By Ginger L. Perusek, Attorney
Are you burdened with concerns about your current mortgage and home equity line? Have you stopped paying your mortgage and are waiting to be served with a lawsuit? Have you been served with a lawsuit and are struggling to defend yourself?
Many borrowers with incentive to become homeowners are the victims of the financial industry's predatory lending. Some lenders may have led you to believe the value of your property was higher to induce you into entering a loan and pledging your home as collateral. Some loans have been bought and sold so many times; you may not know who you are supposed to pay. Do not believe you have no choices.
Borrowers have a number of options. This Article does not include all options available, but includes certain options to let you know about some of your choices. Foreclosure alternatives included in this Article are: HAMP, which is Home Affordable Modification Program for eligible homeowners; SS, which is a Short Sale; DIL, which is Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure. Homeowners also have legal defenses to the claims made by the original lender or defenses against subsequent purchasers of the loan commonly called servicers such as failure to comply with terms and conditions; fraud, misrepresentation, and TILA which is a Truth in Lending violation and many more depending on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. One of your best alternatives is to read, read, and read! Know your documents. Know your obligations. Know the financial institutions obligations to you as a borrower. These and other defenses will be covered in our next Article.
HAMP This option is only available to eligible borrowers. HAMP is intended to apply a broad range of at risk borrowers to offer sustainable monthly payments for a first lien mortgage loan. Often borrowers may benefit from this option to transition into more affordable housing and avoid the stigma of a foreclosure.
SS: Short Sale is a process by which a borrower and loan servicer enter an agreement to list the home for an amount less than is due on the loan. The understanding, agreement and timing of the obligations are complex. The transaction involves the cooperation of numerous parties who include the servicer, the borrower, possibly real estate agents, brokers, title agencies, mortgage insurance companies, subordinate and other lien holders. The objective is to sell the house short of the total amount due on the mortgage acceptable to the servicer at an arm's length transaction ultimately having the net proceeds of the sale pay off the mortgage after reasonable and customary selling costs in an effort to leave the borrower free of the stigma of a foreclosure.
DIL: Is an option by which the borrower voluntarily transfers ownership of the mortgaged property to the loan servicer in full satisfaction of the total amount due on the first mortgage. The borrower must be able to provide marketable title, free and clear of mortgages, subordinate and other lien holders.
Legal defenses to mortgage foreclosure cases will be covered in our next Article. If you or anyone you know has questions on these or other concerns, schedule a consultation with an attorney. Call Pilka & Associates, P.A. in: Brandon at 863-236-9321 or Lakeland at (863) 687-8700.