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Foreclosure Strategies

deal with a foreclosure

The best way to deal with a foreclosure is to take aggressive legal action when the foreclosure lawsuit is started and at the same time actively participate in the mortgage modification process. By both fighting the lawsuit, suing the financial institution to set the mortgage aside and working with the financial institution and their attorneys regarding a mortgage modification provides the best possibility of successfully seeing to it the homeowners to continue to live in their homes.

Mortgage Modification

The homeowners can apply for a mortgage modification before they are sued in foreclosure. If the homeowners finds themselves in financial difficulty they should immediately apply for a mortgage modification and submit a hardship letter to the bank explaining their financial difficulties. A mortgage modification can reduce monthly mortgage payments the homeowner has to make and in addition arrears owed to the financial institution can be placed at the end of the mortgage.

Litigating the Foreclosure Lawsuit

When served with the summons and complaint in a foreclosure lawsuit the homeowners should immediately retain competent experienced foreclosure defense lawyers. The attorneys for the homeowner should put in an answer including numerous affirmative defenses and counterclaims seeking to set the mortgage aside. Discovery applications requesting the financial institution to turn over all relevant documents related to the application, underwriting and processing of the mortgage should be instituted.

Foreclosure Sale

If the homeowner’s home is listed for sale in a foreclosure, the homeowner has 2 options. An emergency order to show cause can be brought to the court where the foreclosure is pending requesting the foreclosure sale be stopped. Another route the homeowner can take is to file a bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing of a bankruptcy causes the federal court to issue an automatic stay of all foreclosure proceedings. This stops the foreclosure in the state court. The bank’s lawyers and the referee appointed to sell their home are ordered to stop taking any legal action to move forward with regard to the sale of the homeowner’s home.

Types of Bankruptcies

There are basically three (3) types of bankruptcies the homeowner can utilize. Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies set out plans that keep the homeowners, if they have the appropriate cash flow, to become current on their mortgage. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy simply eliminates all of the homeowner’s debt.

Don’t Give Up

It is said that God helps those that help themselves. Sometimes homeowners when faced with foreclosure become depressed. They assume there is nothing they can do and they take no action. This Attorney Elliot Schlisselis the wrong approach. Faced with their home going into foreclosure homeowners should hire competent foreclosure defense counsel. Our office has helped hundreds of homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area continue to stay in their homes. We can be reached for a free consultation at our offices in Nassau, Queens and Suffolk Counties at the following phone numbers: 516-561-6645, 718-305-2802 or 631-309-8262. We can be e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com. We have been keeping homeowners in their homes for more than 3 decades!

Foreclosure Defense Advice for 2016

foreclosure attorney New YorkIn many parts of the country, the real estate crisis which has caused the high rate of foreclosures is easing. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the Metropolitan New York area. There is expected to be a large flow of new foreclosure cases coming into the courts in 2016. Here is my New Year’s advice for foreclosures which start in the year 2016.

Don’t Ignore the Foreclosure

In my decades of representing homeowners whose homes go into foreclosure, I am shocked by the number of homeowners who simply put their heads into the ground and ignore the fact that their financial institution is taking legal action against them. There are many things that can be done to stop foreclosures from moving forward, to obtain mortgage modifications, to get banks to pay attention to your situation, to tie cases up in court and to challenge the appropriateness, the standing, the basis of the lawsuit and to move to set the mortgage aside. Do not be an ostrich if your home is going into foreclosure. Obtain the legal services of a competent, experienced foreclosure defense attorney.

Look Into Your Legal Options

As stated in the prior paragraph, ignoring the situation is not a smart option to take. If you haven’t applied for a mortgage modification, apply for one. God helps those who help themselves. The worst that can happen is you will get turned down.

Disaster Situations

If you have been subject to a natural calamity or disaster, which has caused a hardship for you or your family, contact your lender and put them on notice of the situation. They may be able to provide you with a forbearance agreement to help you get on your feet.

