If you’ve fallen behind on your house payments and your lender has sent you an intent to foreclose on your property, you must act quickly! You still have options available to help you stay in your house. If you do not respond in the foreclosure action within 20 or 30 days. you are automatically in default. This removes your right to force the foreclosing bank to prove their case. As long as you act quickly, you will retain your right to try to keep your house and avoid losing it to your lender. The harder you fight in the foreclosure action, the more likely your are to get a modification in the foreclosure process.
In New York, foreclosures are judicial proceedings, which means they take place in court with a judge presiding. Because your lender has to prove the claim it court, it can be more difficult for them to be granted the foreclosure. Your lender has to file a lawsuit to foreclose, so you will receive a summons and have a chance to respond. It is extremely important that you provide a response within 20 or 30 days of receipt of action; otherwise, you forfeit all your rights to the house.
How to Respond to a Foreclosure Summons
There are a couple of ways you can handle a foreclosure action. You could request a loan modification from your lender, and if they agree, you could get your monthly payments or your interest rate reduced. But modification is not the only option: before you request modified mortgage terms, you should consider bringing a defense against the foreclosure. In recent years, homeowners have successfully defended against foreclosure proceedings, due to the recent predatory lending activities of many mortgage companies. A foreclosure defense could allow you to walk away with some equity in your house and some cash still in your pocket.
Defenses against a Foreclosure
Bringing a defense against the foreclosure is basically where you prove in court that the lender should not win their case. Some common defenses include:
1. You were improperly served the summons.
2. The lender served a summons to an active member of the military. Active service members have certain protections in place to keep these incident from occurring while they are serving the country.
3. The lender did not complete or serve the 90-day pre-foreclosure notice correctly.
4. Your lender has no right to sue because the terms of your loan are unfair or illegal. If you lender knowingly sold you on a loan that you didn’t completely understand, or that you were financially incapable of being able to pay, they cannot bring action against you.
To see even more defense options, look at the New York Unified Court System’s website.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Attorney
A foreclosure can be a terrifying situation; if you are facing the possibility of you and your loved ones becoming homeless, you should fight for your home. Luckily, you do not need to do it alone. As one of the few bankruptcy attorneys who can also provide foreclosure defense services to his clients, Thomas M. Denaro, Esq. has considerable knowledge of the mortgage industry needed to help you fight to keep your home. Moreover, we can offer you a flat fee on your case and a reasonable payment plan. For a free initial telephone consultation, call us today at 718-863-6000.