that the borrower can sell the property to a third party. Another idea is to seek a loan modification. That is the primary loss mitigation technique. Your loan has gone to default, but there are government, and lender programs available to resolve the debt, and get it to status. They will forgive principal on occasion, or they will move principal to the end of the loan.

They can reduce the interest rate, or reduce the monthly payments. Loss mitigation is an umbrella term for anything that is an alternative to a foreclosure sale, which is completed on the courthouse steps. It is common traditional wisdom that a foreclosure sale on the courthouse steps, does not generate the best value, so loss mitigation is the bank, and the borrower working together to mitigate the loss as best they can in a way that is satisfactory for all parties, which is the borrower, and the bank.

For more information on Keeping Home After Foreclosure Summons, initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (386) 487-5466 today.

Need Help With Mortgage Foreclosure?
The Decker Law Firm has handled hundreds of mortgage foreclosure matters and has a wealth of experience in this area. Our firm has represented a variety of creditors including major financial institutions, credit unions, commercial banks, holding companies, and private individuals in the prosecution of mortgage foreclosure actions in Florida’s Third Judicial Circuit.
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Andrew J. Decker, IV

Andrew J. “AJ” Decker, IV, grew up in Live Oak, Florida and graduated from Suwannee High School in 1997. He attended Emory University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2001. He subsequently attended Florida Coastal School of Law, graduating with high honors in 2004. AJ represents client in civil litigation matters, focusing…

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