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Foreclosure Defense: Understand Your Options

Are you facing foreclosure? If so, you are not alone. With pandemic-related mortgage bailouts ending in late 2021, foreclosures are rising. In 2021, California was one of the states with the greatest amount of new foreclosures, amounting to 3,434 foreclosed homes. Our Irvine foreclosure defense lawyers explain foreclosure and the different types of foreclosure defenses available to homeowners in California. So whether you are facing foreclosure or are just interested in learning more, please keep reading!

Understanding Foreclosure in California

The first step in foreclosure defense is understanding what foreclosure is and how it works. Foreclosure is a legal process where your lender can take back your home because you failed to make your mortgage payments.

Judicial Vs. Non-Judicial Foreclosure

In California, your lender may foreclosure using a judicial or non-judicial method.

Judicial Foreclosure: A court must preside over this type of foreclosure. The process takes longer and is more expensive, so most lenders avoid it if possible.

Non-judicial Foreclosure: Your lender does not need to go through the courts to foreclose on your home. This type of foreclosure is much faster and cheaper for the lender.

In California, most foreclosures are non-judicial, meaning you may not even know you are being foreclosed on until it is too late.

Signs of Foreclosure

If you are unsure whether you are in foreclosure or not, here are some signs to look out for:

  • You stop receiving mortgage statements in the mail.
  • Your mortgage payments are returned as unpaid.
  • It becomes difficult to contact your lender.
  • Your mortgage payment is higher than it should be
  • You have received a notice from your lender about defaulting on your loan

When Does Foreclosure Start?

Under federal law, the lender usually cannot officially begin the foreclosure process until you're more than 120 days past due on payments. (12 C.F.R. § 1024.41). This 120-day period provides most homeowners with ample opportunity to submit a loss mitigation application to the servicer.

What are Some Foreclosure Defense Options in California?

Now that we have discussed what foreclosure is let's talk about some of the ways you can defend against it.

Reinstatement

One option available to homeowners who are facing foreclosure is called reinstatement. This is when the homeowner catches up on all payments they have missed, plus any interest, fees, and costs associated with the foreclosure. The homeowner must pay all of this at once to stop the foreclosure. This is often not an option for many since they are in foreclosure because of not having the funds to pay their mortgage in the first place.

Mortgage Litigation

Another foreclosure defense option is mortgage litigation. When the homeowner sues their lender for not following the mortgage agreement terms, this could be because the lender did not adequately service the loan, miscalculated payments, or breached the contract in some other way. This option can be very costly and time-consuming, so speaking with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney before taking this route is essential.

California Owner Bill of Rights

The California Owner Bill of Rights (OBR) provides certain protections for homeowners facing foreclosure. These protections include prohibiting dual tracking (when a lender pursues foreclosure while also working on a loan modification with the borrower) and requiring lenders to provide certain documents to the borrower. The OBR also gives homeowners the right to sue their lenders if they violate these protections.

It is highly recommended to seek the counsel of an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer. The foreclosure process is complicated and ever-changing, and a lawyer will be able to provide you with the best course of action.

McFarlin LLP Is the Defense You Need

At McFarlin LLP, we have successfully defended countless homeowners against foreclosure. We understand the stress and anxiety that comes with facing foreclosure. Our Irvine foreclosure defense attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you keep your home.

Contact our Irvine foreclosure defense lawyers today at (949) 570-5025 to schedule a free case review! Please don't wait until it is too late!