If you’ve fallen behind on mortgage payments and have received a Notice of Default (NOD) from your lender, foreclosure is still not inevitable. There are several ways a Los Angeles foreclosure attorney can help you delay or stop further action. Sometimes, the lender will be open to a deal, since it’s usually better for them to compromise than proceed with the foreclosure process.
If you are looking for how to stop foreclosure, here are a few options:
When financial challenges get in the way, don’t wait until the last minute. You can apply for a loan modification. Foreclosure will be permanently stopped once the application is approved. So long as you make payments in your modified plan, you will keep your home. In California, state laws forbid dual tracking, in which the foreclosure process proceeds despite having a pending loss mitigation application.
File a Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit against the lender can delay or stop a foreclosure. Available if your lender uses a nonjudicial process, a lawsuit can work in your favor if the lender does not act in good faith. Lawsuits, however, can be expensive; and, if you can’t prove your case, foreclosure will only be delayed and/or you could be responsible for paying the lender’s court and attorneys’ fees.
A short sale can save your lender precious time and effort, especially in a soft market. An offer from a buyer must come after the NOD is filed but before your lender schedules an auction. Seeking a buyer after foreclosure starts can work in your favor. It enables you to pitch the idea to your lender and offer a better alternative, should they accept your proposal.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
You can voluntarily sign the deed to the home back to your bank. Lenders often shun a deed in lieu fearing the borrower is falsely claiming financial hardship, and for various other reasons. Although it can be worth trying, a deed in lieu can affect your credit as much as foreclosure.
Even if your loan isn’t assumable, your lender may be persuaded to delete the “due on sale” clause, modify the loan, and allow a new buyer to assume it. If the buyer can offer a down payment or make monthly lease payments, you might have enough to pay off a past due balance. The buyer becomes your tenant and you avoid foreclosure until they can assume ownership of the home.
Filing for bankruptcy puts an automatic stay on a foreclosure sale, even if it’s just days away. The lender can no longer foreclose on your home or try to collect debt. They can file a motion for relief from the stay, but this requires permission from the court and still delay the foreclosure process for a month or two.
With Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can restructure your debts (including delinquent mortgage payments) and repay them with a three- to five-year plan. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can save your home if you are already in foreclosure; it delays proceedings and you don’t need to make payments. If you go through foreclosure, Chapter 7 can eliminate your obligation to pay the remaining mortgage debt.
Are you looking for foreclosure help or possible ways to stop or delay proceedings? OakTree Law provides a range of foreclosure services and helps clients decide on the best options for them. To speak to our Los Angeles or Orange County foreclosure attorney, call 562-219-2979 or request your free evaluation online today.