Doylestown Mortgage Foreclosure Lawyer

Foreclosure can be a scary, intimidating experience. Nobody ever wants to deal with the prospect of losing their home, business property, or other property. On top of all that, the parties that try to collect debt and initiate foreclosures may not always act in the friendliest manner. They may use threatening language to try and compel the debtor to do something that is not in their best interest.

At our firm, we understand how stressful foreclosure can be. We can stand up to debt collection companies and lenders, and we will do everything in our power to fight against your property being taken away from you in foreclosure.

To get a totally free review of your case, contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates’ mortgage foreclosure legal team at the number (215) 701-6519.

The Timeline Before Mortgage Foreclosure in Doylestown

It can appear as if a foreclosure “sneaks up” on you. However, the reality is that there are a lot of steps that need to be completed before a creditor can start foreclosure proceedings in Doylestown. Understanding the timeline of events that need to happen before foreclosure takes place can help you and our mortgage foreclosure lawyers stop foreclosures from happening in the first place.

Initial Missed Payment

After you miss a payment under your mortgage, your creditor must notify you of that fact no later than 45 days after the due date under 12 C.F.R. § 1024.39. Not only is the creditor required to let you know that there are outstanding payments, but they also need to let you know about the actions you can take to try and fix the issue. For example, there is a period after you miss a payment where you can “cure” the problem by submitting the payment late. If you do that, the creditor cannot foreclose on your property.

Subsequent Notices for Missed Payments

Creditors do not have to tell you about missed payments after the first notice. Some may tell you within 45 days of a second, third, or other missed payment, but they are in no way required to do so. Accordingly, you should document any correspondence with your creditor so that important information does not slip through the cracks.

Starting Foreclosure Proceedings

After 120 days have passed since the initial notice of missed payment, creditors can start the process of foreclosing on your property. Again, they do not need to inform you that foreclosure proceedings have begun, and you may not find out until much later that your property is being foreclosed on.

Judicial Mortgage Foreclosure in Doylestown

There are two main ways that a creditor can foreclose on your property, which are called judicial foreclosures and non-judicial foreclosures. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender needs to file a petition with a court to start foreclosure proceedings. Judicial foreclosures are the only foreclosures allowed in Pennsylvania, so you do not need to worry about a creditor trying to blitz through the process as would happen in a non-judicial foreclosure.

A judicial foreclosure is essentially a type of lawsuit. The creditor is “suing” you for unpaid debt and, if you lose, gets the indebted property as compensation. What this means is that you have to be given notification that you are being sued. As soon as you get this notice, you need to contact our mortgage foreclosure lawyers right away. If you do not respond, a “default judgment” is entered against you, and you automatically lose.

Ways to Stop Mortgage Foreclosure in Doylestown

There are different methods that can be used to stop a mortgage foreclosure from happening in Doylestown. A multitude of external factors can influence what the best choice is for your situation, so you should consult with an attorney about what choice is the right one for you.

Restructuring a Mortgage

One way to prevent foreclosure from happening is to discuss with your creditor the prospect of “working out” your mortgage. When this happens, the terms of your mortgage are changed to make it easier for you to make payments on time. For example, a mortgage could be restructured to consist of a larger number of smaller payments over a longer period of time.

Keep in mind, though, that there can be tax consequences for doing a “workout.” Cancelled debt is considered income. So if your creditor forgives $20,000 of debt, you have, in effect, earned $20,000 that you need to pay taxes on.

Additionally, creditors may not want to cooperate and just elect to pursue foreclosure. In that case, there are other options available to stop foreclosure from happening.

Negotiating a Forbearance Agreement

Unlike restructuring a mortgage, a forbearance agreement does not alter any of the terms of your loan. Instead, a forbearance agreement temporarily postpones payments, usually for a time window of up to six months. This can potentially give you time to create a long-term plan.

Negotiating a forbearance agreement with your lender can provide temporary relief from foreclosure proceedings, allowing you time to address financial difficulties or seek alternative solutions. This option can be especially beneficial if your financial hardship is temporary, such as during a period of unemployment or illness, and you anticipate being able to resume regular payments in the future.

Executing a Short Sale

A short sale involves selling your home for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, with the lender’s approval. This option can help you avoid foreclosure by satisfying the debt and preventing the negative consequences of foreclosure on your credit report. By working with a real estate agent experienced in short sales and negotiating with your lender, you may be able to successfully execute a short sale and move on from your mortgage obligation.

Fighting in Court

You can contest foreclosures in court in an effort to stop them from happening. By responding to the court’s notice of foreclosure, it starts the process of an in-court fight as in other types of lawsuits.

This approach can involve challenging the legality of the foreclosure proceedings, disputing the lender’s claims, or asserting legal defenses to delay or prevent foreclosure. Through court proceedings, homeowners may be able to uncover errors or violations committed by the lender, negotiate settlements, or present compelling arguments to convince the court to halt the foreclosure process.

Filing for Bankruptcy

Filing bankruptcy automatically halts all efforts to collect debt against you. This means that any foreclosure is stopped in its tracks.

It is important to remember that different chapters of bankruptcy work in different ways. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows for the liquidation of many assets, including property, while Chapter 13 lets you keep assets, including your home. If you can only file under Chapter 7, you may lose your property anyway if it is liquidated, so it may not make sense to stop foreclosure through bankruptcy in that instance. However, under other chapters like Chapter 13, you will be able to keep your property, so bankruptcy becomes a much more attractive option to prevent foreclosure.

