Houston Foreclosure Lawyer
Are you behind on your mortgage or HOA dues? Have you received a notice of foreclosure? If so, it’s critical to understand the foreclosure process.
Foreclosure is a serious legal action that can force you to leave your home. The Westbrook Law Firm, PLLC, can help. We have the experience and knowledge to protect you and your home from foreclosure.
When you purchased your home, your lender obtained an interest in the property to secure the loan (called a “lien”). If you fall behind on your mortgage payments, the lender can repossess the property and foreclose the lien.
Lenders force a sale of your home through the foreclosure process, where the lender is permitted to accelerate the loan and repossess the home. Once a foreclosure occurs, and the home is sold at auction, there is nothing you can do (unless the foreclosure was invalid – which is rare).
Other lien holders, such as taxing authorities and homeowner associations, can also foreclose against your property (this means a debt – even a small one – owed to an HOA can lead to foreclosure).
Once the lender, or other secured lien holder, initiates the foreclosure process, they repossess your home and force you to leave. After repossession, the lender can force a sale of the property and keep the proceeds to pay off the mortgage and associated legal costs.
2 Types of Foreclosure
- Judicial Foreclosure. This occurs when the lender or lien holder files a lawsuit to take possession of the property. These foreclosures take several months to complete. Our Firm sees this with home equity loans.
- Non-Judicial Foreclosure. This occurs when the homeowner defaults on a mortgage, and the lender accelerates the loan. After the lender files a public notice of foreclosure (no court intervention is required), the foreclosure process can be completed in very little time. Unfortunately, Texas allows for non-judicial foreclosures, and you could lose your home — sometimes within 30 days of a missed payment.
Foreclosure And Loan Modifications
Over the last couple of years, the mortgage industry has promoted numerous loan modification programs. The government also stepped in to help with this movement. Hundreds of homeowners facing foreclosure in Houston have contacted our office and utilized our bankruptcy services to protect their homes. Most of these clients submitted paperwork to their respective mortgage company, only to be turned down several months later. Although some people are lucky enough to get a modification, most of the programs are short term or provide little relief.
Bankruptcy Can Stop Your Foreclosure
In many cases, a foreclosure is pending within a few weeks and there is not time to request a loan modification. When time is running out, and you need a guaranteed way to stop the foreclosure, Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a great solution. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides an “automatic stay,” which stays or halts all collection efforts by your creditors, including home foreclosure.
When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your mortgage company will be forced to terminate the foreclosure process, and you can begin paying the deficiency over a long term repayment plan. For example, if you are six months delinquent on your mortgage with payments of $1,000.00 per month, you could file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and pay back the delinquency over a three to five year payment plan. During this time, your mortgage company could not initiate any collection activity, including foreclosure.
To maintain possession of your home and avoid foreclosure, please call our office at 281-888-5581 to speak to a foreclosure attorney.