Foreclosures: When to Consult an Attorney
In the United States, foreclosures are hitting an all-time high. What does this mean? It means that you may be impacted, if you haven’t already been. When it comes to foreclosures, many homeowners and renters do not know where to turn. There may come a point in time when you need to consult with or hire an attorney.
Most media attention surrounding foreclosures is focused on the property owner. Yes, many of the individuals facing foreclosure are owners of single-family homes that they live in, but not always. A large number of rental property owners are finding themselves in foreclosure. As a renter, you may be curious as to what your rights are. If you want professional assistance, an attorney should be contacted.
In keeping with renters facing eviction due to foreclosure, proper notice must be given. Regardless of who is trying to have you evicted, whether it be the bank or the new property owner, proper notification is a must. In most states, a written, legal eviction notice is needed. Depending on your state, you may be given up to a month or more to move. Generally, you will not be expected to move out overnight. Also, until an eviction notice has been served, you cannot have your belongings moved from your apartment or have your utilities shut off. If this occurs, contact an attorney right away.
If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, it may be in your best interest to consult with an attorney right away. As soon as your bank issues intent of foreclosure, it is best to explore your legal options. Remember, however, that you may want to work out an agreement with your financial lender, as they too want to avoid foreclosure.
One of the many reasons why you are encouraged to contact a lawyer, namely one who specializes in foreclosure, is because they have legal tricks up their sleeve. A lawyer can help you stop foreclosure proceedings in their tracks. One of the ways that this is done is by declaring bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can temporarily put a hold on foreclosure proceedings. In some states, homeowners can receive protection when filing for bankruptcy, meaning that their home cannot be touched. Since there are various rules and restrictions concerning this exemption, professional legal advice is recommended.
Unfortunately, another issue that homeowners facing foreclosure have to deal with are foreclosure scams. There are individuals and companies out there who claim to be professionals who can help you get back on track. They may offer to buy your home or and draft up a new mortgage for you. Many times though, homeowners end up paying more money than before. Do not let yourself become a victim and if you do, contact an attorney immediately.
Better yet, companies implementing the above mentioned foreclosure scams will require that you sign documents, which may essentially turn over ownership to them. Never sign anything without reading it yourself, but have an attorney take a look as well. When doing so, do not use the lawyer recommended to you. Instead, choose a lawyer that is locally based and well-known and trusted throughout your community. Ask those that you know for recommendations or find ratings and reviews online.
As previously stated, you may want to contact an attorney who specializes in foreclosures as soon as you spot trouble on the horizon. This is important, as even the best lawyers have their hands tied when the foreclosure proceedings actually start. Remember that a warning of intend to start foreclosure, does not mean that the process has already started. That is why it is vital that you seek professional advice as soon as possible.
In short, a lawyer specializing in foreclosures can provide legal assistance to both renters and homeowners. Don’t let yourself fall victim to foreclosure scams or get taken advantage of by your financial lender or landlord; be sure to seek legal help and do it fast.