If your home is in foreclosure or nearing foreclosure, you may wonder if there is anything you can do to stop the foreclosure process and save your home. A consultation with a foreclosure attorney can help you understand some of your options to either slow or stop the foreclosure process. Here are a few tips to follow when hiring foreclosure attorney services.
1. Hire an Attorney Sooner Rather Than Later
When you're dealing with a stressful experience like foreclosure, it's a smart decision to consult with an attorney as soon as you think your home as headed to foreclosure. This will give you a chance to meet with several attorneys, explore all of your options, and craft a plan that you are comfortable with.
Generally, the more time your attorney has, the more potential solutions you have for delaying or stopping your foreclosure. It's vital to take action before your bank sales your home at auction; after this point, it's very difficult to get your property back.
2. Be Realistic With Your Expectations
It's important to have realistic expectations when hiring a foreclosure lawyer. Your lawyer can't change the facts or circumstances leading up to your foreclosure or have your past-due mortgage balance magically forgiven.
An attorney can help you make sure that the foreclosing bank is following the proper foreclosure procedures. For example, the bank must follow the timeline and requirements specified by your state's laws. Your bank should be able to prove that it owns your loan and is legally able to foreclose on the property.
If the bank has made a legitimate error, either intentionally or accidentally, when servicing your account, such as crediting your payments to the wrong account or charging illegal fees, your attorney can halt the foreclosure process with legal proceedings and assist you with remedying these errors.
Some banks try to repossess the house before the foreclosure proceedings are complete. This is called premature lockout, and it is not allowed. Contact an attorney immediately if the bank changes your locks or removes your belongings before the foreclosure process is complete.
3. Understand the Payment Requirements
Before you sign a contract with an attorney, make sure you fully understand all of the costs associated with using their services. Some foreclosure attorneys charge their clients a flat fee that encompasses all of the work they'll do for your case. Other attorneys charge an hourly fee for their work, while some require a monthly fee for each month the foreclosure is listed as pending.
Ask if your attorney charges a contingency fee. A contingency fee is an additional cost that you have to pay if your attorney can successfully stop your foreclosure. If you're thinking about hiring a foreclosure attorney, click here to learn more.