Is your mortgage lender threatening to repossess your home? If so, you may need the assistance of a Columbus foreclosure lawyer.
The cost of living has skyrocketed across the United States in recent years, and other economic issues have left millions of people struggling financially. Tragically, many families in this position will face the threat of foreclosure on their homes.
If you’re in this position, you should be aware that there are actions you can take to protect yourself. Seeking expert legal guidance is the first step you should take to fight for your home.
What is Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a legal process that lenders use to recover the balance of a loan from borrowers who have stopped making payments. Typically, the bank will take possession of the mortgaged property and sell it.
When you sign a mortgage contract, you give the lender (your bank) the legal right to retake possession of the property you’re buying in the event that you breach the contract, such as by failing to make repayments. There are other types of contract breaches that can cause issues, but most Columbus foreclosure proceedings come about because of a failure to make mortgage payments.
Different mortgage contracts contain different types of foreclosure clauses. Generally, a bank will gain the contractual right to begin foreclosure proceedings after you fail to make a certain number of payments.
How Does the Foreclosure Process Work in Ohio?
Ohio home repossessions take place via the judicial foreclosure process; this means they are processed through the court system. This process starts when the lender files a complaint. From there, the occupant is served with a notice and given a certain length of time to respond.
Ohio law requires banks to provide pre-foreclosure notices. This is typically a period of 120 days during which homeowners in default can explore their options or seek legal assistance. It is illegal for banks to foreclose on a property in Ohio until the occupant has payments overdue for at least 120 days.
Once the courts grant a lender the right to proceed with foreclosure, the bank may instruct the occupant of the property to vacate it by a certain date. Should they fail to do so, they may face ejection by force.
How a Columbus Foreclosure Lawyer Can Help You
At Fesenmyer Cousino Weinzimmer, we’re equipped to help clients face every stage of the foreclosure process. The earlier you make contact with a lawyer, the better your chances will be of avoiding foreclosure. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us today to request a free initial consultation.
Loan Modification and Refinancing
Banks generally prefer to work with borrowers to figure out negotiated repayment schedules rather than to pursue foreclosure. A bankruptcy attorney can take care of this negotiation process on your behalf, attempting to craft a repayment structure that you’ll be able to adhere to. One way to avoid foreclosure is through loan modification or refinancing. This can involve adjusting the terms of your loan, reducing payments, or rolling missed payments into the principal amount.
Legal Defenses to Foreclosure
Several legal defenses can be used against foreclosure applications in Ohio, including challenging the lender’s right to foreclose, citing errors in the foreclosure process, or arguing that there was a violation of state and federal mortgage servicing laws. Remember, though, the time limits that apply to foreclosure proceedings in Ohio are short, and failure to adhere to them could spell disaster for you.
In some cases, filing for bankruptcy is the best option. This can temporarily halt the foreclosure process, allowing for a restructuring of debts under the bankruptcy code.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does the foreclosure process take in Ohio?
The duration of the foreclosure process on a given property will vary depending on the specifics of the case and the court’s schedule. The average length of time taken to complete a foreclosure has risen steadily in the U.S. in recent decades.
Can I stay in my home during the foreclosure process?
Yes, homeowners facing foreclosure in Columbus, OH, can generally remain in their homes until the process is complete.
What is a demand letter?
A demand letter is a formal document that can be sent in an attempt to resolve a dispute. In the context of Columbus foreclosure proceedings, banks may send demand letters to borrowers in default as a “last warning” before they come after property held as collateral. If you’ve received a demand letter from your bank, you should discuss it with your Columbus foreclosure attorney.
What impact will foreclosure proceedings have on my credit score?
If a foreclosure goes through on your property, it will have an extremely negative effect on your credit score. However, credit report entries have expiration dates, so you won’t have to live with the issue forever.
Is it possible to recover my home after a foreclosure sale?
Once the foreclosure sale is finalized, the possibility of recovering the home is very slim. It is essential to take action before the sale occurs.
Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home from Foreclosure
Tough financial times affect almost everyone at some point in their lives. Even if you’re struggling to make ends meet, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your home.
Our Columbus foreclosure lawyers are ready to fight for you during this stressful time in your life. Contact us today for a free initial consultation about your case. You can reach us over the phone at 614-228-4435, or via the contact form on our website.