The Process Of Foreclosure In Pennsylvania
Some homeowners who received foreclosure notices think that they have to leave their homes immediately, or that the bank can kick them out at any time. The lack of information on the timeline of a foreclosure, and when the homeowner has to leave the home can cause a lot of undue stress for the homeowner.
Pennsylvania is a judicial foreclosure state. This means that in order to foreclose on a person’s home, the mortgage loan holder has to go through a court proceeding in order to get an order allowing the foreclosure and sale of the home. Before the mortgage loan holder can file the lawsuit, it must give the homeowner an opportunity to make up any missed payments and pay off the mortgage loan in full.
The mortgage loan holder does this by accelerating the loan, which is usually allowed under the mortgage agreement and lets the mortgage loan holder ask for all the money owed on the loan at one time once the homeowner goes into default. The homeowner has to be informed of the mortgage loan holder’s intent to accelerate the loan before the mortgage loan holder can file for foreclosure.
The initial filing that begins a foreclosure action in court is a filing of a petition for foreclosure by the mortgage loan holder. Once this petition is filed, the homeowner gets notice and is required to respond or the mortgage loan holder may get what is known as a default judgment, and lose in a technicality.
After the initial filings by each side, the mortgage loan holder is required to prove that it owns the loan in question. Furthermore, the mortgage loan holder has to show that the homeowner is both in default or has failed to follow another term of the loan agreement, and has failed to pay off the loan once it was accelerated. The homeowner may then present any defenses to the foreclosure, for example, that the entity filing the foreclosure lawsuit does not legally hold the loan.
If there are no defenses, or the defenses are not legally sufficient, the court rules in favor of the mortgage loan provider and allows the foreclosure to go through. It is at this point that the homeowner should begin to prepare to move out. This is because the next step in the process is for the home to be sold in an auction. While it is possible for the homeowner to buy the home during this sale, homeowners do not generally have the funds to do that.
The entire process of a foreclosure can take months, and in some cases up to a year depending on how complicated the issues raised are and how long it takes to resolve them.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
Receiving a notice that the mortgage holder intends to accelerate the loan, or that a foreclosure action has been filed can be unnerving. However, it is important for you as a homeowner to take steps to protect yourself and assert any defenses that may be applicable in your case. It is therefore important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. For more information, contact us at the law firm of Louis S. Schwartz, Attorneys at Law to speak to a Philadelphia foreclosure defense attorney.