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The Problem

     You’ve fallen behind on your mortgage payments. You have no other debt, or very little – no credit cards, no medical debt, no personal loans - but your budget has been extremely tight for a long time and this month, due to some unexpected but urgent expenses, you just didn’t have enough income left to make your mortgage payment. Soon one missed payment turns into two, then three, then six, then…

How I Can Help

     It may take some time, but sooner or later the bank is going to be looking to enforce the provisions of the mortgage you signed in which you agreed that they can repossess your house if you failed to make timely payments. They will start this process by serving you with a legal notice – called a Summons & Complaint – that they have started a foreclosure action against you in court. They may serve the notice on you by having a process server knock on your door and give it to you personally, or by giving it to another person in your home who is of "suitable age and discretion," or my "affixing" it your door.

     Either way, once you receive the Summons & Complaint, it will be my job to promptly respond by filing what is called an Answer with the court. In the Answer, I will challenge as many of the allegations in the Complaint as possible, such as the amount allegedly owed, for example, or whether the Complaint was served according to the exact requirements of New York State law, or whether the bank – if it is not the original mortgagee - even has the right to bring the complaint in the first place. Additionally, I will pull out my magnifying glass and scour every page of the Complaint making sure it is in compliance with the myriad of rules and regulations that govern this area of the law.

Loan Modification and Settlement Conferences

     Meanwhile, court rules require that before almost anything else happens, the bank must work with us to try to keep you in your home by modifying your mortgage loan so that your monthly payments are more affordable. As your attorney, I will complete the loan modification application, collect from you all the financial documents the banks requires (bank records, pay stubs etc.) and do my best to steer the process to a successful conclusion.

     To keep the court updated on the progress of our loan modification negotiations, you and I and the bank’s attorney will meet at the courthouse with a referee in what is called a settlement conference. Several of these conferences may take place before your loan modification application is resolved. There is no guaranty that you will get your mortgage loan modified, but the referee will make sure the bank negotiates in good faith.

     If the parties are successful in reaching a loan modification, or if an alternative such as a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure is offered and accepted, the foreclosure action will be discontinued. Call me for a free consultation to learn more.

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