When dealing with the potential loss of your home, you want the strongest assistance available to make the most of a frustrating situation like impending foreclosure – one of the most stressful experiences you’ll cope with in life.
So finding a strong, experienced defense attorney is essential to helping you understand your options, negotiate with creditors and figure out the best choices for you among the financial options available based on your situation.
At McFarlin LLP, we’re a large, respected law firm that specializes in cases relating to California bankruptcy and foreclosure law, providing you with the strongest defense when you’re in a financially and emotionally vulnerable position. We have staff attorneys who focus on a variety of foreclosure-based casework, always staying on top of changes in the law, new legislative initiatives and the intricacies of dealing with California lenders.
While legislation like the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights makes is building up support for homeowners facing foreclosure, the news from other sections of the country remains dour, with headlines like “Nevada Law makes it easier for banks to foreclose on delinquent loans” appearing every day.
Even with increased protection, time is NOT on your side. The average California foreclosure process takes just 120 days and those four months can fly by when you’re hiding from your creditors with your head in the sand. If you have friends or business associates who’ve dealt with a similar situation, reach out and ask for their advice. Likely they will tell you to seek wise counsel from an experienced foreclosure defense attorney rather than seeking to negotiate with your creditors and navigate the process alone.
Prioritize Your Debts
Whether you seek the advice of an attorney or not, reliable sources will tell you that – if you’re facing mounting debts and have fallen behind on payments, make staying on top of your mortgage your top financial priority.
If you’ve begun missing mortgage payments – or even if your financial situation has changed and you know that you WILL miss payments – contact a debt counselor or a reliable attorney today.
Again, your mortgage is your top financial priority! If you’ve fallen behind on a variety of payments, put your mortgage note at the top of the stack and let the others wait. This can be frustrating because usually it’s the credit card companies that yell the loudest—bombarding you with phone calls and past-due notices. Speak with an attorney, almost all of whom will tell you to dodge those credit card collection calls for now and stay on top of your mortgage.
We stress speaking with an attorney who specializes in foreclosures, but credit and debt management programs can offer solutions you haven’t considered and your lender may even have a counseling program. Some so-called “counseling” programs make outrageous claims and charge exorbitant fees. So check references and do your research.
Once you’ve made your mortgage a top priority, continue to be proactive. If you still can’t make your full monthly payments, reach out to your mortgage lender before they contact you. Be honest. Explain your situation and start discussing your options. Remember, thinking long-term foreclosure seldom benefits anyone. The bank holding your mortgage wants you to make your payments and to get back on track if you’ve fallen behind.
The vast majority of mortgage lenders don’t care why homeowners are facing foreclosure, they just want to do their jobs—collecting payment or, if necessary, foreclose on the property. To stop foreclosure in California, you need to focus on exercising your legal rights, and working within the lender’s guidelines to get the sale date placed on hold or cancelled altogether, rather than explaining why you’re missing payments, even if its due to illness, unemployment, divorce, etc.
It’s essential that you seek legal counsel with an attorney who thoroughly understands California’s legal system and can work within the law and with your lender to forestall foreclosure. If you’ve been avoiding the lender who holds your home mortgage, reach out to them now. Sooner is always better than later.
And even if you’re several months behind in your mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, it’s almost always a smart move to put in an application under the Homeowner Bill or Rights, which became law in 2013.
Once the application is submitted, in many cases, California law requires that the lender evaluate the application before proceeding with foreclosure. Other viable options include initiating a mortgage litigation action, short selling and bankruptcy.
In California, bankruptcy typically stops foreclosure. So this is an effective option for most homeowners who haven’t filed a previous case. Also, if you’re willing to consider selling your property, a short sale is often an effective strategy for stopping foreclosure in California too!
We offer prospective clients a free foreclosure consultation. So call us today to set up a time to talk at (888) 728-0044 to learn more about ways we can help you postpone or even stop foreclosure under California law.
And remember, McFarlin LLP offers prospective clients a free consultation with a foreclosure defense attorney specializing in this challenging field.