Bankruptcy attorneys often get the phone call at the last minute from a distressed homeowner looking to stop a foreclosure at the last minute. Why these homeowners wait to the very last second to take action is beyond me, but I do what I can to help.
If you are somebody who has just received a notice of sale date then you have 20 days from when the notice was recorded with the counties recorders office in which to request a face to face mediation with your bank through the Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act. The mediation allows you to meet face to face with somebody of authority from your bank who has the power to grant a loan modification or at the very least, if you are somebody who has been waiting on loan modification results, this process will get you an answer quickly. While you are waiting for your mediation date, no bank is allowed to foreclose on your property. Also in order to request mediation you must speak to a housing counselor or attorney who can request the mediation for you. The Washington state foreclosure defense lawyers at Symmes Law Group can assist you with this process and you can learn more about the program HERE.
The next option is taking your bank to court and asking the court to restrain your sale due to fraud, RESPA, and TILA claims. This is not a course of action that I would personally recommend due to the fact that litigation can get expensive and from what I have seen the results have been mixed although it is possible to win damages against your lender in court if there is evidence of MERS robo signers, missing notes and missing transfers of mortgage, or evidence that you were given a loan that you should not have been given in the first place. This process is time consuming so you had better be in it for the long haul as litigation can take months if not years before a resolution is reached.
Finally if your foreclosure date has come down to the wire you may file for bankruptcy at any time before your sale date in order to stop a foreclosure sale. A chapter 7 bankruptcy will be a temporary fix in which your sale date will get postponed due to the bankruptcy automatic stay. Your lender can petition the court for relief in order to move forward with foreclosure or they can wait out the 90 days it takes to administer a chapter 7 bankruptcy and then move forward with the foreclosure. Therefore simply by filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy it could buy you several months of rent free living before you will need to move. You even have 30 days after foreclosure to leave your home.
A chapter 13 bankruptcy is a very good option for homeowners seeking to make up back payments on their home over a 60 month period while potentially getting rid of some unsecured debt in the process. In order to file a chapter 13 bankruptcy plan that can be confirmed by the court, the homeowner must be employed and must be able to afford monthly payments that are determined by your amount of secured debt that is tied to assets that you want to keep, arrears, as well as what the bankruptcy means test determines you are required to pay to unsecured creditors.
At the end of the day, you have options and professionals that can help you, but it’s up to you to take action and seek out the information that can help you. If you have additional questions please call 206-682-7975 to speak to an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer to see what options are available to you.