Bensalem, PA Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
Mortgage payments are an inherent part of owning a home, but they are sometimes hard to keep up with. The mortgage lender might initiate foreclosure proceedings if you are late on mortgage payments.
A foreclosure is when the bank or another lender seizes your home after a certain period of missed payments. Foreclosures often occur when mortgage borrowers cannot keep up with payments, and the lender will seize the property and sell it to recoup their losses. The process is very formal and requires certain notices and paperwork, and there might be time to catch up on payments or challenge the foreclosure on your mortgage. Fighting a mortgage foreclosure might require a different approach in each case, but options include changing the mortgage agreements, a forbearance agreement, bankruptcy, and litigation in court. An attorney can help you determine the best way to fight your mortgage foreclosure and hopefully keep your home.
Call our mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519 to explore your legal options in a free case review.
What is a Foreclosure and Why Does it Happen in Bensalem, PA?
The statutory definition of a foreclosure under 68 Pa.C.S. § 2303 is rather scant and defines a foreclosure as a legal action taken by a lender or creditor – often a bank – to enforce an obligation contained within a mortgage agreement, usually payment.
Foreclosure is a formal legal proceeding by which the bank may seize your property or assets contained within the mortgage terms. In many cases, borrowers’ homes are seized because the borrowers cannot keep up with the required payments to the bank. Lenders often initiate foreclosure proceedings when the borrower defaults on their payments.
Missing a payment or being late is often insufficient to trigger a default and put you at risk of foreclosure. Generally, a borrower must have missed several monthly payments for foreclosure to become a possibility. The specific number of payments you must miss before foreclosure proceedings are initiated might depend on your mortgage. Our mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers can help you review your mortgage terms to determine if you are at risk of foreclosure.
The Process of Foreclosure in Bensalem, PA
Under federal law, 12 C.F.R. § 1024.41(f), the lender cannot send the first notice or otherwise initiate the foreclosure process unless the borrower is more than 120 days past due with payment, the foreclosure is based on the borrower’s alleged violation of a due-on-sale clause, or the servicer is joining the foreclosure initiated by another lienholder.
There is usually some notice or communication from the lender prior to formal filing that you are at risk of foreclosure. If you need to catch up on payments, the lender will likely contact you about how to catch up on payments or other arrangements that might help the situation. Remember, the lender usually just wants the money they are owed, and if that can be accomplished without foreclosure, they might be willing to work with you.
Notice must be served in writing by certified mail to the parties named in the mortgage. The notice is served in advance of the foreclosure, so you should have some time to speak to our mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers and begin making arrangements to challenge the foreclosure, catch up on payments, or something else.
You must answer the lender about the foreclosure. Failure to answer the lender will almost certainly lead to foreclosure proceedings. If there is a way you can catch up on payments or there is another course of action you can take, our mortgage foreclosure defense attorneys can help you explain your situation in the answer.
Challenging a Foreclosure on Your Home in Bensalem, PA
There is more than one way to avoid foreclosure, and our mortgage foreclosure defense attorneys can help you determine the best method for your case. Below are some methods that might be effective at avoiding foreclosure, although there might be other options, depending on your situation.
Altering or Modifying the Mortgage
Changing a mortgage agreement after it has been signed and made official can be difficult. All parties involved must agree upon any modifications, and lenders are hesitant to agree to changes. However, it might be worth looking into, as your lender might be amenable, depending on the situation.
Modifying the mortgage agreement is not like refinancing; you are not creating a new agreement in place of the old one. Instead, you are changing the terms of the current agreement to help you avoid foreclosure. Terms our mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers can try to help you change might include terms about monthly payments, interest rates, or loan structure details.
Arranging a Forbearance Agreement
Even if we cannot get the lender to agree to a change in any mortgage agreement terms, we might persuade them to enter a forbearance agreement. This agreement keeps the terms of the mortgage agreement the same but might pause payments.
The idea here is to give borrowers a respite from monthly payments while they reorganize their finances or find a way to come up with the funds they need. Your lender might be willing to enter a forbearance agreement if you have financial struggles, and a pause in payments can help you get back on your feet.
Some lenders have forbearance-related terms built into mortgage agreements. For example, some lenders allow forbearance for borrowers dealing with COVID-related hardships. Remember, a forbearance agreement does not wipe out any portion of your mortgage, and you must repay any missed or delayed payments.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is often thought of as the option of last resort, but it can be helpful for people facing foreclosure because of missed payments. Various forms of bankruptcy might help you, and our mortgage foreclosure defense attorneys can help you determine which works best for you.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy might help you get out from under your debts, but it often means liquidating various assets, including your home and other properties. Chapter 13 bankruptcy might be a good option as it allows people to reorganize their debt and finances and get on a payment plan without liquidating assets. As a result, many people can keep their homes after filing for bankruptcy.
Call Our Bensalem, PA Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Lawyers for Help Now
If you are facing foreclosure, call our mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519 for a free evaluation of your case.