If you own your own home, you know there are consequences to defaulting on your mortgage. Your lender can use the foreclosure process to petition the court to become the new owner of your home and force you out of your own property. What's more, if your mortgage debt is more than what your home is worth, you could be stuck with a bill for the difference after your foreclosure is completed.
The good news is there are several options for stopping or slowing down the foreclosure process. For many struggling homeowners, just having a little extra time to get caught up on their mortgage is enough. If you are facing the possibility of a Las Vegas foreclosure, attorney Rory Vohwinkel may be able to help you come up with a plan to avoid foreclosure.
Rory and his team understand how much pressure the foreclosure process can put on you. And while no two cases are the same, when it comes to foreclosure protection you have a number of options. These include bankruptcy, mediation, loan modifications and even a short sale of your home. Contact Vohwinkel Law today to learn more about all of these options.
Whether you are considering a declaration of either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, one important benefit is the effect it has on the foreclosure process. Once you file your Las Vegas bankruptcy petition, you are immediately protected by what's known as the automatic stay. The automatic stay brings a halt to all collection efforts against you immediately. These protections extend to the foreclosure process. The stay will remain in place long enough for you to come up with a plan in your bankruptcy case to deal with your mortgage payments.
Since 2015, the United States Bankruptcy Courts in Nevada have offered a Mortgage Modification Mediation Program. The foreclosure mediation process allows you to continue to pause the foreclosure process while entering into an alternative way to resolve mortgage disputes. Mediation involves you and your mortgage lender sitting down with seasoned mediators in an effort to come to an agreement on how you can stay in your home and meet your obligations.
The Mortgage Modification Mediation Program is available to anyone that has filed for protection under Chapter 13. It can also be used in any case involving real property like a home or office building. For many, the mediation process is preferable because it is more flexible than a formal court proceeding and is less expensive than an expensive foreclosure trial.
During the course of the mediation, the mediators will facilitate a discussion on all of your available options. This can include the possibility of a loan modification, a short sale, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
It is critical to go into your mediation fully prepared, and that is something that Vohwinkel Law can help with. With a large number of foreclosure cases under our belt, Vohwinkel Law is ready to help you get the most out of your foreclosure mediation.
One of the best ways to for you and your lender to avoid a potential foreclosure is to agree to a loan modification. While loan modifications are common during bankruptcies, it is possible to work out a modification outside of the bankruptcy process as well.
A loan modification is aptly named; it is simply an agreement among the parties to change the terms of your loan. This can often include lowering an interest rate or monthly payment. It can also include changing other material terms that have caused you hardship. Some of the most common parts of loans that are modified include:
- Lower monthly payment
- Lower interest rate
- Adjustable interest rate converted to a fixed interest rate
- Extended time before payment is due
- Reduction in the amount of the loan
- Waiver of fees
- Second mortgage negotiated or eliminated.
If you are like many Las Vegas homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payment each month, a relatively small change in the terms of your loan could be the difference between staying in your home and losing it to foreclosure.
In some cases, keeping your home just isn't feasible financially. It's possible a change in employment or a financial hardship has made it impossible for you to catch up and maintain your mortgage payments, even after a potential loan modification. Once it's clear that you will be unable to keep up your payments, your goal must shift to avoiding as many long-term financial burdens as possible. In some cases, a short sale is the best option.
As we mentioned above, in many cases it is possible to come out of a foreclosure owing a large deficiency balance. That puts you in the unenviable position of paying for a home you no longer own. However, in some cases, your lender will agree to what is known as a short sale. In a short sale, your lender will agree to buy back your home despite it being worth less than your mortgage debt.
While you wouldn't profit from the sale, you also won't wind up with a deficiency judgment against you either. Some lenders are willing to enter into short sale agreements to avoid the lengthy and costly foreclosure process. A short sale can benefit you not only by helping you avoid a deficiency but also protect your credit by keeping a foreclosure off your record.
It is important to note that there are drawbacks of a short sale. While a short sale will allow you to avoid a foreclosure, a short sale can still have a negative impact on your credit. Many Las Vegas sellers also have strict guidelines when selecting short sale candidates, so it may not be an option for you to begin with.
Discuss Your Options With a Nevada or California Bankruptcy Attorney
The foreclosure process is not easy. Don't try and fight back on your own. Contact Vohwinkel Law to discuss your case with an experienced Nevada bankruptcy attorney. The guidance of an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney is a valuable thing to have before you make the decision on how to deal with your potential foreclosure.