The professionals at Adams & Associates, P.A. are experienced at handling foreclosure proceedings. In some cases, we are able to secure new payment plans or advise on a sale of the property and find more advantageous solutions before foreclosure proceedings are necessary. In many situations, a Chapter 13 bankruptcy actually prevents the home from being foreclosed upon.
When homeowners receive a summons and complaint on their home, many don’t realize they can defend against the foreclosure proceeding. Defending yourself does not always mean that you do not have to repay the mortgage, but if you have equity in your home it may be protected. Regardless of the situation, you should act quickly because you may only have 20 days to respond to the summons.
If a borrower does not send in their monthly payment by the due date, they have defaulted on their mortgage and note. By defaulting on a mortgage, the lender has a right to bring a foreclosure action against the borrower under Chapter 702 of the Florida Statutes. A lender does not have to wait a predetermined period of time to begin proceedings. Once the homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage, the lender can begin foreclosure proceedings.
New federal and state laws protect borrowers when you face foreclosure and may allow you to stay in your home for a longer period of time to try to rectify the situation. Our attorneys are very knowledgeable of state and federal laws and have your best interest at heart. Have you received notice that foreclosure proceedings will begin on your home? The attorneys at Adams & Associates, P.A. can explain your legal rights and options and put those rights to work for you. Contact us today and find out how you may stop home foreclosure with the foreclosure laws of Florida.
Here are some potential circumstances that we will review that may help you in a foreclosure defense.
1. Due Process
Pursuant to state and federal laws, you have certain rights, among which are a thorough investigation of all legal documents presented by the lender to support their claim.
Under RESPA (Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act) lenders have three business days after the receipt of a written application to submit certain disclosures. If your loan was executed within the past three years, you may still be able to rescind your loan if the lender did not provide these disclosures in a timely manner.
3. Lost Notes
Many homeowners have been able to save their home because the lender was not able to produce a copy of the note. This happens in many cases in which the notes have been sold by the lender on the secondary market.
4. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS)
MERS is a privately held company that electronically records mortgages for lenders. However, MERS does not originate or service loans, and the question that we will uncover is who the actual holder of the mortgage is, MERS or the original lender?
5. Force-placed Insurance
When a borrower enters into a mortgage contract with a lender, property insurance is typically required. If these insurance policies lapse, in some cases the lender will purchase insurance on the borrowers behalf before they have the opportunity to purchase their own policies. In some instances, the lender will purchase insurance the homeowner does not need. These added expenses can sometimes cause financial hardship, ultimately leading the borrower to default on the loan.
6. Lost Payments
Is the lender pursuing foreclosure proceedings against you because they allege you missed a payment that you claimed to have made? We will review to ensure that all payments were property credited to your account.
7. Failure to Accelerate the Note
If you fail to pay a mortgage payment by its due date, the lender may invoke the acceleration clause in your note and require that the remaining payments on the note are due immediately. If your mortgage does not contain this clause, the lender can only foreclose on the past unpaid payments.
8. FHA-Insured Loans
If your mortgage is an FHA-insured loan, and you have missed a payment, you are entitled to speak to a FHA housing counselor. The homeowner should contact the FHA immediately as they can assist in working with you and the lender to help negotiate payment terms.
9. Accepting Payments After Foreclosure
If the borrower is not in bankruptcy and the lender accepts payments after filing foreclosure, there may be a defense to assist the borrower to allow them to bring the mortgage current and prevent the foreclosure.
10. Truth-in-Lending and HOEPA Violations
Truth-in-Lending and HOEPA (Home Owners Equity Protection Act) protect homeowners from predatory lenders. This usually applies to refinance or home-equity loans and requires that certain disclosures must be delivered to the homeowner within three business days. If a lender fails to follow the HOEPA guidelines, the homeowner can sue the lender and recover statutory damages.
11. Fraud, Abuse, Collusion
When a lender has issued false or misleading statements in an attempt to coerce a borrower into entering into a mortgage, the homeowner has a potential defense to prevent a foreclosure.
12. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The FDCPA is a U.S. statute added as part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act established to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of consumer debts. FDCPA allows consumers to obtain validation of debt information and ensure the information’s accuracy.
13. Failure to Attach Note and Mortgage to Complaint
If a lender filing foreclosure fails to attach a copy of the note and mortgage to the complaint, the complaint is subject to dismissal.
14. Incorrect Notice or Service
If a lender has filed a foreclosure notice, all information must be accurate. Verification of the accuracy of the information obtained in the document is a potential defense against foreclosure on your home. Before we determine the best course of action to defend against a foreclosure, we will perform a thorough review of your documents and the action filed against you. But time is of the essence and to properly strategize a defense against your lender, we must begin immediately. Please contact our office today to make an appointment for a complimentary evaluation.