At What Point Should I Hire A Foreclosure Defense Attorney?
As soon as you are served with a summons and complaint, you should find a qualified foreclosure defense attorney. You only have 20 to 30 days, depending on how you were served, to file a legal document known as an “Answer.” Most of the time, we file an Answer with Counterclaims. I go through the closing documents and look for any predatory lending practices or violations by the bank. In the Answer and Counterclaims, we will sue the bank back on behalf of the client.
If you try to handle it on your own and you don’t file an Answer, the bank will make a motion against you for a default judgment, which means you lose without a fight. Many people think at this point that they can just go down to the court and talk to the judge. In my experience, the judge will still grant the motion against you and once that happens, the bank is on the fast track to take your house away. I have come in at virtually every stage of a foreclosure action in New York. There have been times where I’ve gotten cases the day before the auction was scheduled and I was able to stop the auction right before it happened. I have even had cases dismissed completely after the property was sold at auction, sometimes to the bank and sometimes to a bona fide third-party purchaser. Recently, I had a third party come down to the court to try to fight it and we were able to keep the homeowner’s house, even though it was purchased at auction by a third party.
Do Most People Try To Resolve A Foreclosure In A Timely Manner?
No. There are people who just ignore it, which is the worst thing to do. There are those who hire lawyers, which is the best position to be in. Those who try to do it themselves do more harm than good and don’t realize that they’re doing it. They don’t know they’re at an unfair advantage because they’re not a lawyer. The bank is represented by a lawyer and since the market tanked so many years ago, sympathy for homeowners is waning. When a bank makes a motion, homeowners who are representing themselves are at a tremendous disadvantage.
There was a point in time where the courts felt that banks were taking advantage of homeowners and certain laws and procedures were put into effect in courts to protect them. Over the course of the last 12 years, the tide has turned and homeowners are viewed by many as scammers who got money from a bank and didn’t pay their mortgage. There is at least one judge I appear in front of regularly who feels that it is the only fact that matters. Did you get the money? Did you pay back your mortgage? That is all he needs to hear. You cannot win unless you know the legal arguments to make. When representing yourself, you may do more harm than good.
For more information on Hiring A Foreclosure Defense Attorney In NY, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (212) 766-9779 or (718) 979-9779 today.
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