By: Michael Powers
As the demand for mortgage and foreclosure related legal services continues to rise, Mortgage Relief Project has added more foreclosure defense attorneys and mortgage litigation law firms to the roster of attorneys available to homeowners. With the addition of these new firms, and the continued expansion of existing firms, MRP now provides homeowners with access to attorneys licensed to practice in more than 43 states.
For more than 6 years, MRP has been promoting attorneys and law firms whose primary focus is foreclosure defense and other mortgage related legal services, like loan modification. We still promote some of those very same firms today. These attorneys have assisted hundreds of homeowners by using their knowledge of available programs and applicable homeowner protection laws to persuade banks to find solutions which allow the homeowner to stay in the home. But, as any foreclosure defense attorney will tell you, you can do everything right and still have the lender choose a course of action which leaves the homeowner with no choice but to sue. The good news is that more of these homeowners are suing their lenders, and seeing favorable results.
In these instances, homeowners are calling the lender’s bluff and taking them to court. For many homeowners, this aggressive approach has proven effective in bringing a lender to the negotiating table, and the vast majority of lawsuits against mortgage lenders are settled prior to trial. The fact is, trials are very expensive for both sides, and banks have even more to lose. Mortgage lenders have a great interest in preventing the establishment of case law which can be used by others in similar cases. With the Department of Justice Settlement, and the subsequent state laws protecting homeowner rights, commonly referred to as HBORS (Homeowner Bill of Rights), many more homeowners find themselves with legitimate legal grounds to sue their lenders.
The biggest mistake a homeowner can make is expecting a mortgage lender to help them when it doesn’t make financial sense to do so. For the lender, it is simply a matter of business, and they will do whatever will yield them the greatest profits. If you have equity in your home, it is unlikely that you will receive mortgage assistance with your payments, whether you qualify or not. It is often in the course of relying on a lender’s promises for forbearance or reduced payments, that homeowners inadvertently find themselves in default and receive a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. In other words, these homeowners have unwittingly put themselves into foreclosure by having acted in good faith.
Although these types of practices are now illegal, according to the Department of Justice Settlement of 2012, many lenders and servicers still engage in these practices with the hope that homeowners will simply fold after being worn down by the process. Unfortunately, it is true that very few homeowners will have both the initiative and resources necessary to sue. But, for those who have the resolve to fight for their home and their rights, MRP offers access to attorneys that specifically practice in the area of individual lender litigation.