If you are a homeowner and are struggling to make your mortgage payments, you may panic at the sight of a foreclosure letter. However, foreclosure does not necessarily mean that you will lose your home. With foreclosure defense, you may have options to protect your home and get back on track. Here are six of the most common defenses against foreclosures in Florida.
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
While the protections may be different whether you took out the mortgage before or after becoming an active-duty member of the military, you may still be able to save your home under the SCRA. This Act may require the mortgage servicer to take you to court even when normal circumstances wouldn’t. An experienced attorney will know how to best represent you in court.
Mortgage Servicer Errors
The foreclosure crisis during the Great Recession brought many unfair mortgage servicing practices to light. Many banks and other lenders have made changes to reduce errors, but they still happen occasionally. If your payments were made on time but not credited in a timely manner, or were credited to the wrong account, which led to a foreclosure being initiated when it should not have been, you might have a strong defense against your lender.
You Have a Loan Modification
Many homeowners undergo a loan modification to make their monthly payments more affordable and stay in their homes. However, sometimes a lender will continue with foreclosure proceedings even after a loan modification has been initiated or approved. This is just one potential foreclosure defense that may protect your home.
Foreclosing Party Lacks Standing
“Standing” is the proof that the party initiating the foreclosure has the right to do so because they own the loan. If the mortgage has been sold several times, a lender may not be able to provide the original promissory note that you signed, agreeing to repay the debt. While many banks are careful about ensuring the paperwork is transferred during this process, a foreclosure defense attorney can guarantee that the foreclosure is valid.
State or Federal Procedures Weren’t Followed
Depending on the type of loan, the loan servicer has specific steps and guidelines to follow. If they aren’t followed, it may invalidate the process, and the court will require the lender to start the process over again. If so, this gives you time to prepare or make arrangements that can help protect your home. One such requirement for federal loans is loss mitigation.
Federal loans, such as VA or FHA loans, must undergo a loss mitigation process before foreclosure proceedings. Loss mitigation helps keep homeowners in their homes. It may include alternative repayment plans, forbearance or other options that allow homeowners to get back on track with their mortgage payments and prevent eviction.
If you are in the Tampa, Key West, Orlando, Lakeland or Ocala area and facing foreclosure, don’t give up. Contact Ligori & Ligori at (813) 254-7119 to arrange a free consultation and discuss your foreclosure defense options.
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