Foreclosure

Defense

Immediate Quality Legal Foreclosure Advice

When faced with the prospect of foreclosure, the worst thing a property owner can do is ignore the issue, and believe doing nothing will delay the process. Immediate action is necessary.

In recent years, many New York homeowners have faced a situation in which they have fallen behind in making mortgage payments, whether due to illness, loss of job, decreased wages or other financial circumstance, or due to being locked into a high interest rate adjustable mortgage or other subprime loan. When a homeowner begins sliding several months behind in making mortgage payments, the lender often seeks legal action, and the homeowner receives a court summons which outlines the intent to foreclose on their home and take their property away.

Seeking immediate, quality legal advice about foreclosure defense is key. The attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. offer this help. They have the experience, knowledge of the process, and the proven ability to act quickly on your behalf to turn the situation around. (See box below to request your confidential FREE CONSULTATION.

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    Understanding The Process

    At Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C., we fully understand and know how to navigate the foreclosure process. We have helped countless clients to defend against it. We do all we can to make you feel at ease while we work tirelessly on your behalf to explore various options, and to recommend and guide you through an appropriate course of action to achieve a best-case outcome.

    The foreclosure process in New York State is subject to a very specific timeline, which makes immediate action on the property owner’s part essential, as is obtaining proper legal advice about the specific steps to take and the timetable in which to take them.

    Consider These Timeframes

    Two weeks after you miss a mortgage payment, a late fee is usually applied, and the lender may attempt to contact you. The lender must send a foreclosure notice if you own and occupy the property as a primary residence, which provides a 90-day window for resolving the issue, i.e., for you to obtain an agreement with the lender as to your making good on missed payments. No response on your part will mean imminent foreclosure.

    The clock keeps ticking. Once the mortgage is 46 to 60 days in arrears, the loan servicer may send you a “breach” or “demand” letter advising you of which terms of your loan have been broken and requiring payment in full, including any late fees, within 30 days.

    At the 90-day mark, the foreclosure process officially begins, which means full legal action against you such as recording formal notice of foreclosure with the Court and your being served with a summons and complaint. If the complaint is not timely answered, , loss of the property will may eventually ensue.

    Within 60 days of the summons being served, the Court schedules a settlement conference between lender and homeowner. If a settlement cannot be reached, foreclosure proceedings will continue to allow you the opportunity to be heard, including any legal defenses that you may have. In the event your defenses are not successful, a judgment of foreclosure is entered and a foreclosure sale is scheduled. Foreclosure sales in New York State are conducted at public auction, where the homeowner loses all rights to regaining ownership. However, a homeowner has the right to redeem a mortgage in arrears right up until the date of a foreclosure sale.

    The knowledgeable attorneys at our firm do all in their power to defend you against foreclosure so you may retain ownership of your home. Our highly experienced, diligent attorneys thoroughly review all of your mortgage documents for possible legal errors or omissions to forestall foreclosure.

    We reassure and assist you in taking appropriate action in the event that your bank or mortgage lender uses aggressive practices, or if you become inundated with letters from various so-called rescue services exhorting you about the possible loss of your property making unrealistic promises about speeding up a settlement with the bank or falsely guaranteeing results.

    And, above all, we tenaciously advocate on your behalf with your lender and work closely with you to seek an alternative solution, such as a loan modification or a short sale – see more information below.

    Another option, bankruptcy can be a viable solution to consider when faced with the prospect of foreclosure, with the goal of ultimately releasing you from personal liability for your debts and enabling a fresh start. Please see the Practice Areas- BANKRUPTCY section of this website for additional information.

    Be sure to contact us at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. as early as possible, well before the clock starts ticking or the process unravels into the irreversible loss of your home. (See box below to request your confidential FREE CONSULTATION).

    Loan Modification

    A loan modification can be a viable, early solution to avoiding foreclosure, one that enables an owner to keep his or her home or other property. Unlike a refinance, a loan modification doesn’t pay off the current mortgage and replace it with a new one. Rather, as its name implies, it is an agreement to modify the terms of the loan, allowing the borrower to resolve payment issues before they spiral out of control.

    It makes a great difference to have the attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. on your side. We have extensive experience in this arena, having dealt with numerous major lenders on behalf of our clients to obtain loan modifications.

    It’s Complicated

    It’s important to realize that orchestrating a loan modification is complicated and involves a lot of moving parts. It calls for meticulous and expert attention to every detail, requires collecting and processing a plethora of required documentation to substantiate that you qualify for a modification, all aspects of which our firm handles on your behalf.