Refinancing the Loan

If your mortgage loan is not working out for you, before you fall far behind look into the possibility of refinancing your mortgage. Don’t wait until you are many months behind to consider this option. By then it will be too late!

Sell Your Home

If your home has equity in it, and you can’t afford it, selling your home is an option. You can sell the home and keep the equity which exists in your home. Although many homes are going into foreclosure in the Metropolitan New York area, real estate values are increasing. Your home may be worth more than you think it is worth. This is something you should look into.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy should be the last option you look into, not the first. There are two types of bankruptcies a homeowner can file. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan which can help you become current on your existing mortgage over 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates the personal obligation on your debt. The filing of either of these bankruptcies creates an automatic stay received from a federal court. This stops foreclosure lawsuits from going forward during the pendency of the bankruptcy.foreclosure defense lawyer

Fighting Foreclosure Lawsuits

foreclosure lawyer for homeownersIf you are behind on your mortgage payments, do not despair. Foreclosure lawsuits can be fought in the courts in New York. If you receive a letter from your financial institution indicating your home is going into foreclosure or you are served with a Summons and Complaint, your best defense is to go on the offense.

Legal action can be taken to protect your home. The first thing which needs to be done is to have the situation properly evaluated. Should you apply for a mortgage modification? Can you qualify for a forbearance agreement? Should you litigate the foreclosure? Has the bank been involved in predatory lending, violations of Truth in Lending Laws, violation of New York State or Federal banking laws? Have they served you with the 90 day notice? Have they acted properly during the course of negotiations for mortgage modifications? There are numerous issues which need to be analyzed and dealt with as part of a foreclosure defense strategy.

Bankruptcy

Is bankruptcy the right solution for you? Should you file for bankruptcy now or wait until later stages of the foreclosure proceeding? Is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy the appropriate bankruptcy to file or should you file a Chapter 13 which involves a payment plan? Again, this depends on the circumstances involved in each case. Each family’s circumstances and needs are different.

Victim of Predatory Lending?

Predatory lending generally deals with unfair business practices or unethical business practices which lenders sometimes engage in. If the prospective mortgage holder was deceived or agreed to an unfair or abusive mortgage term, it may involve predatory lending. Due to the nature of predatory lending, most homeowners who have been subject to predatory lending end up having their homes foreclosed upon, and if appropriate action isn’t taken, lose their homes.

Predatory lending practices can be exposed as part of a foreclosure defense during the course of a foreclosure lawsuit. When served with a Summons and Complaint the homeowner can allege in his Answer the defense of predatory lending.

Conclusion

Should you find yourself behind on your mortgage, facing a foreclosure lawsuit or in the middle of a foreclosure lawsuit, the best way to protect your interests and keep your family in your home is to hire an experienced, dedicated foreclosure defense attorney.New York foreclosure defense lawyer

Foreclosure And Your Credit Score

New York foreclosure and bankruptcy attorneyThe initiation of a foreclosure lawsuit by a financial institution against you will have a negative impact on your credit score. For most families, their home is their most significant asset and investment. When the family gets served with a Summons and Complaint in a foreclosure lawsuit, not only are they facing the potential loss of their home, but in addition, their credit worthiness is also being negatively impacted. Foreclosure lawsuits generally cause individual’s credit scores to be reduced by between 150 and 300 points. The foreclosure action can remain on your credit report for between 7 and 10 years.

Reduced Credit Scores

The reduction in your credit score may make it more difficult for you to rent an apartment should you decide to leave your home, do a short sale, or give the bank a deed in lieu of foreclosure. In addition, a reduced credit score will make it more difficult to obtain car loans, personal loans and credit cards. Some employers also look into an individual’s credit scores as part of their employment process. A low credit score may lead a potential employer to a negative conclusion regarding an individual’s level of responsibility or character.

