Homeowners today face a variety of hardships that lead to mounting debt and the inability to make timely payments on their mortgages. Job loss or reduction in salary; unforeseen medical expenses; changes in loan terms, (for example, an adjustable rate mortgage); and divorce, separation or the loss of a wage earner may all jeopardize your home. Many homeowners do not realize that they are not to blame for such circumstances and that they often have options other than foreclosure. At the Law Offices of Serrano & Associates, P.C. , our attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your rights and your debt relief options in the Hudson Valley and New York City. With years of legal experience, we fight to prevent foreclosure and other unjust or unnecessary actions by banks and other lenders.
We realize how critical your home is to your family. If you have experienced financial hardship and are at risk of losing your house, our foreclosure defense attorneys will use every strategy at their disposal to help. We serve clients throughout Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, Dutchess, New York and Bronx Counties. We encourage you to contact a lawyer before it is too late to take action.
What can a lawyer do for you?
Our goal will be to stop foreclosure proceedings and negotiate mortgage terms that will allow you to make payments and stay in your home.
Our lawyer may negotiate a loan modification that includes an interest rate reduction, term extension (converting a 15-year loan to a 30-year loan), a complete loan program change (from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage) or a combination of modifications. One of our experienced loan modification lawyers will evaluate your situation and recommend a course of action.
What happens in foreclosure?
Wrongful foreclosure is fact-specific and may be based on the lack of standing to foreclose due to a void assignment of the deed of trust, mistakes on the recorded documents attributable to fraud or negligence, or on statutory violations. Once a house is sold at foreclosure sale to a third party (known as a bona-fide purchaser), a wrongful foreclosure cause of action becomes one for damages, not possession. We help clients stop the foreclosure process whenever possible and retain possession.
Wrongful foreclosure includes loan modification abuse. It may also occur when lenders and servicers engage borrowers in the loan modification process by taking trial payments, by offering trial payment plans, or by promising modification and then breaching these promises.
The New York Residential Foreclosure Actions Consumer Bill of Rights was enacted in 2017. It provides borrowers with significant additional rights before, during and after foreclosure.
Homeowners may have many possible alternatives to foreclosure including:
Mediation under a court-approved program
Mortgage loan forbearance for temporary hardship
Refinance, sale, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure
Reinstatement the existing loan by making up the missed payments (with costs and interest)
Delay the foreclosure by filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The business of mortgage lenders is not to do what is best for the homeowner but to maximize their own profits by systemically repositioning your assets from you to them. With a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney by your side, you can aggressively protect your home from being sold by your lender.
Even if your lender has refused you a reasonable loan modification, you may have grounds to stop a foreclosure sale. Homeowners may sue a lender based on violations of statutes, breach of contract or promissory estoppel if the lender promises trial payment plans or loan modification agreements to the homeowner but fails to fulfill the promise. Depending on the case, results may include loan rescission, modification, money damages or a trial.
Just because the bank has proceeded with a foreclosure does not mean the homeowner is out of options. In certain cases, a lender may not have had standing to foreclose on a property, thereby giving the homeowner the right to sue for wrongful foreclosure.
In addition, when your home is purchased at a foreclosure sale or auction, the purchaser must still go through a formal eviction process.
Homeowners may have another opportunity to fight to remain in the home for as long as possible.