Facing foreclosure can be frightening. If you are behind on mortgage payments or know that you will be soon, you are not alone.
Chances are, if you are behind on your mortgage you are regularly receiving mail from companies that promise a mortgage modification under a federal government program. Many claim that you will be part of a massive lawsuit because you were defrauded and say you will get to keep your home for free. Unfortunately, the more official-looking the notice, the more likely it is a scam. If you think it came from the government, call the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP to verify. If you think it came from your lender, call them to verify.
Whatever you do, do not pay up front for a mortgage modification. It is against Florida law for anyone to charge up front for mortgage modification services unless they are lawyers providing other services to you, like foreclosure defense. Also, never hire any company that promises to coordinate or arrange legal representation. Unless you have so many lawsuits going on that you need a litigation coordinator, you should have a direct relationship with your attorney. Any relationship your attorney has with an intermediary could become a conflict of interest.
Should you try a short sale? What about a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure? Could you make your payment if they gave you a mortgage modification reducing the principal balance to current market value? We can explain your options in a free consultation at our Melbourne office.
Mortgage foreclosure is a serious matter that will have lasting consequences on your credit and could result in a substantial deficiency judgment. Even if you did fail to pay your debt, you may have defenses available to you. Defending your foreclosure may give you time and leverage to negotiate with your lender. An experienced foreclosure defense attorney can protect your rights and help you decide on a path to get through foreclosure with as little damage as possible, potentially saving you thousands of dollars and avoiding bankruptcy.
It is important that you act quickly. You have a limited amount of time after being served with a summons and complaint in which to file a response, or a default judgment may be entered against you. Applying for a modification or submitting a short sale offer does not stop the court from entering a default. Call our Melbourne office today for a free consultation and we can help you create a plan which can include applying for modification, participating in court-ordered mediation, and/or obtaining approval for a short sale.