Unfortunately, foreclosure may be your only option depending on your financial situation. This is especially true in times like these where unemployment is all too common. In 2019, New York City had approximately 3,000 first-time foreclosure cases and this number is likely to rise this year with COVID-19’s effect on employment and income. Many falsely believe that foreclosure is an instantaneous process once you miss a mortgage payment. Luckily, there is a mandatory 120-day waiting period for lenders or loan servicers to follow before they are able to file for foreclosure. Most lenders will then be required to provide you with notice that your loan is in default or unpaid, and that the amount will be accelerated if payment is not made. During this 120-day period, if you are threatened with foreclosure, you will receive a 90-day notice before the foreclosure officially begins. Once the foreclosure is filed, the process will start, so it is important to consult with an experienced real estate attorney to make sure your rights are protected.
The Foreclosure Process Explained
Foreclosure cases involve a lot of back-and-forth between you, your lender, and the court. First, a complaint will be filed against you requesting that your home be foreclosed. You are granted 20-30 days to respond and provide a defense for the late payments or lack thereof. The lender’s attorney must file a certificate of merit, which states that they have reviewed the mortgage agreement, promissory note, and any extensions/modifications of the mortgage. They will also file an affidavit of service. The court is then required to hold a settlement conference with both the lender and you as the homeowner in hopes that everyone can come to an agreement on the matter. In some cases, this works, but in many cases, you may still be unable to pay the lender.
If things are not resolved in the settlement conference, both the lender and you as the homeowner can do further digging on each other through official records and reports. Most lenders will then file a motion for summary judgment. This allows them to win the case without incurring trial fees. Your legal teams and the court-appointed attorney will work to determine how much you owe the lender. If the case does go to trial, the court will decide this with the evidence that they are provided. Once the amount owed is determined and the lender confirms the amount, an auction will be held. As the homeowner, you are still able to reinstate the loan by paying off your debts before the judgment of foreclosure and sale is made. However, if you are unable to do so, the foreclosure sale date will be selected and advertised to the public. On the date of the sale, whoever puts in the highest bid takes over ownership of the property.
Contact a Rockland County Foreclosure Attorney
You probably never expected to be involved in a foreclosure case, let alone lose your home on account of struggling to make ends meet. Your home is often the greatest asset and treasure to your family and losing it is incredibly devastating. The Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. will work alongside you if you are struggling and need help protecting your home and livelihood. It is a terrifying feeling to receive a foreclosure notice and can often leave you unsure of what to do next. Attorney Lewis has over 35 years of experience practicing law and will be by your family’s side during this trying time. If you are facing foreclosure, contact our Hudson Valley Area foreclosure defense lawyer today at 845-358-7100 to schedule your free consultation.