Are you facing foreclosure on your home? This is not uncommon with the current economic situation in Texas and across the country. Sometimes you experience changes to your income or budget after buying a home and find that you can no longer afford the mortgage payment you once could. It only takes a few missed payments before you find yourself in a difficult financial situation where you can’t seem to get caught up.
No one wants to go through foreclosure, but sometimes it is the best and easiest way to to get out of an upside down mortgage. And it is important to remember that even though you are responsible for the foreclosure, you still have rights in the process. A real estate lawyer can help you through the foreclosure process and ensure your rights as a homeowner are protected.
Step 1: Preforeclosure
Before you enter the official foreclosure process, there is a period of time referred to as preforeclosure. During this time the loan servicer (mortgage lender) can charge a variety of fees. They are also required to inform you of options to avoid foreclosure and send you a breach letter. The breach letter is the official warning that foreclosure is imminent if you do not make your loan payments. At this point it is helpful to work with a lawyer to explore options for avoiding foreclosure or to determine whether or not to go through with the foreclosure.
Step 2: The Foreclosure Process Begins
Texas law states that foreclosure cannot take place until the loan is 120 days past due, with a few exceptions. If the lender decides to pursue foreclosure, there are two ways to do so:
- Judicial Foreclosure. In this case the lender files a lawsuit petitioning the court for permission to sell the home. If you respond in writing the case will go to court where it will be decided whether or not the foreclosure sale will take place.
- Nonjudicial Foreclosure. The more common option, a nonjudicial foreclosure is done without the court’s involvement. The lender must follow the state mandated protocol for pursuing a foreclosure, including sending a breach letter and giving the homeowner the necessary time to bring the loan current. If the past due payments are not made, the home may be sold.
How to Stop a Foreclosure on Your Home
If you want to fight your foreclosure and attempt to stop it from taking place, there are a few options:
- Reinstate the Loan. If you are able to make up all of the past due payments within 20 days of the date you receive the notice of default, the loan can be reinstated. Your loan documents may also include a deed of trust that allows you more time to make up your payments and get the loan reinstated.
- Redeem the Property. You can also attempt to redeem the property before the foreclosure sale. In order to do this you must pay the full amount of the mortgage before the property is sold.
- File for Bankruptcy. By filing for bankruptcy you can delay or stop the foreclosure. If you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you can delay the foreclosure process by a few months to give yourself some time to find a new home or place to rent. If you file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may be able to keep your home.
A foreclosure lawyer can help you determine what option would be best for you. The foreclosure process can be complex and lenders often take advantage of homeowners who don’t know their rights in the process. If you want to stay in your home, you need the help of an experienced real estate attorney because once your home is sold in a foreclosure sale, you won’t be able to get it back.
Looking for a Foreclosure Lawyer in Austin, TX? Contact Kelly Legal Group
Are you behind on a few house payments? Have you received a breach letter or a letter of default? The sooner you contact a foreclosure lawyer, the better your chances of keeping your home. A lawyer can also help you to avoid other negative consequences of foreclosure and secure more time to get your affairs in order. Kelly Legal Group has extensive experience in real estate law, protecting homeowners rights and helping families stay in their homes.