Maintaining Your Credit Score During Foreclosure Litigation

Do not despair! Action can be taken to maintain your credit score even during the course of foreclosure litigation. If you have credit cards you should use 2 or 3 credit cards each and every month. It is important you make timely payments on these credit cards even if the payments are only minimum payments. Each time you use your credit cards it will give you positive points on your credit score. In addition, if you have car loans, personal loans, or other debt you should make your payments in a timely manner on these debts. Your continued use of credit cards, paying loans such as car loans, over time will completely rebuild your credit score. My office has represented individuals who while in foreclosure maintained credit scores of over 700 points.

Conclusion

Even though a foreclosure will have a negative impact on your credit score it is possible to maintain your credit score during the course of foreclosure litigation.

New York foreclosure defense attorney IslandElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure attorney who is familiar with the multitude of problems caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis in America. He represents homeowners in foreclosure cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area and takes legal action to preserve their home ownership rights and help them obtain mortgage modifications.

Bankruptcy And Foreclosure

Please click on the link below to watch today’s video blog:

http://youtu.be/95N3eKJXfRc

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure attorney who has been helping homeowners stay in their homes for more than 20 years.  He defends his clients in foreclosure lawsuits, helps his clients obtain mortgage modifications, and when appropriate, represents them in bankruptcy proceedings.  He and his associates can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Missing Mortgage Payments

assistance for homeownersIt is common for homeowners on occasion to fall a month or two behind in paying their mortgages. Banks will usually not take any action in these situations. However, if you should fall three or more months behind on your mortgage payments, the bank who holds your mortgage may refuse to accept your mortgage payments in the future unless you pay the total amount of the arrears you owe including late charges and penalties. This is called accelerating the mortgage.

Notices By Banks

Banks will usually provide you with a late notice when you don’t make your mortgage payments. They also may send a letter to you describing options you have with regard to mortgage modifications, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and short sales.

Negotiations With Lenders

If you are behind on your mortgage, it is recommended you try to negotiate with your lender. Your lender may be willing to enter into a forbearance agreement with you. Forbearance agreements are sometimes given to homeowners when they become disabled or when they suffer a temporary loss of employment. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have extensive experience in negotiating with lenders for alternative remedies to be utilized by banks instead of foreclosure proceedings.

If you have a continued inability to make your mortgage payments you may receive a notice of default correspondence from your financial institution. Eventually you will be sent a letter by your lender giving you 90 days notice prior to the start of a foreclosure lawsuit. If you haven’t hired an attorney by this time, it is strongly suggested you hire a foreclosure defense lawyer when you receive this correspondence. The purpose of this letter is to give you one last opportunity to bring your mortgage current by making all back payments before you get served with a foreclosure Summons and Complaint. The foreclosure lawsuit will not start for at least 90 days. This gives you several months to try to rectify the situation with your financial institution.

Foreclosure Lawsuits

After receiving the 90 day notice, the lender may not actually sue you in 90 days. The lender may take several more months to obtain the necessary documentation and paperwork before initiating the foreclosure proceeding.

Bankruptcies

In some situations, filing either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be helpful to deal with your financial difficulties which put you into foreclosure. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy will eliminate all of your debts including your mortgage obligation. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you can catch up on your arrears over a 5 year period while making your current mortgage payments. Unfortunately, if you couldn’t afford your mortgage payments to begin with the Chapter 13 bankruptcy won’t work for you.

Experienced Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have helped numerous New Yorkers stay in their homes, fight foreclosures and obtain mortgage modifications. Should you fall behind on your mortgage, give us a call and we will set up a free consultation to set up a specific plan to protect you and your family from being forced from your home.foreclosure defense lawyer in New York

Deficiency Judgements After Foreclosure

To watch today’s blog video regarding deficiency judgements, please click on the link below:

http://youtu.be/ApOfAj0nT8Y

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer.  He can be reached by telephone at 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802, or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Keeping Your Home – Part II

foreclosure and bankruptcy attorneys on Long IslandProperty Exemptions in New York

There is a homestead exemption for homes, co-ops, condos, and mobile homes of $150,000 within the Counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Richmond, Kings, Queens, New York, and the Bronx. (If the title to the house were in the name of a husband and wife, each of the parties, if they filed a joint bankruptcy, would have a $150,000 homestead exemption. Therefore $300,000 of equity in the parties’ home could be protected in a bankruptcy proceeding.)

