Foreclosure Attorney Los Angeles
Despite the promising economic growth the U.S. has seen over the past several years, foreclosures continue to happen in California and across the country. And as we head into what is expected to be the worst recession since the Great Depression, it is more important than ever for homeowners to be aware of the risk of foreclosure and their options for avoiding it. If you are facing foreclosure in Los Angeles, we are here to tell you that you are not alone, and the threat of foreclosure is not impossible to overcome. At ibankruptcyattorneys.com, our attorneys understand how devastating the thought of losing your home can be for you and your family and we will do everything in our power to help you avoid foreclosure. We have extensive experience helping individuals and families in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California weigh their options for avoiding foreclosure, which may include loan modification, debt settlement, deed in lieu of foreclosure, a short sale or bankruptcy, among other possible debt-relief options. To learn more about alternatives to foreclosure in Los Angeles, contact ibankruptcyattorneys.com and schedule a free consultation with our reputable foreclosure defense attorneys.
Compassionate Los Angeles Foreclosure Attorneys
Foreclosure is a legal process in which a mortgage holder or lender attempts to recover the balance due on a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments by forcing the sale of the borrower’s property, and in some cases, bankruptcy, loan modification, debt settlement, deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sale can help homeowners burdened by debt avoid foreclosure and get the second chance they so desperately need. Every foreclosure case in Los Angeles is different, so the best way to get customized assistance is to speak to an attorney who can make recommendations based on your unique circumstances. In the meantime, our best advice to you is this: If you are upside down on your mortgage, do not, under any circumstances, wait for your mortgage holder to make the first move. If you want to stay in your home, you need to be proactive and take action before the official foreclosure process begins, and a good first step is hiring a competent Los Angeles foreclosure defense attorney to represent your case. At ibankruptcyattorneys.com, our foreclosure attorneys are passionate about helping Los Angeles homeowners resolve their overwhelming debt and achieve financial freedom. If you are at risk for foreclosure, we can help you figure out what you next step should be.
What Do I Need to Know About Foreclosure?
If you default on your mortgage loan and the bank forecloses, you could lose your home. Even worse, if the bank forces a foreclosure sale and the proceeds from the sale aren’t enough to cover the full amount due on the loan, you could still owe money after the foreclosure. If that is the case, the bank could come after you for the deficiency, or the unpaid balance on the loan, even if it means foreclosing on other properties you own. In the state of California, you are not liable for the deficiency if the foreclosure is a nonjudicial foreclosure, meaning the lender forecloses without going to court.
What Triggers a Foreclosure?
There are any number of factors that can lead to foreclosure in Los Angeles. Often, homeowners facing foreclosure are experiencing a financial hardship that has caused them to fall behind on their mortgage payments. Job loss, unexpected illness, divorce, reduced income or the death of a loved one are some examples of potential setbacks that can increase the risk of foreclosure for homeowners. Unfortunately, if you have missed several months of mortgage payments or you have stopped paying altogether, it won’t take long for your mortgage lender to initiate foreclosure proceedings against you. Here are the foreclosure basics: In California, the foreclosure process can take 200 days or longer, beginning on the first day you miss a mortgage payment. After 90 days of missed payments, you have officially defaulted on your mortgage loan. After 180 days, you will receive a notice of trustee sale. Twenty days later, your home could go up for auction. Two hundred days may seem like a long time to figure out how to stop the foreclosure process, but for homeowners who are drowning in debt they can’t afford to pay, 200 days is no time at all.
How to Avoid a Foreclosure in Los Angeles
Defaulting on your mortgage loan is a difficult financial position to be in and it can be a challenge to come back from, but it doesn’t mean losing your home is a foregone conclusion. There are powerful legal tools you may be able to use to stop the foreclosure, but you can’t do it alone. You need a reputable legal advocate on your side who knows how to help you stay in your home and deal with lenders hoping to profit from your distress. If your mortgage holder can foreclose on your home and recoup some of its losses, there isn’t much incentive for the lender to not force a foreclosure sale, which is why you need an aggressive foreclosure defense attorney on your side arguing your case. Our legal team at ibankruptcyattorneys.com knows the ins and outs of California foreclosure law and we can provide you with sound legal advice. We also know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stopping foreclosure. The following are some strategies you may be able to use to prevent a foreclosure, depending on your specific situation.
