Chula Vista Foreclosure Defense Attorneys
Working to Save Your Home
Losing your home to foreclosure is unimaginable, but it is possible if you become unable to keep up with your payments. It can be easy to feel helpless if you receive a Notice of Default but still lack the funds to make your mortgage current. There are often legal options to avoid a foreclosure, even if you cannot immediately catch up on missed payments, but you must act quickly.
Our Chula Vista foreclosure defense lawyers at The Sexton Law Firm can work to save your home through filing for bankruptcy. We can leverage the bankruptcy’s automatic stay to halt foreclosure proceedings and give you time to reorganize your finances. Our team is compassionate to the stress you and your family are experiencing and will do everything possible to achieve a positive outcome in your case.
How Soon Does the Foreclosure Process Start?
Here is how foreclosures typically begin in California:
- Grace period: Homeowners in California enjoy a substantial grace period before formal foreclosure proceedings can begin.
- First missed payment and penalties: The clock starts ticking from the date you miss your first payment. Your bank or lending institution will likely call or send a letter informing you of the missed payment and assess late fees and interest. If possible, try and catch up as soon as possible, as lending institutions cannot pursue foreclosure for only a handful of late payments.
- Additional missed payments: If you fall further behind and continue to miss payments, you will likely receive further communication from the bank.
- Notice of Default: After 120 days (or 4 months) have passed since the initial missed payment, your bank will likely file a Notice of Default with the relevant court. They must inform you of their filing within 10 days.
Receiving a Notice of Default should be a wakeup call that foreclosure is possible. The good news is that foreclosures are expensive and time-consuming for banks, meaning there may be room for negotiation and compromise. This might include refinancing or loan modifications. A Notice of Default will also become moot if you manage to gather the funds to bring the mortgage current.
How Long Do I Have to Catch Up on Mortgage Payments Before Foreclosure?
Even if you cannot reach a compromise with your lending institution, you by default have an additional 90 days – or 3 months – to catch up on payments. If you know you will not be able to do so, it may be time to consider foreclosure defense strategies.
Once this additional grace period has passed, a bank can set an auction date to sell your home. Your lending institution must wait at least 20 days after you have been served with official notice to initiate the auction. Once the auction takes place, you will no longer be able to save your home.
How Bankruptcy Can Stop Foreclosure
The good news is that filing for bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure process at any point before the auction takes place. This means that you can choose to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the final days leading up to a sale and still potentially save your home.
- Automatic stay puts an immediate stop to all foreclosure proceedings: When you file bankruptcy, the court promptly issues an automatic stay, an order that prohibits any further creditor action from being taken against you. This means that all types of collections actions, including repossessions, lawsuits, wage garnishments, and foreclosures, must be halted for the duration of the bankruptcy filing.
- You can reorganize your finances to create more affordable monthly payments. Though Chapter 7 bankruptcy does include a liquidation element, you can exempt many of your assets – including equity in your home. We can help you maximize these exemptions while minimizing losses. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your outstanding debts will be consolidated into a single monthly payment.
- You can discharge unsecured debts to free up your money for your home payments. While you cannot discharge missed mortgage payments, you can be absolved of other types of debts, freeing up funds to catch up on payments. Our team can help you strategize on how best to leverage bankruptcy’s tools to protect your home and other interests.
We Will Fight for You
Our Chula Vista foreclosure defense attorneys at The Sexton Law Firm realize how terrifying the prospect of losing your home can be. We are experienced with helping clients stop the foreclosure process and navigate out of debt through filing for bankruptcy. Our team can help you explore your options and chart a path to a more sustainable financial future, but you must act quickly. We can only stop foreclosure if you file for bankruptcy before the auction takes place.
We Listen to Your Story and Create a Strategy to Achieve Your Goals
With offices in Chula Vista, Oceanside, and La Mesa, we serve clients throughout all of Southern California
We Offer Free Consultations - Regardless of the Legal Matter
We Offer Phone and Video Consultations For Your Safety and Convenience
We Are Bilingual and Serve Our Clients in English and Spanish
We Are a Family Owned and Operated Law Firm