Foreclosure Attorneys Serving Southern California
If you’re one of many homeowners in Southern California struggling with housing costs and paying home loans, you may need to consult with an Orange County foreclosure attorney. Legal assistance can help if your home has lost too much value to sell. Not knowing your legal rights puts you at a disadvantage when dealing with banks and mortgage loan lenders.
Statistics on Local Foreclosures
A lender can foreclose on your home if you default on your payments. This process is not uncommon in the region. In fact, one in every 3,081 properties in Orange County were in foreclosure, as of July 2018, the highest rates being in Silverado, Trabuco Canyon, Anaheim, Mission Viejo, and La Habra.
Of active foreclosure homes, 55.7% were in pre-foreclosure, while 28.4% were at the auction stage and 15.8% were already bank owned. All these numbers were down over the prior month and previous year, as were foreclosure filings, and the percentages for Orange County were also lower than the state and national average.
If you are in any of these situations, our foreclosure attorney in Orange County can help, because there are numerous ways to avoid foreclosure.
How Foreclosure Works
Miss a month or two of payments and you’ll likely just get a notice in the mail. If you continue to miss payments, the lender can put a lien against your home. This is often the first step towards foreclosure. In California, lenders usually go with a nonjudicial method, so you don’t go to court. A power-of-sale clause (in your deed of trust) gives the lender power to sell the home to pay off the balance of the loan if you default.
However, if there’s no power-of-sale clause, a judicial foreclosure is an option. Your home can then be sold as part of a lawsuit and court order.
State law determines when the foreclosure process begins. Generally, you will receive a Notice of Default 20 days after missing your fourth monthly payment. Your options then include reinstating the loan, but it often requires the help of a foreclosure lawyer to navigate the process.
How OakTree Law Can Help
Our foreclosure defense attorneys can represent you if you’re struggling to make monthly payments, or the lender is particularly aggressive. They also offer several alternatives to foreclosure that can directly address your situation and provide a solution to your struggles. OakTree Law can help you with:
- Loan Modification – The negotiating power of our attorneys provides you with the option of loan modification in Orange County. By changing the terms on your existing mortgage, you can potentially save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. It may be possible to extend the term, reduce your interest rate, or shift missed payments to the end of the loan term. Modification can prevent foreclosure and allow you to stay in your home.
- Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – Can eliminate debts if credit card payments, fees, or medical bills have overwhelmed you. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Orange County stops collection calls and allows you to retain your home, vehicles, appliances, pensions, etc. Many personal and real property are exempt, meaning you don’t have to give them up, while giving you a chance to start over free of your existing debt
- Short Sale Negotiation – Short sales have become a more acceptable norm to avoid foreclosure. The lender agrees to a property sale at a value less than the balance left on your mortgage. We can help with short sale negotiation in Orange County, so your credit is less impacted and there’s a greater chance your lender will approve of the short sale. Qualifying events include unemployment, a health crisis preventing you from working, employment relocation, business failure, divorce, or bankruptcy.
- Mortgage Litigation – We offer mortgage litigation in Orange County if your lender has initiated foreclosure action or has denied a loan modification. A lawyer’s defense can result in receiving a loan modification or getting more time in your home, or preventing foreclosure altogether. An attorney may use various defenses, including a lack of standing, possession of the original note, setoff, and failure to provide notice.
- Repayment Plans – You may have the option to set aside the rearrange, or part of your debt that’s overdue, over a one-year period. In this case it is divided into 12 monthly payments. Another possibility is a lump sum payment of one-half the past due amount. The rest will be paid out as part of an increase in your monthly mortgage payments.
- Deed in Lieu – By deeding your house back to the lender, the lender in return deems the loan fully satisfied. You won’t have further liability on the loan. It is still important to get the agreement in writing before the deed is executed. Once the process is complete, your home is saved from foreclosure.
- Refinancing – Refinancing your loan is a possibility if you have an adjustable rate mortgage. Your credit score must be decent to consider this. By refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage, you may have an easier time making monthly payments. However, a down payment may be required to be accepted.
- FHA – If you have an FHA loan, there may be other options to remedy your situation. These include loan modifications and disaster relief. For the exact options available to you, contact the FHA directly.
A foreclosure attorney in Orange County can help by challenging the trustee’s right to take over your home, especially if they violated Truth in Lending laws, engaged in wrongful foreclosure, or failed to follow applicable statutes. If you are facing the possibility of foreclosure, contact our Orange County foreclosure attorneys, who can go over options to prevent the lender from pursuing further collections and possibly save your home. Call 562-219-2979 to schedule a no-cost consultation with OakTree Law.