Philadelphia Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
Pennsylvania Consumer Protection Lawyer Assisting Clients with Foreclosure Defense in Philadelphia
After the subprime mortgage crisis, homeowners throughout the Philadelphia area found themselves with underwater mortgages, rapidly dropping housing values, and foreclosure notices. At the law office of Louis S. Schwartz, we know how difficult it can be to learn that your home is at risk of foreclosure. For many homeowners, buying a home was an important step forward for your family, and we understand how important it is to keep your house if you are able to do so. Foreclosure defense is a term that can involve many different strategies for preventing a foreclosure. In some cases, homeowners also might be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to avoid foreclosure.
If you are at risk of losing your home to foreclosure, it is extremely important to discuss your options with a Philadelphia foreclosure defense lawyer.
Understanding the Foreclosure Process in Philadelphia
Under Pennsylvania law, there are many required steps for a bank to begin and complete the process of foreclosure, including but not limited to:
- First and second notice requirements of the intentional to foreclose;
- Holder of the mortgage (usually the bank) files a complaint against the homeowner;
- Homeowner is served the complaint and has an opportunity to respond;
- Judgment in favor of either the bank or the homeowner.
According to a fact sheet from RealtyTrac, the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania is a relatively long one. The entire process we described above takes on average 270 days from start to completion. To put that number another way, the foreclosure process in Pennsylvania takes an average of nine months. This means you may have a number of months in which to contact a Philadelphia foreclosure defense lawyer to prevent a foreclosure.
Foreclosure Defense Options in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
In Philadelphia, the county has a Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. It is “designed to divert Sheriff Sale owner occupied residential properties which are listed for Sheriff Sale because the homeowners are delinquent with their mortgage payments.” It may be able to help homeowners, but there are many other foreclosure defense options that could be available, including but not limited to:
- Modifying your existing mortgage to make payments affordable;
- Obtaining a forbearance agreement;
- Filing a separate homeowner complaint alleging predatory lending to be addressed at the same time as the
- Negotiating a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure;
- Preserving the equity in your home; and
- Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
How Could Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Help with My Foreclosure?
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a type of “reorganization” bankruptcy in which a debtor’s assets are not liquidated to repay creditors. Instead, the debtor reorganizes debts and develops a payment plan through which she or he will repay creditors over a typically three- to five-year period. Many homeowners who are facing foreclosure can benefit from the automatic stay that comes with Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
In brief, when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in Philadelphia, the automatic stay stops most collectors from continuing actions against you. This includes foreclosure actions and collection attempts related to your mortgage. With the automatic stay and the Chapter 13 payment plan, homeowners often can catch up on mortgage payments and remain in their homes.
Seek Advice from a Philadelphia Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
If you need help preventing foreclosure, a Philadelphia foreclosure defense lawyer can assist you. Contact Louis S. Schwartz and his team at ConsumerLawPa.com for more information.