April 4, 2009
Myth: I have not paid my mortgage in months and no one has contacted me. I think I can stay here forever and not pay anything
Truth: Sometimes, especially when banks or loans change hands, files get misplaced or there is a transition period where nothing happens. Eventually you will hear from the bank. You can not be successful stopping foreclosure by avoiding the mortgage problems. The banks are sometimes overloaded with files, but they will get to yours eventually, best to deal with it up front.
Myth: The foreclosure date is too close, there is nothing I can do
Truth: Sometimes minutes before the foreclosure sale a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop the auction. Don’t wait for things too get this close, but I have seen it done. You will be better served to have things prepared with a lawyer at least a week or two prior to the foreclosure date. Also many times the bank will stall the foreclosure if you have a buyer who is purchasing the property.
Myth: If I file a chapter 13 bankruptcy I get to keep the house automatically no matter what
Truth: If you file a chapter 13 bankruptcy AND you have a chapter 13 approved by the court AND you make ALL of the payments under the plan you may be able to keep the house. If you are considering this option, please contact expert legal counsel.
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Myth: When they foreclose on my house they take all my stuff
Truth: The bank does not want your stuff. You get to keep your personal property, but permanent attachments to the house should stay like light fixtures or a dish washer. Sometimes it gets tricky, but unless there is something of great value the bank expected was there and it is gone after the foreclosure it is rarely an issue. Don’t turn it into an issue by taking everything including wall to wall carpets and radiators and toilets, which would insure trouble.
Myth: The bank can’t expect ME to pay THEIR legal fees
Truth: Oh, yes they do, and you will if you want to keep the house. Look in your mortgage documents, it’s very clear. Don’t expect it to be cheap either $2000-$5000 can be common.
Myth: When a judge hears my sad tale they will not kick me out
Truth: You may get more time, but you will only be stopping the action for a while, eventually you will go. The banks have heard all the stories and more.
Myth: The bank messed up one of my payments and I have proof! They can’t kick me out, in fact, I want to sue them and I’m going to collect big
Truth: People often focus on the wrong things, waste time and lose the main objective while focusing on the trivial details. If you owe the bank $5,000 and they say you owe them $5,500 even if you are right a $500 error will not mean anything in terms of a judge stopping the foreclosure or award significant money to you. Concentrate on stopping the foreclosure by dealing with the $5,000 you admit you owe and deal with the $500 error as a secondary subject.
Myth: No one can help me in stopping my home foreclosure
Truth: Many methods and many professionals can help avoiding foreclosure. It would be to your advantage to seek out all of your options.
Cynthia Goda has been a local area Realtor in Summit County since 1983 and has dealt with many banks, foreclosures and short sales over the years. Give her a call if you have any questions or email her at Cynthia@cynthiagoda.com or call 970-468-0404.