If you’re behind on your mortgage and facing foreclosure in Seattle or surrounding areas, we can help. Our experienced legal team can help you understand your rights, your legal choices, and determine a course of action that will allow you to live in your house, maintain ownership, and resolve the situation.
If you’ve received a formal Notice of Trustee’s Sale on your home or a Notice of Sheriff’s Sale on your property to satisfy a judgment, you need to contact our Seattle Foreclosure Attorneys immediately. Filing for bankruptcy will automatically halt a scheduled foreclosure sale, even if you have received a notice and have a formal trustee sale date scheduled.
In any event, the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can discuss your case with you and help you determine what options are available to you. The longer you wait, the fewer options you have.
Request Mediation Prior to Foreclosure
If you’re behind on your mortgage payments but haven’t received a notice of foreclosure yet, you still have time to plan your strategy. The Washington State Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011 gives you the right to request mediation with your lender prior to a foreclosure.
Your best opportunities for mediation come before you receive a Notice of Default. This usually happens when you are about three months behind on payments, although in this environment we have seen clients who have been behind in payments for over a year before a Notice of Default is issued by the lender.
Once the Notice of Default is issued, the clock starts ticking. You have the option to request mediation with the lender for a $200 fee until the Notice of Trustee’s Sale is issued. That usually happens about 30 days after the Notice of Default, so time is short.
Apply for Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
If you have missed this deadline, don’t give up hope. There are other options. You can still file for the federal loan modification program, Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and we have the expertise to help you through that process.
HAMP has not been the most effective program at preventing foreclosures, in part because the process is very difficult for consumers to complete on their own. Fortunately, we’ve been able to help many of our clients obtain loan modifications through the program over the past year or so. Having a bankruptcy attorney on your side throughout the modification process is essential, because it means that you as the homeowner are always in control, not the lender: having the option to file bankruptcy gives you additional leverage to stop a foreclosure sale and continue the modification process if the lender is not cooperating.
Filing Bankruptcy using our Seattle Foreclosure Attorneys
If you have to file bankruptcy to stop a foreclosure sale, your creditors are required by law to cease their collection actions against you, which includes initiating foreclosure proceedings. This can buy you precious time to negotiate with your mortgage lender for a loan modification, forbearance, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or to pursue other, more favorable options. Even if you don’t file, the mere act of hiring aa Seattle Foreclosure Lawyer can give you a valuable ally in your dealings with the bank or other parties.
Whatever your situation, our attorneys will work with you personally to help you through this stressful time in your life. Over the past decade, many mortgage borrowers were victimized by predatory lenders: unethical mortgage brokers and financial institutions that issued inappropriate loans to borrowers who could not afford them, or gouged borrowers with exorbitant fees and high interest rates. If you are trapped in an escalating adjustable rate mortgage that your income cannot support, come talk to us for help in dealing with your lender. We can also help you avoid falling victim to “foreclosure rescue” scams run by con artists who steal your money or even your home under the guise of helping you avoid foreclosure.