The extent of the New York bankruptcy exemptions and the ability to use these exemptions to save the equity in a home can be further brought out by the following example. In this example a husband and wife own a home worth $600,000. They have a mortgage on the home of $300,000. They are up to date on their mortgage payments. They have credit card debt and other unsecured debt of $100,000. In this case, if the parties qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as a result of filing bankruptcy, the parties could eliminate their $100,000 in unsecured debt. Instead of making the payments on credit cards and the other unsecured debts, they can now utilize those funds to pay their mortgage. The fact they had $300,000 of equity in their house would not create a problem because each of the parties could utilize their $150,000 exemption. (Please be advised that this only works in the counties referred to above).

Conclusion

Bankruptcy is not usually the best way to handle being served with a summons and complaint in a foreclosure lawsuit, however, in the right circumstance it is a viable option.assistance for homeowners facing bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Keeping Your Home – Part I

foreclosure assistance for homeownersCan you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eliminate all of your debts other than your mortgage obligation, and still keep your home? The answer to this question is, yes! If you are current on your mortgage payments when you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to protect the equity in your house, if any, by using the New York Bankruptcy Exemptions. You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eliminate all of your credit card debt, personal obligations, debts to lawyers, doctors, medical debts, money judgments, car repossession deficiencies, and all types of other personal obligations in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

After going through the bankruptcy and eliminating all of your debt besides the mortgage, you will be in a better position to make your mortgage payments. You won’t have all the other creditors calling you on the phone and sending letters demanding payments.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to review your case. The trustee reviews your petition and thereafter asks you questions under oath at a creditor’s meeting at the courthouse. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is interested in looking into whether you have property which can be sold to benefit your creditors. If the trustee cannot find property which is not protected by bankruptcy exemptions and has marketable equity in it, the trustee will close your case and not go after your property.helping homeowners stay in their homes

The Effect of Bankruptcy on Foreclosure

foreclosure assistance for homeownersIf my debts are discharged in bankruptcy, is the foreclosure over? Even if your debts are discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, your foreclosure problems are not over. If you discharge your unsecured debts and you enter into an arrangement to reaffirm the mortgage and make your mortgage payments your problems with the bank foreclosure may be over. In most cases involving a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the personal obligation portion of the mortgage debt is discharged (erased) but the lien portion of the mortgage on your home still exists.

The Mortgage

A mortgage actually involves two separate and distinct documents. The first document is the promissory note which can be simply described as an I Owe You (IOU). The second item is a lien. Liens on real property in the State of New York are referred to as mortgages.

The Promissory Note

The purpose of the promissory note is to lay out the terms of the financial transaction, such as the amount you are borrowing, the interest rate, and the payment arrangements. The promissory note is actually the document that creates the personal financial obligation to the bank.

The lien which is placed on your home acts as a type of collateral to secure your repaying the IOU (personal obligation portion of your debt). The lien gives the bank security in your home. Even if you file a chapter 7 bankruptcy and discharge the personal obligation (IOU portion) of your debt, the lien still exists and the bank, when obtaining the release from the automatic stay from the federal bankruptcy court, can move forward with the foreclosure on your home.

The benefit of the chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge will prevent the bank from obtaining a deficiency judgment against you. A deficiency judgment involves a situation where the bank sells your home for less than is owed and goes after the balance of the funds they are owed.

Conclusion

A discharge in a chapter 7 bankruptcy discharges all of your personal obligations, except those which are designated as non-dischargeable by statute. After you receive a discharge, the automatic stay from the bankruptcy court will eventually be lifted. Once it is lifted, the bank will still be able to move forward with the foreclosure in a New York State Court unless you have made a payment arrangement with the financial institution.

So what can you do? Meet with a skilled foreclosure attorney. Find out what your rights are, your remedies are, and the best way to proceed.homeowner advocates

Foreclosure Defense in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick and Bellmore, New York

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