What to Do If You Received a Mortgage Foreclosure Notice in PA
Receiving a mortgage foreclosure notice could be the beginning of one of the most challenging periods in a person’s life. While the loss of your home is at risk, there are methods to prevent the worst from occurring.
The best way to fight mortgage foreclosure in Pennsylvania is to file your case in court. Through the court, you can likely begin mediation proceedings to negotiate a way out of the situation. However, filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is usually the best method to preserve your home while limiting your other losses. If you prefer to handle the matter directly with your lender, our team can help you determine which option works best for your financial situation.
Contact Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates today at (215) 701-6519 for a free case review with our Pennsylvania mortgage foreclosure defense attorneys.
What Should I Do If I Received a Mortgage Foreclosure Notice in Pennsylvania?
It is understandable that you might be overcome with dread after receiving a mortgage foreclosure notice in Pennsylvania. Fortunately, there are a number of methods to help fight mortgage foreclosure that our Bensalem mortgage foreclosure defense attorneys can help you choose from. Mortgage foreclosure proceedings typically go into effect after a homeowner has missed their mortgage payments for a minimum of 60 days. However, you should have received at least two written notices of the lender’s intent to foreclose on your property.
If you did receive notice of foreclosure, you typically have two to four months to resolve the late payments before proceedings move forward. If the matter is not properly dealt with, your lender can file suit against you. If their lawsuit succeeds, they will be permitted by the court to list your property for sale to recover the damages the court found your lender entitled to.
If you recently received notice of foreclosure, it is important not to panic and contact our firm. Many homeowners are not aware of the various ways to defend against mortgage foreclosure. Depending on your financial situation, we can help you choose a method that helps keep your home without suffering from overcoming losses.
How Can I Stop Mortgage Foreclosure in Pennsylvania?
Receiving a notice of foreclosure does not automatically mean that you will lose your home. In Pennsylvania, numerous options are available to help you and your family stay in your home. In many cases, going through the court is the best method. This includes defending your case in a lawsuit or, more commonly, filing for bankruptcy. Additionally, other options outside of the legal system are available, but it might be more difficult to maintain financial stability through their use.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you were notified of mortgage foreclosure, one method to keep your home would be taking your case to court. When this route is chosen, the judge assigned to your case will typically order the parties involved to engage in mediation. Mediation is a legal process by which each side can come together and attempt to negotiate a fair outcome for all involved parties. This could mean altering the original mortgage agreement, or the lender might refuse anything less than full payment. The good part about mediation is that you will be granted an automatic stay on your foreclosure until mediation concludes. This means that you will not be required to make your mortgage payments while mediation is ongoing.
You can also assert affirmative defenses to your foreclosure in a lawsuit. For instance, you could potentially stop foreclosure proceedings if you can show that your lender engaged in predatory practices when negotiating your loan. You can also prevent foreclosure if your lender violated state or federal laws. While these defenses will not remove your financial obligations completely, they will likely allow you to keep your home.
Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
In most cases, filing for bankruptcy is usually the best option to protect your home from foreclosure. Pennsylvania has two types of bankruptcy that individuals can file for, which include Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically the best method for individuals who do not have continual employment or whose income is too low to cover their debts. In Chapter 7 proceedings, some of your assets are sold off to satisfy your debts. This can include cars and other personal items, but Chapter 7 proceedings will stop your mortgage foreclosure for the time being. This time can allow you to figure out a way to meet your mortgage obligations.
Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another method to preserve your property. This method is a better fit for those with a stable income and the apparent ability to pay their debts under the right conditions. When filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will need to create a repayment plan that shows how you will repay your debts and for how long. Your repayment plan will then need to be approved by the court. Like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, foreclosure proceedings will cease after your Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing is approved. However, you must show that you will earn enough income to meet the obligations laid out in your repayment plan.
Another common method to prevent mortgage foreclosure is to negotiate a mortgage modification. With a mortgage modification, you might be able to lower your monthly payments, lower your interest rate, or be granted extensions in the timeframe in which you must pay. However, getting a suitable mortgage modification can be extremely challenging without the support of a knowledgeable Bucks County, PA foreclosure defense attorney.
Mortgage Forbearance Agreement
You might also consider entering into a mortgage forbearance agreement. A forbearance will not change the terms of your mortgage plan but will grant you more time to make your payments. This option typically works to give your more time to come up with a more long-term solution to your financial problems. In many cases, forbearances will usually only last for up to six months.
Short Sale of Your Property
A less attractive option but one that could save you from a serious financial downfall is to “short sale” your home. If your lender agrees to short-sale your home, they will sell your home to recover compensation that is usually less than the total amount owed on your mortgage. However, by short-selling your home, you will be free of your financial obligations to the lender even though the full amount of the mortgage was not recovered.
Our Pennsylvania Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Can Help
For a free case consultation with our Allentown mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 701-6519.