If you live in New York and your bank has started the foreclosure process, this what you need to know.
The Foreclosure Process in New York and Where You Can Fight Back
With the end of the various foreclosure moratoriums, if you are behind on your mortgage payments, your lenders have the right to start foreclosure preceding against you. There are 10 steps to a foreclosure process in New York. In each step, there are ways to stop the process, or at least mitigate the damage.
Step 1 – Mortgage Arrears
This starts when you are more than 15 days late on a mortgage payment. If you are late because of a temporary situation, you should be able to work with your lender directly and set up a way to quickly pay what you owe. If however, you are late because of a catastrophic financial change, you may want to work with a foreclosure attorney to have your mortgage renegotiated. Learn more about it here – https://www.ny-bankruptcy.com/services/mortgage-modifications-and-negotiations/mortgage-loan-modifications/.
Step 2 – Notices
If you ignored your lender reaching out to you after being more than 15 days late, the bank will begin sending you notices. These notices, or breach letters, spell out that you are in default of your loan, and if you don’t do something about it, the lender will start the foreclosure process. You usually have about 90 days to stop the process by either paying what you owe or working with a foreclosure lawyer to modify your loan.
Step 3 – Lis Pendens and Summons of Complaint
After 120 days after you’ve stopped paying your mortgage, your lender will file a lis pendens (Latin for “suit pending”) with your local county clerk, challenging your right to ownership of your property. As part of this step, they will also send you a “summons and complaint” notice which will tell you about the lis pendens and will tell you the date and time you and your foreclosure lawyer need to be at court. After being served with the Summons and Complaint defendants have 20-30 days depending on the service method to answer or to make a motion to dismiss. At this point, with the right foreclosure attorney by your side, you still may be able have the case thrown out, receive an extension, or deal with last minute negotiations with your lender. Learn more about summons and complaint notices here – https://www.ny-bankruptcy.com/defending-against-foreclosure-action/.
Step 4 – Settlement Conferences
Next comes the court-mandated settlement conference. This is where you, your foreclosure lawyer, your lender, and a judge try one last time to come to agreement. Because these conferences give you a better chance of obtaining a modification, or even just slow down the foreclosure proceedings, you are strongly advised to attend. If there is any way to negotiate more time for your payments, or to have the loan modified to a lower rate, this is where it happens. Learn more about foreclosure settlement conferences here – https://www.ny-bankruptcy.com/stopping-a-foreclosure-sale/.
Step 5 – Motion for Summary Judgment
As part of the foreclosure process, your lender will serve you a copy of their “complaint” (see step 3) that details your rights and how many days to have to “answer” their claims. If you choose to answer, you must do so with legally acceptable responses to their complaint. If you don’t file an answer, your lender can request a default judgement against you. If you DO file and answer, they will ask for a motion for summary judgment asking the court to rule in their favor without a trial because they didn’t think your answer was good enough. This is where you need an experienced foreclosure lawyer at your side. They should be the one to draft your answer and can also follow up with a response to a motion for summary judgment. Part of this process is called “discovery”, where both sides gather information about the case, which can include interrogatories, document demand, and sometimes depositions. Your foreclosure attorney’s goal is to slow down the foreclosure with factual disputes in order to buy you more time. Your attorney can litigate the case (via opposition or cross motions) or can help resolve the case via negotiation.
Part 2 of this post will cover the final five steps in the foreclosure process:
What to Do Now
No matter where you are on the foreclosure cycle, having the right foreclosure lawyer by your side can make all the difference. Make sure your foreclosure attorney is experienced with foreclosure defense, distressed mortgages, mortgage modifications, short sales, foreclosure avoidance, and negotiation/debt settlement. Reach out to New York foreclosure attorney Ronald Weiss for a free consultation. He can guide you through the available options for your specific needs. Working together, you can find the right choice. Ron can get the process started and will be at your side the whole time. Call 631-271-3737 and take the first step to a fresh start.