As a foreclosure defense lawyer, I often meet with clients that believe myths about the home foreclosing process that can put their homes in real peril. Homeowners who buy into these myths can actually impair their ability to save, or at least remain longer, in their homes. The problem is that these myths encourage homeowners either to take the wrong action when faced with a home foreclosing action or wait too long to take the right action.
As a mortgage defense attorney who has handled ground-breaking foreclosure cases, I want to debunk those myths. Here are two of them:
Myth #1: The bank or servicer decides whether and when a home foreclosing happens.
Truth: This is not true in Connecticut. In this state your house cannot be taken from you, or sold, unless and until a judge says so. All the bank or servicer can do is start the home foreclosing process in the court. That process is a lawsuit and a home foreclosing lawsuit is like any other lawsuit – it takes time to complete. Think of the home foreclosing process in Connecticut like a train. The first stop on the train is the service of the summons and complaint. The last stop, the one the bank wants to get to, is called a ‘judgment of foreclosure’. But there are a minimal number of stops between the first stop and the last stop and there are things you might do to slow that train down, make it stop at additional stations, or derail it. In other words, the bank or servicer is not the All Powerful Oz and does not take your home by flipping a switch. It takes time. Time in this home foreclosing process should be used wisely.
Myth #2: Banks and servicers won’t schedule a sale while they are considering you for a modification.
Truth: Believing this home foreclosing myth is putting your trust in a stranger who may or may not understand your situation or how the home foreclosing process works in Connecticut. Do not believe anything that any bank representative at the end of a 1-800 telephone number says. I’ve had clients who were told by these representatives that applying for a modification would essentially halt any home foreclosing. That may or may not be the truth. It’s best not to trust such advice. Remember that home foreclosing in Connecticut is a process. So, when the bank or servicer says there will be no foreclosure or no sale, they don’t mean they will not start the process. They mean they will not complete it. Those believing this home foreclosing myth will often get a summons and complaint but ignore it because they are working towards a modification. The real danger here – and it is huge – is thinking that it’s okay to ignore the summons and complaint because the bank or servicer said there would be no foreclosure or sale. Why is this such a big danger? Because the bank or servicer might be moving the home foreclosing lawsuit “train” through stations without your knowledge. The techniques to slow, derail or add stops to the foreclosure train must be done at specific times during the home foreclosing process. If you don’t do them at the right time, you could lose the opportunity. The net result is that you may end up in a situation where the bank denies your modification request and immediately moves the train into the ‘judgment of foreclosure’ station. What’s the best way to avoid that? Hire a foreclosure defense lawyer as early in the process as possible.