A Massachusetts Lawyer's Tips on Loan Modification and Stopping Foreclosure
If you are facing foreclosure, here are a few ideas that may help in putting a stop to it.
Do something!If you want to save your Massachusetts house from foreclosure, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Embrace this mindset. Be proactive. Don't let the mortgage-company representatives give you the brush-off. Cultivate this mindset, and move on to the next step. The worst thing you can do is put it off or stick your head in the sand. Even though it is very stressful, you have more options if you don't wait until right before the foreclosure to try and do something. Take action step by step and find someone (local) to help you look at all the options so you can make the best choice.
Determine whether foreclosure on your Massachusetts home Is imminentIf there is a foreclosure sale scheduled, you need to take immediate steps to get it postponed. Here in Massachusetts, the mortgage company (or the foreclosure lawyers conducting the foreclosure) is required to send you a notice with the date, time, and location of the foreclosure sale at least two weeks before the sale is to take place. This same notice must also be published in the newspaper at least three weeks before the foreclosure sale. If the mortgage company intends to seek a deficiency judgment against you, they must also publish this information in the notice, and must serve you three weeks before the sale date, rather than two.
Foreclosures in Massachusetts are difficult and costly to have set aside. To do this, you will need to contact a lawyer to file a lawsuit to get what is called a "temporary restraining order." A judge may then be able to order the mortgage company to postpone the foreclosure. (You can contact my office to do this at www.maloanmodification.com
Gather information about your Massachusetts mortgageTo get a loan modification or stop foreclosure in Massachusetts, you need to get as much information as possible about your mortgage. This means that you need to contact your mortgage servicer and, at the least, get the following information:
Total amount past due
Date of last payment
Is the interest rate "adjustable"?
Term of mortgage (typically 30 years, but this could be longer or shorter)
Does the mortgage contain a "balloon" payment at the end? How much is this payment?
Owner of the note (often called the "investor")
Does payment include "escrow" (property taxes and insurance)?
Monthly escrow amount
Yearly amount of taxes and property insurance
You can get this information by calling the phone number on your monthly mortgage statement. If you don't have your mortgage statement, the following web site has a list of many of the largest mortgage servicers and their phone numbers. http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/contact_servicer.html.
Call a Massachusetts lawyer for a loan modification or to stop foreclosureThe only person licensed to practice foreclosure law in Massachusetts is a lawyer licensed in Massachusetts. A lawyer can talked to you about the history of your mortgage servicing, examine your mortgage for errors, and use the mortgage company's violations as leverage in negotiations to save your home.
A lawyer or company in another state does not have any legal authority in Massachusetts (this is called "unauthorized practice of law). Even a Massachusetts law firm that conducts mortgage closings would have a conflict of interest and not be able to adequately represent your interests.