    The best time to consider a loan modification is when you first become concerned about not being able to meet your mortgage obligations, prior to when you actually fall behind in payments and well before you receive a foreclosure notice. Both you and your mortgage lender can benefit from a loan modification, as it can prevent you from losing your home and can help your lender avoid loss of equity and a long-term cash flow stream. The sale of a property at auction, typically at a below-market price, is an undesirable outcome for both parties. (However, if you are further along, be sure to contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. as, in many cases, loan modifications can still be achievable even after you receive a foreclosure notice.)

    The typical loan modification process calls for dealing directly with the mortgage lender to modify the loan in the best way possible to your benefit. We complete and submit the application package with all necessary supporting documentation to the lender on your behalf, and tenaciously follow up with and urge the lender to reach the most favorable, timely decision possible for you.

    Many Possible Options

    There are many possible options. The interest rates of the mortgage may be reduced or changed from a floating rate to a more favorable fixed rate. The amount of the principal owed may be reduced, as can late fees or other penalties. The amount of the monthly payment due may be capped to a percentage of household income. The term of the mortgage may be lengthened, or the principal placed into a forbearance plan.

    In addition to the traditional direct-to-lender approach, government-sponsored loan modification programs became available in recent years, which broadened the availability of loan modifications. These loan modifications (either through government or in-house programs) offer monetary incentives to lenders who assist struggling homeowners seeking to resolve their financial difficulties through this method. Lenders are encouraged to act early and efficiently to help it minimize the damage to the homeowner’s credit status.

    We Understand

    We understand that obtaining a modification may seem like an overwhelming task. That’s why we do our utmost to pursue a loan modification with the most favorable terms possible — and as quickly as possible. (See box below to request your confidential FREE CONSULTATION).

    Short Sale

    An alternative to foreclosure, a short sale is when a homeowner in financial distress sells his or her property for less than the outstanding balance due on the mortgage, and requires that the lender agree to accept less than the amount still owed, the remaining balance is forgiven, thereby releasing the lien against the home and usually the borrower from liability for the loan.

    Whether you have a buyer in mind or a real estate agent advising you to consider this option, the first step should be to seek quality legal counsel to discuss how it works, and to ensure that the process is handled properly and to your benefit. (See box below to request your confidential FREE CONSULTATION).

    Many Factors To Consider

    How do you know if a short sale will serve you better than a foreclosure? There are many factors to consider, all of which the experienced attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. will discuss and evaluate to determine the answer that works best for you. It’s important to fully understand the pros and cons of a short sale versus a foreclosure in the context of all relevant New York laws and how they might impact a foreclosure versus a short sale. The capable attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C., who have negotiated many short sales with various lending institutions throughout New York, will help you do just that.

    There are situations in which a short sale may be the lesser of two evils. A short sale can help you avoid months of stress, embarrassment, annoyance, and fear. Short sales are private, as opposed to foreclosures, which are public. You might also avoid being held responsible for any deficiency balance —and avoid being subject to a deficiency judgment, in the event the property were to sell for less than the balance of the loan. The attorneys at Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. will explain and help negotiate with the lender to avoid this, which occurs if the lender agrees to release its lien in exchange for the short sale proceeds but does not release you from personal liability on the debt.

    Will A Lender Agree?

    While a foreclosure is expensive and time-consuming, often taking over a year to complete, a short sale is relatively quick and cost-saving, so it may appeal to a lender. With a foreclosure process underway, lenders must carry the costs of taxes and property insurance which must be maintained even when a homeowner isn’t making mortgage payments, from the time of default until the property is foreclosed on and resold. Our firm’s skilled attorneys can advocate on your behalf from the advantage that the lender can avoid this expense by agreeing to a short sale instead and help negotiate the specifics of the lender’s agreement.

    How Much?

    Homeowners often want to know in advance how much their lender will accept in a short sale. For example, if the outstanding mortgage is $350,000, will the lender accept just $300,000? Unfortunately, there’s no easy one-size-fits-all answer. Each situation is different. This is where the expertise offered by Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. comes in, helping you to better understand the pricing process from all sides.

    The lender will generally compare the offered price to the amount they would expect to gain at auction if they instead foreclosed on the home. Buyers at foreclosure auctions consider the fair market value of the property and bid considerably lower, expecting to pay much less. Lenders are aware of this. The bottom line is, if the short sale offer reflects the property’s current fair market value or is close to it, the short sale may be approved by the lender, well knowing the auction price will likely be lower. (See box below to request your confidential FREE CONSULTATION).

    Free Consultation

    There is no fee to explore your options with Lester Korinman Kamran & Masini, P.C. We will ascertain whether or not you need legal help, and explain your options as your case progresses.

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