If you are facing foreclosure and wondering if it would benefit you to file for bankruptcy, the answer is quite possibly yes. When you file for bankruptcy in Los Angeles, the court orders an automatic stay, which temporarily bars creditors from initiating or continuing collection actions against you, including foreclosure proceedings. In this way, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, also known as a reorganization bankruptcy or wage earner’s plan, can pause foreclosure proceedings and give you the time you need to make up for past-due payments on your mortgage. During your Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you will propose a repayment plan that enables you to repay missed mortgage payments over a three- to five-year period, while continuing to make your regular monthly payments. If you complete the repayment plan, any remaining unsecured debts you have will be discharged when the repayment period is over. You may also be able to use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to strip a junior lien from your property, if you have a second or third mortgage on your home.
Depending on the extent of the debts you owe and the willingness of your creditors to work with you, you may be able to negotiate a debt settlement as an alternative to foreclosure. A debt settlement is an agreement between a lender and borrower in which the lender agrees to resolve the borrower’s debt for less than the full amount owed on the debt. This applies to credit card debt, tax debts and second mortgage debts. Second mortgages are also known as junior liens, and these types of loans are secured by the equity in the property. If your home has negative equity, meaning the property is worth less than the principal balance owed on the original mortgage, your second mortgage is no longer secured, and if the original mortgage lender forecloses on the property, the junior lienholder would likely get nothing in the foreclosure sale. Or, if you decide to file for bankruptcy, the second mortgage would be categorized as unsecured debt subject to discharge. By negotiating a debt settlement, you can significantly reduce your debt and your lender can avoid losing everything in a foreclosure or bankruptcy, which may be enough incentive for the lender to accept a settlement. A debt settlement also protects you against any future attempts by the lender to hold you liable for the unpaid portion of the debt.
Another way you may be able to avoid foreclosure in Los Angeles is to make your mortgage payments more manageable by changing the terms of your existing loan. This is known as loan modification and it can be accomplished by reducing the balance on the loan, lowering the interest rate, or extending the repayment term, among other options. Negotiating a loan modification can be a complex process and not all homeowners qualify, so your best bet is to discuss the option with a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney.
If your property value has decreased and you can’t sell your home to pay off what you owe on your mortgage loan, you may be able to avoid foreclosure by proposing a short sale. A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to allow the borrower to sell a property that is underwater (worth less than the principal balance on the mortgage loan) to a third party for the fair market value of the property, rather than the full amount due on the loan. A short sale gives the borrower more control over the sale of the property and avoids a forced foreclosure sale. Moreover, any lender that agrees to a short sale is barred from pursuing the borrower for the deficiency, or the difference between the amount owed on the mortgage loan and the funds the lender receives in the short sale.
Deed in Lieu
If foreclosure is imminent and you have no other options for stopping it, you might consider a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Rather than going through formal foreclosure proceedings, which can be costly and time-consuming, you may be able to sign over the deed to the property to the lender. If your lender agrees to a deed in lieu of foreclosure transaction, you are released from the mortgage without having to make any additional payments. Essentially, you get to walk away from the property and any outstanding balance on the mortgage loan. When this happens, the lender is prohibited from pursuing you for any future deficiency liabilities.
Do I Need a Foreclosure Defense Attorney?
Dealing with the stress and uncertainty that goes along with foreclosure proceedings is enough of a challenge, you don’t want to also put precious time and energy into figuring out how to settle your debts, negotiate a loan modification or file for bankruptcy. The best way to deal with the threat of foreclosure in Los Angeles is to enlist the help of a reputable foreclosure defense attorney who specializes in foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings. A knowledgeable foreclosure lawyer can review your assets and debts and determine whether Chapter 13 bankruptcy or some other debt-relief solution is right for you. Bankruptcy is often treated like a dirty word or an embarrassing secret, but there is no reason to be ashamed of the fact that you are considering bankruptcy or another strategy to stop foreclosure. Plenty of homeowners in Southern California are in the same situation and are looking for ways to protect their homes and achieve real debt relief. Taking proactive steps towards managing your debt and regaining control of your finances is admirable and responsible, and we are happy to help you work towards attaining your financial goals.
Contact Our Foreclosure Attorneys in Los Angeles
If you are facing foreclosure proceedings in Los Angeles, you are not alone. Our compassionate foreclosure defense attorneys at ibankruptcyattorneys.com will stand up for your rights, ensure that your best interests are protected, and show you the respect and compassion you deserve. Too often, we see homeowners struggling to get out from under crippling debt taken advantage of by money-hungry lenders. You worked hard to buy a house and made sacrifices to turn it into a home for your family, and our attorneys will do whatever we can to keep the bank from taking that away from you. The process can be complex and stressful, but we will take care of every detail and work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you. At ibankruptcyattorneys.com, we are more than just bankruptcy attorneys; we are a comprehensive debt-relief firm committed to finding creative, practical solutions to our clients’ debt troubles, and saving homes from foreclosure is our top priority. Contact our Los Angeles foreclosure defense attorneys today to find out what we can do for you.