ONE MILLION homeowners had their homes foreclosed in 2010, a record setting year. Projections are for even more in 2011. Isn’t that mind-boggling? We have created a class of people who can’t buy a house for years, frequently because they were sold a loan they never should have taken. Predatory lending, deceptive terms and fees and even outright fraud was rampant up until (and unfortunately, even following) the housing crash in 2007-2008. These practices have affected homeowners of all stripes, backgrounds and income levels.
Up until recently, foreclosure attorneys almost exclusively worked for the big lenders. They processed files and paperwork, frequently fraudulently, in huge volumes – hence being dubbed ‘foreclosure mills’. They got paid on volume, and so incentives existed to cut corners. Suffice it to say, they relied on unknowing homeowners without access to information, knowledge or adequate representation. That era is now over.
If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, or perhaps are at imminent risk of default and would like to take proactive steps to defend yourself against the possibility of a foreclosure sale, there are now alternatives for you.
Mediation, preliminary injunctions/TRO’s, affirmative claims based on various federal and state consumer protection statutes like RESPA and TILA, and strategic defenses based on the foreclosure process may apply. Check out the information on our Legal Developments page to learn more about each of these legal rights.
Foreclosure defense is a growing field. Foreclosure defense attorneys are developing and implementing new legal theories across the country with high degrees of success to postpone, cancel and even reverse foreclosure sales. In Michigan and Oregon, for example, homeowners recently won court battles to reverse foreclosures based on improper sales by MERS, the entity through which most lenders transfer loans.
Even if you have defaulted on your mortgage, you still have legal rights! The most important asset you have though is time – the longer you wait to get help, the fewer options will exist and the harder it will be to get help.