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Do I have an opportunity to negotiate with lender to avoid foreclosure?

Oviedo, FL |

My wife and I fell terribly behind on our mortgage as a result of her battle with cancer. She passed away last Sept after we'd filed for Ch13 bankruptcy. After having made four payments to the trustee as per the bankruptcy plan, a new friend of mine claiming experience with finances advised that the bankruptcy was the wrong path considering that the mortgage was my only large debt. He advised that I stop paying and allow the bk to be dismissed. It has been dismissed but this "friend" has left the picture and I'm just not sure what steps to take now. The original attorney I engaged offered only the bankruptcy as an option so I'm not comfortable going back to that firm. I am hoping an attorney can help me negotiate with the bank. Thoughts?

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Attorney answers 5


Yes, you can apply for a mortgage modification with the bank. If you are eligible for a government modification the bank must approve you. If you are not, the banks also have private modification programs that are available for homeowners. Bankruptcy is not your only option. It might have been at the time if you had an upcoming foreclosure sale. We have been handling modifications for over 8 years and have worked with borrowers that are both in the bankruptcy process and outside of the bankruptcy process. Now that you are out I recommend you contact counsel immediately to assist you with obtaining a modification as the process is very difficult.


My condolences for your loss. Yes, there areoptions other than bankruptcy. My firm and many others you can find here on AVVO work with banks to modify loans. You may qualify for certain loan modification programs, or you may be able to negotiate directly with the lender.

It is important to know that these negotiations do not stop a foreclosure proceeding, so you need an attorney who will be able to work on both aspects: the loan modification and the foreclosure.

Most important in developing a strategy with your attorney is communicating your goal. The correct strategy will differ whether you want to try to keep the home, stay as long as possible as cheaply as possible, or get out as quickly as possible. Each case is unique.

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There is hope. You can try and modify the loan but will need to qualify. The first consult is free and we can run your numbers for eligibility and tell you what your new payment would be


.... Because the bankruptcy was your best option. Orlando bankruptcy court has a wildly successful mortgage mediation program. At about 75% success rate of getting an offer from the bank, it protects the home from foreclosure while you pursue this option.

You should strongly consider another chapter 13.


Yes, you can and should contact thelender to discuss the options available. If you want to retain ownership of the home you should inquire about applying for a loan modification. On the other hand, if you are not interested in keeping the home you should ask the lender about their short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure options.

This response is not intended to provide legal advice, nor is it intended to be a solicitation for legal advice. NO reader should consider the information contained herein to be an invitation for creation of an attorney-client relationship, and you should not rely on information provided. The information provided is for general information purposes only, this response should NOT be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. If you have a legal question, you should seek the advice of a licensed attorney in your state.