Your Options

Understand Your Options!

Understand your options to prevent foreclosureUnderstanding your options is the best way to begin your search for mortgage relief assistance. These days, struggling homeowners are bombarded with confusing information on how to find legitimate mortgage relief assistance they can trust.

This page breaks down the basic options of a distressed homeowner, and covers the advantages and disadvantages of each. We make every effort possible to provide you with an objective analysis of each option. If you only take one thing from this analysis, it should be, “hire a foreclosure attorney”!

1. Hire an Attorney

Get foreclosure help todayThe bottom line is simply that an experienced foreclosure attorney is in the best position to get you the best results. Mortgage Relief Project strongly recommends foreclosure attorney representation for any distressed homeowner. These days, there are many honest foreclosure lawyers with significant experience in mortgage mitigation and real estate law, that provide legitimate, affordable representation for homeowners. Their experience puts them in the best position to help. Your job is to choose an attorney that offers the scope of the services you need.

“Pre-litigation” or Mitigation Attorney

Foreclosure Attorney ReviewsThere any many “law firms” today that offer “pre-litigation” retainer agreements. These firms will typically do everything possible, short of going to court or filing any lawsuits, to resolve your mortgage. These attorneys are best classified as “loan modification” attorneys who have a staff of underwriters and processors that perform the vast majority of the work, and are quite competent to prevent a foreclosure and obtain a loan modification or other foreclosure alternative for a client.

The majority of attorneys and law firms in the industry offer just such a retainer and the nature of the operation allows them to offer these services for a few thousand dollars. Most of these firms use proprietary software programs which make a convincing presentation to a lender and allow them to apply for multiple programs on your behalf with ease. These firms typically have the experience to offer a substantial value to their clients and are recommended over non-profit assistance or attempting the process yourself. When it comes to convincing a lender to postpone a foreclosure, these firms are entirely at the mercy of the lender.

Should You Sue Your Lender?

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Litigation Attorney - Sue Your Lender!

Mortgage Litigation AttorneyBottom line, this is the real thing. If you want to hold your lender legally responsible for any violations of your rights, while simultaneously pursuing a lasting resolution to your troubled mortgage, you will need a lender litigation attorney. First of all, you will need to have some legitimate causes of action. Following your initial consultation, a legitimate lender litigation attorney will begin by evaluating your original loan documents for any RESPA, TILA, and other lending violations present in the origination process. This will be followed by analyzing any chain of title issues (your loan being sold and legitimate documents to support it) to verify the lender’s right to foreclosure. The attorney will also want to analyze the servicing of your loan, including the application of payments, insurance and taxes. If you have been involved in the mitigation process, that process will also be analyzed for causes of action and any violations of your rights. Finally, if the foreclosure process is in progress or even completed, the process will be analyzed for defects raising legal issues.

File a Lawsuit and Sue Your Lender!These attorneys typically stop the foreclosure process by filing a lawsuit against your lender, accompanied by an injunction halting the foreclosure process. Hiring a lender litigation attorney means that the attorney is performing the work! These attorneys will represent you in court, mediation, hearings, and during the entire process. Obviously, this type of representation is more expensive on its surface. But is it? A litigation can end in the awarding of damages or a cash settlement, so this option may just prove less expensive, or even profitable in the long run.

2. Use a Non-Profit

Non-profit Mortgage Resolution Help

There are many non-profit organizations that can provide you with assistance and the levels of service can differ greatly. One of the toughest challenges of working with a non-profit is that most have limited resources and are restricted in their abilities. While we applaud and share the general philosophy behind most non-profit organizations, homeowners should understand that The Federal Trade Commission bars ANYONE other than an attorney from representing distressed homeowners in ANY debt negotiation.

This means that the non-profits can basically help you submit an application for assistance. They can also offer you general advice on navigating the process, but there is a fine line that they must skirt. When their advice gets into the area of legal advice, they would be illegally practicing law, unless they have a foreclosure attorney on staff that is licensed to practice in your state. Unfortunately, this means the negotiating will then be left to you, and that is typically the most crucial phase of a mortgage negotiation. This means that it will be you vs. Goliath in a complex legal matter. Do you have the time, knowledge, and experience to handle the complex negotiation of a mortgage like a foreclosure lawyer does?

