Seasoned Lawyer Serving Orange County
If your home is being foreclosed upon, it may be possible to stop that foreclosure from happening. If your home has already been foreclosed and even sold, it may still be possible to unwind that sale and restore you to your home. As a comprehensive debt relief law firm in Orange County, Fishback Law Corp utilizes all the tools available to stop a wrongful foreclosure and help people throughout Southern California stay in their homes.
Southern California is crowded with homeowners who were talked into buying more property than they could afford through a variety of banking tricks. There were adjustable rate mortgages with attractive teaser rates that quickly reset to a much higher rate. Even worse are the mortgages that continue to reset periodically through the life of the mortgage, always higher and never lower. Then there are the mortgages with hidden balloon payments that require the borrower to come up with enormous sums of money on the happening of some condition written into the contract's fine print. If you were roped into one of these mortgages and now the bank is trying to foreclose because you can't meet the payments, you may have options:
- Suit to Quiet Title - where the bank must prove it has title and the right to foreclose on the property
- Securitization - requiring the lender to produce the note may be a challenge for the bank where the mortgage has been securitized, i.e. pooled together with other notes and turned into an investment instrument which has been sold many times over to giant investment structures like hedge funds or pensions funds
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Regulation Z - these federal laws require the lender to make certain disclosures regarding the true cost of credit when the loan is being made, and failure to comply with these laws may present a strong defense against an attempt to foreclose
- State laws against fraud and predatory lending - Often state laws provide better protection for the consumer and are easier to litigate. Where appropriate, we file the appropriate complaint in state court and resist attempts by the lender to remove the case to federal court
Ways to Avoid Foreclosure in the First Place
If you have missed mortgage payments in the past or feel yourself sliding into foreclosure, there may be steps you can take prior to receiving the notice of default from your loan servicer. For instance, it may be possible to negotiate a loan modification or workout from your lender. Since the sub-prime mortgage crisis of a couple of years ago, the federal government has created a number of programs designed to encourage lenders to agree to a variety of such modifications.
Through the federal government's Making Home Affordable programs, you may be able to obtain a loan modification, interest rate reduction, refinancing, a deferred payment, or financial assistance to transition out of your home while avoiding foreclosure. Some of the major programs under this initiative include:
- Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) - If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments but are currently employed, you may be able through HAMP to lower your monthly mortgage payment down to 31% of your monthly income, saving perhaps hundreds of dollars per month on your mortgage.
- Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) - if you are current on your payments but cannot get refinancing due to a decline in your home's value, you may be eligible to refinance through HARP into a more affordable and more stable mortgage.
- FHA Short Refi - if you are not behind on your mortgage but owe more than your home is worth, you may be able to refinance into a more affordable FHA loan, reducing the amount you owe on your first mortgage to at the most 97.75% of your home's current value.
- Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives - $3,000 to help you relocate if you rid yourself of your mortgage by conducting a short sale or deed-in-lieu, effectively walking away from your home while avoiding foreclosure.
Save Your Home With Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Although the government has initiated many valuable programs, none of these government programs actually require the lender to agree to any sort of loan modification, even if the bank took millions in bailout money following the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. One sure way to stop a foreclosure in its tracks is with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Chapter 13 allows you to catch up on missed payments comfortably by rolling them into a 3 or 5-year debt repayment plan, while pulling you out of default and the threat of foreclosure.
Experienced Orange County foreclosure defense
Banks may foreclose by mistake or in violation of the law; you may think you have a workout negotiated, not realizing that you are dealing with a gigantic institution, and the foreclosure department may have no idea what the loan modification department has agreed to. If you receive a notice of default or foreclosure, you must ask quickly. Contact an experienced foreclosure defense attorney to stop the foreclosure before the sale if possible. In Orange County and throughout Southern California, contact Fishback Law Corp in Irvine for immediate assistance.