Foreclosure Attorneys Serving Orange County & Los Angeles
Are you struggling to meet your current housing costs? Have you been blocked from modifying a crippling home loan? Or has your home lost so much value that you are unable to sell? If so, there are powerful legal tools available to help you, but many homeowners are not aware of them. Mortgage holders and banks count on you not knowing your rights.
At Oaktree Law, our Los Angeles foreclosure lawyers can help you defend yourself and your home against foreclosure with many options available. Our experience can help guard your family’s financial freedom and advise you as to which is the best path to take. Our firm is listed on hg.org, so you can rely on us to offer you impartial advice with your best interests in mind.
What is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a process in which a lender forces the sale of a home when a buyer defaults on their mortgage loan. That means if you fail to make payments, your home can be sold without your approval. A lender can put a lien against your home, which is often the first step towards foreclosure.
Lenders in California can use a nonjudicial foreclosure, meaning the process occurs outside of court. When there’s a power-of-sale clause in the deed of trust, the mortgage loan is secured because the trustee can sell the home to pay off the loan balance. The lender can request such action if the borrower defaults on their loan, although they cannot collect a deficiency judgement at this point. A judicial foreclosure, on the other hand, involves a lawsuit in which a court orders the home to be sold and auctioned off. It’s an option used when the mortgage or deed of trust has no power-of-sale clause.
Is your home in danger of foreclosure? Our Los Angeles foreclosure attorney can assess your situation and go over all the options.
In Q1 2018, foreclosure activity across the U.S. was down 19% over the previous year. California was one of 22 states with activity below pre-recession levels. By July 2018, over 13,400 homes were in foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac. This level was 8% higher than June and 11% over the same time in 2017.
If you are dealing with the potential for foreclosure, contact a Orange County or Los Angeles foreclosure lawyer who is familiar with the process. In California, it can last 200 days or longer, starting with the day you miss a payment. After 90 days, your loan is officially in default, and you’ll get a notice of trustee sale after 180 days. Your bank can set up the auction of your home 20 days later.
There are ways to escape foreclosure. If you can’t pay your debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Los Angeles liquidates your home, but you can file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to set up a repayment plan. Our foreclosure defense attorneys are here to help save your home and/or help you file for bankruptcy.
Foreclosure Alternatives: Help For Underwater Mortgages
There are alternatives to foreclosure that are designed to help homeowners escape crushing debt and stop foreclosure before a lawsuit begins. Our Orange County foreclosure attorneys are prepared to help with all of the potential options California law provides, including trial, if necessary. We can help you determine which option, foreclosure defense vs. bankruptcy, will be right for you.
If you’re not familiar with foreclosure defense law, we can guide you through the options that affect your property. These options include:
Loan Modification A loan modification is a process in which the bank allows a change in the terms of your existing mortgage to significantly lower your monthly payments, either temporarily or permanently.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Although Chapter 7 bankruptcy cannot permanently stop a foreclosure, buying you additional time to make a decision regarding the property, particularly when combined with a loan modification.
Short Sale Negotiation A short sale occurs when the property is sold for less than the loan amount with the cooperation of the lender. It permits more owner control over the process and according to Fannie Mae, less credit consequences than a foreclosure.
Mortgage Litigation Mortgage litigation can defend against foreclosure. Despite reports, it’s unlikely any homeowner can claim their home for free. However, receiving a loan modification, more time in the home or even some compensation is possible in certain cases.
If other options are not right for you, a consent foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure may be one way that you can be released from the mortgage without additional payments. This occurs when the lender agrees to take title to the property in exchange for your agreement to the foreclosure. When this happens, you will no longer be responsible for payment the deficiency on your loan.
Do I Get My Money Back If My Home Gets Foreclosed On?
You are entitled to money if the home sells for more than what is owned on the mortgage. That is minus penalties, attorney’s, and court fees as well as other possible expenses.
How Can I Stop the Foreclosure Process?
One way is to sell the house before the bank forecloses on it, which works if you have equity. If you receive a Notice of Default or Notice of Sale in the mail, or any other letter in the mail, you can:
- Reinstate the mortgage by paying all past due mortgage payments, penalties, and foreclosure costs.
- File for bankruptcy, which can sometimes stop the foreclosure process, and puts an automatic stay on collections.
- Apply for a loan modification in Los Angeles, which adjusts the interest rate and payment amount, and gives you more time.
Our foreclosure attorneys can help in other ways as well. A short sale can work, and save your credit score, if the lender approves of it. Our team specializes in short sale negotiation if Los Angeles if this is the route you choose.
Do I Still Owe Money After a Foreclosure?
Yes, you still owe the lender if the house doesn’t sell at the loan’s full value. A deficiency judgement may be collected for what you still owe, if your state permits such action. In California, you’re not liable for the deficiency of purchase-money loans, or in some cases, deficiencies involved in judicial foreclosures.
How Many Payments Can I Miss Before My House Gets Foreclosed On?
Once you miss four payments, you’re in danger of having your home foreclosed upon. You’ll be charged a late fee after your first missed payment, and are considered to be in default once you miss your second. A demand letter will be sent by 90 days. The foreclosure process will usually begin after four months, or 120 days.
If My House Gets Foreclosed On, Can the Bank Go After Other Property?
It is possible. If there is a remaining loan deficiency after the foreclosure, the lender may proceed with further collections, even if it involves foreclosing other residences. By court order, they can attach a lien to another property and foreclose it.
Will a Foreclosure Affect My Credit Score?
Missing just one credit payment can negatively affect your credit score. If you continuously miss mortgage payments, it can severely damage your personal credit. If you are facing foreclosure, one way to avoid severe penalties on your credit score is a short sale.
What Happens If My House Gets Sold for Less than What I Owe?
The lender can take further collections actions, and even sue you for the remaining amount. That’s why you need someone experienced with mortgage litigation in Los Angeles to help.
Save your home from foreclosure
If your mortgage is under water, don’t wait for lenders to make the first move. In order to say in your home and in control of negotiations, it is important to act before formal foreclosure proceedings begin. For some loans, a Notice of Default can be issued and foreclosure filings begun after only a few missed payments.
If you are at risk of defaulting on your mortgage, our Los Angeles foreclosure lawyers can help you manage the terms of your debt relief before the bank files a foreclosure action.
Call today to schedule a no-cost consultation (562) 219-2979 or contact us for more information.