Foreclosure Lawyer Serving Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Redding, Oakland, and Long Beach
For homeowners throughout California, owning a home is the American dream, while losing a home to foreclosure is a worst-case scenario. With California homeowners struggling with payments after recent economic turmoil, foreclosures are happening more often than you might think. Many families have lost their homes due to a foreclosure and many more are facing foreclosure now because they can’t keep up with their monthly mortgage payments.
If you have struggles to stay current on your mortgage, the best way to avoid a foreclosure is to hire an experienced foreclosure prevention and defense attorney. There are a number of alternatives to foreclosure that may be available to you and other homeowners depending on the facts in your case, which is why we always recommend enlisting the help of a knowledgeable attorney when faced with the foreclosure process. At Talkov Law Corp., our foreclosure defense lawyers are extremely knowledgeable in helping our clients avoid foreclosure. If you are worried about a foreclosure on your real estate, we can help you protect your home or business while getting your financial life back on track.
What is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure occurs when a homeowner fails to pay the mortgage on their personal property. When you take out a mortgage loan to purchase a property, your home becomes collateral for the loan. You agree to make monthly payments on the mortgage until you have paid back the total debt. If you default on a mortgage loan, the lender can take possession of the property and sell it to recover all or a portion of the outstanding debt. If the proceeds from the property sale are not sufficient enough to pay off the loan, the borrower may be held liable for the difference unless California’s anti-deficiency laws, which can apply when the loan was related to an owner-occupied property. In summary, foreclosure is the legal process by which the owner of the property is forced to forfeit all rights to the home due to defaulting (failing to make a payment) on a mortgage loan.
For more information about foreclosure laws in California, review the foreclosure Process in Civil Code section 2924.
The Foreclosure Process
In the United States, there are two types of foreclosures—non-judicial and judicial.
Nonjudicial foreclosure is the most frequent type of foreclosure in California. In a non-judicial foreclosure, the trustee has the authority to sell the home from a power-of-sale clause in the deed of trust that secures the mortgage loan to pay off the loan balance if the borrower defaults.
The nonjudicial foreclosure procedure, which majority of foreclosures in California apply under, is as follows:
- Missed payment: The first step in the foreclosure process is a missed mortgage payment. If you fail to make a mortgage payment, there is typically a grace period in which your bank will assess a late fee and send you a reminder. You can make up the payment the following month, but fees and interest can make it tough to catch up on payments.
- Notice of Default: When your home mortgage is officially in default (typically 90 days for most mortgage loans), the lender will file a Notice of Default in the county where your home is based. The Notice of Default is a legal document informing you that the loan is in default. It will also include details regarding your options for getting out of default. This notice marks the beginning of the formal and public foreclosure process
- Before filing a Notice of Default, the lender MUST contact you or any person on the mortgage loan to make a foreclosure avoidance assessment. They will assess your financial situation and figure out your options to avoid foreclosure.
- The lender is unable to start the foreclosure process until at least 30 days after contacting you to make the assessment. You can authorize a foreclosure attorney to speak on your behalf.
- Notice of Trustee Sale: After receiving a Notice of Default, you have 90 days to pay what is owed. You have the chance to get your loan current, which means catching up on your payments, including property taxes, insurance, interest and fees. If you fail to do so, a Notice of Trustee Sale will be sent to you. The Notice of Trustee Sale means the lender can legally and officially set a date to sell your home at auction in 21 days.
- Auction: When the 21 days after the date when the Notice of Trustee Sale is up, your property can be sold at a public auction to the highest bidder. You have up until 5 days before the foreclosure sale to bring your mortgage loan to current and stop the process.
Judicial foreclosure is a very rare type of foreclosure in California. Unlike non-judicial foreclosure, there is no power-of-sale clause in the mortgage or deed of trust. Therefore, it involves filing a lawsuit to get a court order to sell the home.
Implications of Foreclosure
Foreclosure can be a strenuous, difficult and complex process for a someone to go through. Not only will you lose your home but, also face other long-lasting consequences such as:
- Potentially still owing debt to the lender if the sale of the property does not cover the entire mortgage loan amount
- Serious hit to your credit score rating, which will remain on your credit report for seven years, if not longer
- Difficulty in acquiring a line of credit or any type of loans in the future
How to Avoid Foreclosure
If you are at risk for foreclosure, there are steps you can take to get current on your loan and avoid foreclosure. Even if the lender has sent you a Notice of Default, foreclosure can still be avoidable! There are various ways in which you can stop foreclosure:
- Bring the loan current – If you catch up on your past-due mortgage payments, you can get the loan reinstated and prevent foreclosure.
- Obtain a loan modification – If your lender agrees to modify the terms of your mortgage loan, you could receive temporary financial relief from making monthly payments, extend the life of the loan or get your interest rate reduced and end up paying less each month.
- File a lawsuit against the lender – Depending on the circumstances of the foreclosure proceeding, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the lender for wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, fraud or negligence. Such an action should only be taken where there are legitimate defects in the loan origination, servicing, or title process.
- Arrange A Short Sale of Your Property – If your home is worth less than the amount you owe, you may qualify for a short sale of your property, meaning your lender may agree to let you sell the home for less than the remaining balance on the loan.
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure – If you do not want to keep your home, you can avoid foreclosure by requesting that the bank or lender take the property back. The transferring the deed to the property directly to the lender is a process known as a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
- Consider Filing for bankruptcy – Filing for bankruptcy can stop all foreclosure action. Consulting with a bankruptcy lawyer allows for considering whether this legal tool may be of benefit as a result of the automatic stay, which puts an immediate stop toward any collection actions against you. Bankruptcy reorganizations may allow you to catch up on your mortgage through bankruptcy plan payments and free up some cash to help pay your mortgage loan.
No matter what stage you are at in the foreclosure process, you still have options to avoid foreclosure. If you aren’t sure which method to stop a foreclosure to take, the expert attorneys at Talkov Law can help you decide what your best course of action is.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Foreclosure?
Facing the threat of foreclosure represents a major financial crisis for homeowners and it can be difficult to know what to do or where to turn for help. Hiring an experienced foreclosure lawyer will alleviate any unnecessary stress as they help navigate you through the legal process and provide you with the best option for your situation. A foreclosure defense attorney has the expertise to help maximize your chances of saving your home. The earlier you hire a foreclosure defense lawyer to represent your case, the better your chances of success in avoiding foreclosure.
An attorney can potentially stop foreclosure proceedings, reduce monthly payments, obtain a loan modification, pursue loss mitigation or help file for bankruptcy. If you are looking to find a solution to your impending foreclosure and take action to delay or reverse it, hiring an experienced attorney will provide you the best chance in achieving your ideal outcome.
Contact a Trusted Foreclosure Defense Attorney in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Redding, Oakland, and Long Beach Today
Losing your home to a foreclosure proceeding can be a frightening thought. Don’t let a job loss or any other unforeseen financial crises put your hard work and money towards your personal property go to waste. Whatever challenges you may be facing, our experienced and dedicated foreclosure defense lawyers at Talkov Law will help guide you through foreclosure and assist you in taking the best course of action to protect your home as well as the equity in your home.
Our attorneys have vast experience in foreclosure cases throughout the State of California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, and the Silicon Valley. By scheduling a free initial consultation with our legal team, we will evaluate your case and explain your foreclosure options. Call the experienced real estate attorneys at Talkov Law at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568) or contact us online for a free consultation about your case!