The American Dream of home ownership became fraught with peril in recent years as the artificially inflated home price bubble burst and the U.S. economy tanked, leaving many families in an untenable position with their home mortgages. Unable to pay and unable to sell as home prices plummeted, homeowners were hurtled down the path to foreclosure.
Losing one’s home is an emotionally devastating process, one that you should never face alone. A Little Rock, AR foreclosure defense attorney can often help you find legitimate alternatives to foreclosure that, depending on your circumstances, might save your home or at least save your credit rating.
When a property owner cannot make payments on a loan, the lender has the right to take possession of the home in a foreclosure proceeding, seizing the home to be resold so the lender can recover the amount owed. This can be either a judicial process, which involves the court, or a non-judicial process, where the lender goes through the foreclosure without court involvement. In Arkansas, most foreclosures are non-judicial and merely require the lender to go through certain steps leading up to the seizure of the home and expulsion of the homeowner and family.
If you find yourself with mortgage problems, an experienced foreclosure prevention attorney can sometimes convert the process to a judicial one by petitioning the court for an injunction to stop the procedure. This can buy you some time to examine alternatives to losing your home in foreclosure.
Foreclosure is typically a long process that begins when a homeowner falls behind on mortgage payments. This is often the result of some unexpected hardship, such as losing a job, becoming ill and incurring large medical expenses, divorce, or the death of a primary breadwinner for the family.
After you have missed payments for several months, the bank will record a public notice at the County Recorder’s Office stating that the borrower has defaulted on the mortgage. Arkansas law requires the lender to send a Notice of Default and Intention to Sell by mail within 30 days of recording the default. When you receive the Notice of Default, you know that you are in imminent danger of losing your home.
It is a good idea to consult a foreclosure protection attorney as soon as you have missed a couple of payments so you can start early on considering what options might be available to you. With expert legal advice, you might be able to forestall the foreclosure and buy some time.
When you have received a Notice of Default, you can no longer delay getting qualified legal help, unless you plan to lose your home and your credit without a fight, which is probably not in your best interest. For most Americans, the family home is their greatest asset and one that should be safeguarded whenever possible.
One caveat: Foreclosure scams abound, and when the Notice of Default is filed, scammers will be all over you. Only use an experienced and reputable licensed Little Rock bankruptcy attorney.
Once you’ve received the Notice of Default from the lender, you’ve begun the “pre-foreclosure” period. This is when you can work out a deal, such as a loan modification or short sale, or you pay the arrears and bring your loan up to date. In the absence of an agreement with your lender, the foreclosure will continue, the house will be seized, and you’ll have to move out.
The lender will sell it at auction, on the local market, or as part of a lot of foreclosed properties packaged together to sell to a large investor.
For the best possible outcome for you and your family, if you are facing the possibility of foreclosure in Arkansas, contact Dilks Law Firm in Little Rock immediately to schedule a free foreclosure defense analysis to see what options might be available to save your home and/or minimize the damage to your credit.