If you choose to seek assistance from a non-profit organization, we recommend that you use the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) list of Approved Housing Counseling Agencies. However, you should be clear that we are strong advocates of foreclosure attorney representation. Many non-profit organizations will refer a distressed homeowner to a foreclosure attorney anyway, so we recommend skipping this step and speaking to a foreclosure attorney from the start.

HUD approved agencies offering foreclosure helpTo a struggling homeowner, the idea of getting FREE assistance is quite enticing. But ask yourself these simple questions. What do they stand to gain by offering services at no cost? How do they make money to be able to afford the resources they are offering for free? Well, some non-profit organizations offer FREE services in order to gain your confidence and solicit you for other services. Also, “Non-profit” does not always mean “no-cost”, so be leery of any organization that offers their assistance for FREE and make sure the value of actual services you are asked to pay for. They usually CANNOT represent you past submitting your application, as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibits any “non-attorney” from representing a distressed homeowner. While most of the non-profits have the best of intentions, mortgage mitigation is a fight over money. The banks have attorneys representing them and having the right foreclosure attorney on your side can mean the difference between losing your home to foreclosure and reaching an agreement that allows you to stay in the home with affordable payments.

3. Do it Yourself

loan modification applications are frustratingWhile this may seem an inviting option on its surface, it is not recommended.

If your bank indicates that they are willing to “work with you”, you should be suspicious. Most banks, especially the larger banks, are notorious for operating what is often referred to as the “dual-track” system. That is, while your request for assistance is “under review”, the bank is simultaneously moving forward with foreclosure proceedings. This is not some kind of evil plot, but rather banks deploying strategies that allow them to keep their options open and do what is best for them financially. This practice is now illegal in some states.

Loan Modification DenialsAlso, most of the programs available to homeowners today have rules which are difficult to follow and stringent deadlines which can result in the denial of your application if they are missed. Just keeping up with the process can become a full time job, even for an experienced foreclosure attorney! Many homeowners who choose this route end up having to hire a foreclosure attorney in the “11th hour”, in a last ditch attempt to save their home. If you have had difficulty applying for a mortgage relief assistance, or believe that you have wrongfully been denied, you should consult an experienced foreclosure attorney.

Many of the homeowners that end up hiring a foreclosure attorney report that they first attempted the process themselves, only to be denied any assistance. Many of these homeowners report that the amount of time and grief they invested makes them wish they had simply hired a foreclosure attorney from the start. The process of applying for assistance can be difficult and confusing. If you are planning on trying to deal directly with your bank, be ready for a rough road and some sleepless nights. Have no illusions! Banks have to protect their interests just as you do, and they have attorneys executing their strategies. Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable having an experienced foreclosure attorney on your side?

4. Do Nothing

Your first option is to simply do nothing. The foreclosure process will run its own course and you will eventually be evicted from the property. Taking this path will result in the most damage to your future. You will be forced to leave your home, and both the foreclosure and eviction will become matters of public record, listed on your credit report.

With all of the programs available to homeowners these days, this option does not make much sense. In addition, many homeowners have been given a false sense of security as a result of their prolonged stay in the house without making any payments. During the latter part of 2010 and continuing through 2011, lenders had difficulties with their foreclosure processes. Some unfavorable rulings on the “MERS issue” forced the banks to postpone foreclosure proceedings until they had all of their ducks in a row. It is at this stage that many banks engaged in the “robo-signing”, which is a nice way to say THE FABRICATION OF FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS! In 2012, we have already seen a dramatic increase of foreclosure starts, as banks push forward with their backlogs of foreclosures. At the same time, there are more programs available for distressed homeowners than ever before. In addition, many legal professionals now have extensive experience in mortgage mitigation and have taken up the cause of helping America’s families by offering affordable payment plans.

foreclosure alternative relocation assistance

Even if you can no longer afford your home, most lenders are willing to negotiate a settlement which will allow for a smooth transition that will not damage your credit the way a foreclosure and eviction will. Lenders are amenable to these solutions because it spares them the heavy costs of the foreclosure and eviction processes. Sometimes lenders offer cash for the return of the property.