Mortgage Litigation Time Frame

By: Timothy McFarlin | Published: June 15th, 2010 | Category: Mortgage Litigation

Before a person can estimate the mortgage litigation time frame for their case, they must understand exactly what mortgage litigation is.  Mortgage litigation is the presentation of a dispute between a mortgage lender and a mortgage borrower before a court.  In most cases, the need for litigation will arise out of the lack of an agreement between the two parties during negotiations.  Negotiations between lenders and borrowers usually occur when borrowers request some kind of assistance from their lender, like a loan modification or approval for a short sale.  If the lender refuses to budge and offers no assistance, the borrower has the right to take their case before a court so that a judge can make a determination as to what action should be taken.

A mortgage litigation time frame is difficult to predict because different cases will require different amounts of time to present all of the necessary evidence and for both parties to ask all of the necessary questions.  Usually, the more complex a mortgage contract, the more time that will be needed to litigate.  Cases that are so called “cut and dry” will require less time to reach a judgment.  Cut and dry cases are more likely than not those in which strong evidence exists to support the claim of one party, as would be the case if a lender clearly violates the Truth in Lending Act.  Every once in a while, a lender may not think that the evidence against them is strong enough to warrant a lenient negotiation or an out of court settlement, but with the help of a good attorney, a judge can be made to see the obvious fault in the case rather quickly.

This sort of swift justice is often hard to come by, as very few cases are ever cut and dry.  In most cases, if such strong evidence exists against the lender, they will simply agree to an out of court settlement to avoid any negative press.  Few lenders will take a case to litigation if it is obvious that they will most likely lose.

A majority of cases that go to litigation are not so cut and dry because the lender feels that their contract is iron clad.  This is where the attorney comes in.  While it is possible and legal for a borrower to represent themselves in court, they must realize that they will be going up against the very well paid attorney of the lender.  Lenders don’t make a habit of hiring bad attorneys, which is why the borrower should do everything they can to even the playing field by hiring their own legal expert to handle their claim.

Factors which will affect a mortgage litigation time frame include:

–The number of alleged legal violations within a mortgage contract, since each one will have to be addressed by the court separately.

–The amount owed on the mortgage.  Since lenders aren’t in the business to lose money, they will often fight harder if there is more money at stake.

–The experience of the attorneys of both parties…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  When the borrower considers their own attorney they should remember the age old question “Do you want it done fast or do you want it done right?”

–The honesty of both parties.  When borrowers lie to their lawyers they only lengthen the process, the same is true of lenders.  When lies are thrown into the mix they often act as barriers on the way to the truth, which usually comes out in open court.  Borrowers who knowingly lie to their attorneys and to the court can also face criminal charges, which is never a good outcome.

These are just some factors that will affect the mortgage litigation time frame.  The law is a fluid beast that changes, adapts, morphs, and mutates.  Each case will have its own subtle nuances that must be dealt with as they appear.  An attorney is a legal professional who must remain up to speed on changes and details of the law in order to stay in business, which is why anyone hoping for a short trial should hire an attorney as opposed to attempting to become a legal expert over night.

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