Foreclosure loans and predatory lending are serious and frightening events. It happens to many people, often because of circumstances outside their control. Financial emergencies like a medical problem or loss of a job can make it impossible to pay the mortgage on time. The foreclosure process can be stalled, or stopped, but many do not know that they have this option or how to act in time to do so.
It is possible to be foreclosed upon when you have done nothing wrong.
Often times, predatory lenders may offer you a mortgage or buy your existing mortgage with the intent of forcing you into default. Wrongful foreclosure loans and predatory lending are most likely to happen in cases where a:
- mortgage servicer has purchased a loan or has been assigned to it from another servicer/lender and the correct paperwork has not been transferred to the new servicer.
- Some mortgage loans servicers accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) misapply loan payments, or fail to provide customer service to people that have delinquent or defaulting loans. This can happen either through simple error, whether computer or human, or even through deliberate acts done to hurt a consumer.
It is often hard to tell which cause is responsible, but the steps that you should take are the same.
To prevent a wrongful foreclosure,it is very important to:
- Stay in contact with your lender.
- Review all of your statements carefully (if you look everything over as a matter of course, your chances of seeing an error increase).
- Always take letters from your lender seriously, if you receive a notice that your mortgage payments are late, do not assume that it has been sent accidentally. Contact your lender immediately to find out what went wrong and what you can do.
- Talk with an attorney that specializes in mortgages and lending to help you find out where this discrepancy has occurred so that things can be settled properly.
Mortgage Foreclosure Process:
Understanding mortgage foreclosure loans and predatory lending process helps in understanding how to cope with it and to be able to spot whether your believe a wrongful foreclosure may be occurring. In its simplest form, the process goes like this: You take out a mortgage and the mortgage company protects their investment by having a hold on your home. You work out an agreement between the two sides where you pay so much money for a certain period of time. Then, either you have a change in circumstances that puts you in default because of failure to make payments, or the lender and/or servicer of your loan does actions that are improper and/or illegal that put you in a default.
After a default has occurred, the mortgage company generally reminds you by letter that you have missed a payment. If you miss another payment, most likely you will get another letter and perhaps a phone call. At this point all of the contact is informal. However, sometimes this contact does not even occur and the loan escalates to the formal mortgage foreclosure process, which occurs when a Notice of Intent to Foreclose (sometimes called a “demand letter”) is delivered to you which gives you a certain amount of time to pay the past due amount, or a foreclosure is threatened and may be filed against you.
Wrongful foreclosure loans and predatory lending can start at the very beginning stages of the foreclosure process, and can continue on through to the last stage of this process. Further, there are multiple ways in the servicing of the loan and the ultimate foreclosure itself where the lender/servicer is performing improper or illegal acts that could lead to the wrongful foreclosing of your home. This includes situations where a lender or servicer does not have the proper standing to bring a lawsuit for foreclosure, or has not complied with applicable federal and state laws (including RESPA, TILA and the Florida Consumer Collection Laws such as FCCPA and FDUTPA). Even if a foreclosure suit has already been filed or a sale is set to occur, there may still be something you can do to make arrangements with the mortgage company so that you can keep your home.
If you feel that you have been the victim of wrongful foreclosure, you do have options. However, all of these options do require you to be knowledgeable about payments that you have made your loan, and the foreclosure process itself. Talking to a knowledgeable lawyer for wrongful foreclosure is an important step in this process. Without the right knowledge it could be hard to deal with a wrongful foreclosure, whether it happens through malice or by mistake.
If you feel that you have been the victim of a wrongful foreclosure loan and predatory lending, please call our office for a free consultation to determine your rights.