Finding yourself facing the specter of foreclosure is one of the more stressful events that can occur in a homeowner’s life, even being linked to lowered mental and physical health status in people going through it. That said, many homeowners in distress who receive notice from their mortgage lender that foreclosure proceedings are to be initiated are woefully hesitant to take any effective action. This is a mistake.
You’d probably be surprised by how many people only consult with an attorney on the verge of a trustee’s sale—at times giving that attorney mere days to do anything about it. And that’s a problem, even where there are grounds for raising a challenge to the sale. The legal and property systems are, in most cases, akin to a speeding train. They can stop, but they need some serious advance warning.
If you make haste, though, the chances of forestalling a foreclosure sale are improved markedly.
Sometimes banks can be reasonable. Even when the prospect of mounting a legal challenge is low, it is possible to negotiate with banks; after all, their goal at the point of foreclosure is to lose as little money as possible, which doesn’t happen while a house is standing empty and requiring maintenance. So if a homeowner who is being foreclosed upon can show that they can save the bank money, even if they can’t pony up as much as the bank would have made before the foreclosure was initiated, the bank may bite.
Moreover—and perhaps more importantly—court orders are much easier to obtain when there is time to draft a good request, and a judge is given ample time to consider it.
Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners fail to act based on verbal statements made by representatives of the lender that, in effect, attempt to assuage the homeowner that the sale date is nothing to worry about. These statements are generally unenforceable, and the sale of the property generally will be considered enough to make any late attempts to work out loan modification a basically meaningless waste of time.
So be quick! Contact an attorney as soon as you can after receiving notice of intent to foreclose.
If you’re facing foreclosure e in Tempe or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, Provident Law’s attorneys stand ready to help. We also structure, negotiate and document a variety of real estate and financing transactions, such as leases, purchase and sale agreements, loans and development agreements for a variety of commercial and residential projects—and we litigate issues of ownership when necessary. Contact us for more details.
Christopher J. Charles is the founder and Managing Partner of Provident Law ®. He is a State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist and a former “Broker Hotline Attorney” for the Arizona Association of REALTORS ® (the “AAR”). Mr. Charles holds the AV ® Preeminent Rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system which connotes the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He serves as an Arbitrator and Mediator for the AAR regarding real estate disputes; and he served on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee where he helped draft the Agency Instructions and the Residential Landlord/Tenant Eviction Jury Instructions.
Christopher is a licensed Real Estate Instructor and he teaches continuing education classes at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. He can be reached at Chris@ProvidentLawyers.comor at 480-388-3343.