What is a Notice of Intent to Foreclose in Pennsylvania?
Getting a notice of intent to foreclose letter in the mail can be a scary moment. Should this happen to you, it’s important that you understand what this letter means and what is required of you to stop mortgage foreclosure in Pennsylvania.
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments, you might receive a notice of intent to foreclose in the mail. This is a serious warning of a possible sheriff’s sale of your property. You will have 30 days to respond or settle debts with your lender before the foreclosure process starts in court. Homeowners can respond to these letters by filing for bankruptcy. When you do this in Pennsylvania, a mortgage foreclosure cannot take place. Instead, you will be given time to repay your lender and will be able to keep your home in Pennsylvania.
Homeowners can call (215) 701-6519 to get a free case review from the Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates.
What is a Notice of Intent to Foreclose Letter in Pennsylvania?
Your home cannot be foreclosed upon and taken completely out of the blue in Pennsylvania. Before the process officially begins in court, you will receive a notice of intent to foreclose from the lender.
In Pennsylvania, lenders must send notice of intent to foreclose letters to homeowners 30 days before the foreclosure begins. This gives borrowers time to contact our Pennsylvania bankruptcy lawyers and create a plan to prevent foreclosure.
If you are financially capable of settling all outstanding mortgage payments with your lender, you can do so during this time. Our Bucks County bankruptcy lawyers might also be able to negotiate an agreement that works for all parties involved, allowing you to retain your property and avoid a foreclosure battle entirely.
Notice of intent to foreclose letters are relatively standard documents. The letter you receive from the lender will name you, the property owner, and explain that you are in serious default on your loan. The document will also explain that you have 30 days to cure your mortgage. Otherwise, a lawsuit will follow in court, possibly resulting in mortgage foreclosure. The letter will also give notice of a likely sheriff’s sale of your property in Pennsylvania. Notice of intent to foreclose letters are serious documents and should not be taken as a baseless threat but as a likely indication the fact that you could lose your home in Pennsylvania.
A notice of intent to foreclose does not mean your home will be taken immediately. A process must follow the initial letter. All foreclosures in Pennsylvania happen in court. If a lender is threatening you in any way or you believe that the notice of intent to foreclose was a mistake, inform our attorneys right away.
How Soon Should You Respond to a Notice of Intent to Foreclose Letter in Pennsylvania?
Immediately responding to a notice of intent to foreclose letter is crucial, as failure to respond could cause you to lose ownership of your home.
As mentioned, homeowners have 30 days to respond to a notice of intent to foreclose letter and figure out a path forward that allows them to keep their properties. If you do not respond, a sheriff’s sale will eventually commence, where your home may be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
While you have 30 days to get your affairs in order, it is best to do so immediately. Once you are served an official foreclosure complaint, the foreclosure process will become a court matter, and negotiating with a lender might be more challenging. After reviewing your finances, our attorneys will determine the likelihood of a lender agreeing to an arrangement that allows you to repay outstanding mortgage payments without the threat of foreclosure. The longer our attorneys have to do this, the more likely we are to succeed in negotiations. That said, not all lenders are open to the possibility of negotiations, especially if they can sell homes in sheriff’s sales and recoup the debts homeowners owe.
Do not wait to respond to a notice of intent to foreclose, as doing so could make it appear that you are indifferent to a possible mortgage foreclosure and could harm your future case.
How Can You Deal with a Notice of Intent to Foreclose in Pennsylvania?
You know your financial situation better than anyone. If you get a notice of intent to foreclose letter in the mail, and you know that you will be unable to immediately repay your lender to avoid a sheriff’s sale of your property, filing for bankruptcy might be the only real solution in Pennsylvania.
Homeowners that file for bankruptcy can stop all debt collection efforts from creditors, including sheriff’s sales and mortgage foreclosures. This is because an automatic stay will take effect, shielding you from such action. Bankruptcy will allow you to repay your debts over time, whether through a repayment plan or by liquidating certain assets. Additionally, some of your debts might be dischargeable in bankruptcy, eliminating them and allowing you to focus on repaying your mortgage alone. Once you settle all outstanding debts in bankruptcy, your home will no longer be in jeopardy. Depending on your finances, you will be eligible to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. Each chapter of bankruptcy takes varying times to complete.
In some cases, lenders act in predatory ways, taking advantage of prospective homeowners and giving them an inappropriate mortgage based on their finances. If our attorneys can find proof of predatory lending practices that violate Pennsylvania or federal lending laws, we can put a stop to an impending foreclosure. As not all lenders act predatorily, this might not be an option in all cases, leaving bankruptcy as the primary solution for some homeowners in Pennsylvania.
Call Our Pennsylvania Lawyers to Stop Mortgage Foreclosure Today
By calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519, you can discuss your case for free with our Philadelphia bankruptcy lawyers.