Examples of Legal Defenses Against Foreclosure in Doylestown, PA

As previously discussed, there are multiple legal defenses that that may be employed when fighting a foreclosure in court. For instance, if our legal team can prove that any of the following occurred, then we may be able to save your home from foreclosure:

Procedural Errors

Procedural errors in the foreclosure process can serve as legal defenses against foreclosure proceedings. These errors may include failure to properly serve notice of foreclosure, inaccuracies or discrepancies in foreclosure documents, or violations of state foreclosure laws. By identifying and presenting evidence of procedural errors, homeowners may be able to challenge the validity of the foreclosure and potentially halt the process.

Predatory Lending Practices

Predatory lending practices, such as deceptive or unfair loan terms, can be grounds for legal defense against foreclosure. Examples of predatory lending practices include hidden fees, inflated interest rates, or loans that were issued without proper consideration of the borrower’s ability to repay. Homeowners who have been victims of predatory lending may be able to assert legal defenses based on violations of consumer protection laws or contractual breaches by the lender.

Unfair Mortgage Servicing Practices

Unfair mortgage servicing practices by loan servicers can also be used as legal defenses in foreclosure cases. These practices may include misapplication of payments, improper calculation of fees, or failure to provide required disclosures to the borrower. Homeowners facing foreclosure may be able to challenge the foreclosure based on evidence of unfair or deceptive practices by their mortgage servicer.

Errors in Loan Documents

Challenging the validity of loan documents, such as the mortgage note or deed of trust, can be another legal defense against foreclosure. Errors or discrepancies in loan documents, including forged signatures, missing endorsements, or improper notarization, may undermine the lender’s ability to foreclose on the property. Homeowners can raise objections to the authenticity or legality of loan documents as part of their defense strategy in foreclosure proceedings.

Breach of Contract

A homeowner may also assert an affirmative defense based on breach of contract by their lender. This defense argues that the lender failed to fulfill its obligations under the mortgage agreement, such as providing promised terms or services. By demonstrating that the lender breached the contract, the homeowner can argue that they are not obligated to fulfill their obligations such as payment.

Fraudulent Inducement

Lastly, the legal defense of fraudulent inducement may be utilized. Fraudulent inducement occurs when the lender employs deceit or misrepresentation to induce the borrower into entering the loan agreement. Homeowners may assert this defense if they can prove that the lender made false statements or concealed material facts about the loan terms or risks. By showing that they were fraudulently induced into the loan agreement, homeowners may seek to invalidate the contract and defend against foreclosure.

Importance of Contacting Our Attorneys Quickly if You Are Facing Mortgage Foreclosure in Doylestown, PA

If you are facing mortgage foreclosure, then it is imperative that you reach out to our team as quickly as you can. There are several reasons why you should not delay seeking legal assistance.

Legal Deadlines

Legal deadlines in mortgage foreclosure cases are strict and can significantly impact your ability to defend your home. Failing to meet these deadlines could result in the loss of important legal defenses or options for negotiation with your lender. By seeking help from our attorneys promptly, you may ensure that you have sufficient time to assess your situation and take appropriate action within the required timeframes.

Preservation of Evidence

Acting quickly also allows for the preservation of crucial evidence relevant to your case. Evidence such as loan documents, correspondence with your lender, and records of payments can be essential in building a strong defense against foreclosure. Waiting too long to seek legal assistance may result in the loss or destruction of certain evidence, weakening your position in negotiations and court proceedings.

Negotiation with Lenders

Furthermore, engaging the services of our mortgage foreclosure lawyers early in the process can set the stage for effective negotiation with your lender. Our team has experience handling mortgage foreclosure cases can advocate on your behalf by seeking favorable terms for loan modifications or alternative resolutions to foreclosure. Waiting to seek help may limit your ability to negotiate effectively, potentially leading to less favorable outcomes for you as a homeowner.

Understanding Your Rights

Finally, we can help you understand your rights under Pennsylvania law. From protections against unfair lending practices to options for mediation or loan modification, knowing your rights is crucial when navigating the foreclosure process. By consulting with our team early on, you can gain clarity on what options are available to you and the best way to proceed.

Contact Our Doylestown Mortgage Foreclosure Lawyers and Discuss Your Case

Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates’ mortgage foreclosure legal team can review your case for free when you call (215) 701-6519.

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Philadelphia, PA

7909 Bustletown Ave, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19152 (215) 607-7478 Get Directions

Quakertown, PA

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Allentown, PA

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Jenkintown, PA

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Easton, PA

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Bala Cynwyd, PA

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Bensalem, PA

3554 Hulmeville Rd, #102 Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 515-6389 Get Directions

Plymouth Meeting, PA

600 W. Germantown Pike #400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 (215) 515-6876 Get Directions

Harrisburg, PA

2225 Sycamore St Harrisburg, PA 17111 (717) 864-8887 Get Directions

Cinnaminson, NJ

909 Route 130 South #202 Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (609) 796-4344 Get Directions

Hamilton Twp., NJ

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Marlton, NJ

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Piscataway, NJ

200 Centennial Ave. Suite 200 Piscataway, NJ 08854 (908) 367-7256 Get Directions