In Long Island, as in other areas of the country, falling behind on mortgage payments is a major fear of many homeowners. Whether they live in a freestanding house, a co-op, or a condo, no one wants to lose all the hard work and sacrifice that went into their home purchase. Yet, the current financial climate has brought an increased number of homeowners face to face with this intimidating situation.
Before Proceedings Start
The ideal time to prevent a foreclosure is before the proceedings even begin. Homeowners should seek legal help as soon as they realize that they are falling behind on their mortgage payments. Most lenders will send a “pre-notification” that they are contemplating starting a foreclosure case. This gives the homeowner time to get legal help to stop the process before it starts.
After the Summons
The first major step of a foreclosure in Suffolk County is the Summons and Complaint. The homeowner has a very limited amount of time to respond after being served with the summons. Therefore, if not already contacted, an experienced foreclosure lawyer should be retained immediately. Although there is a definite urgency to respond to the summons, the overall case will take several months to resolve, so the homeowner need not fear an immediate expulsion from their dwelling.
Lines of Defense
In Nassau County, there are a number of tactics a qualified lawyer can use to battle the foreclosure. An initial step is to determine if the lender is actually qualified to petition for the foreclosure. In most cases, the mortgage has been sold to another lender from the one with whom the homeowner originally contracted. If a lawyer can prove that the proper transfer paperwork was not completed, the lender will not be allowed to file for foreclosure. Even if the proceedings are legal, a homeowner still has several other options. They may be able to sell their home or negotiate a short sale. Many individuals in Long Island have successfully obtained loan modifications that reduce their monthly payments to an affordable level. A homeowner may even declare bankruptcy and thus negotiate an extended period to repay the delinquent payments.
Despite the fears that thoughts of foreclosure can elicit, homeowners in Suffolk County and Nassau County can obtain skilled legal counsel and a vigorous defense from the experienced representatives of Witkon Law. Don’t let inexperience or ignorance cause you to lose your home. Contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation.
To schedule an appointment contact us by email or feel free to call our office at (516) 699-8411 or toll free at (800) 774-5976.