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FAQs

FAQs

The Top 5 Things You Need To Know If You Have Been Notified Of Foreclosure In Tampa Bay, Florida.

  1. You only have 20 calendar days to respond to a foreclosure lawsuit. If you do not respond within 20 calendar days of being served, you risk losing your case by default.
  2. If you have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit, do not call the bank. Call a foreclosure defense lawyer.
  3. Your written response to the lawsuit must raise legally sound defenses to the foreclosure or you can waive your defenses. Do not simply write a letter explaining your hardship.
  4. There are defenses available to you besides payment. Banks are required to provide you with certain notices prior to suing you and the bank must prove it has the rights to the Note. There are also certain certifications that must be in compliance with the law. There are other defenses available as well. Just like any other lawsuit, the bank must prove its case. A good foreclosure defense lawyer will make the bank prove its case.
  5. If you have been served with foreclosure papers you need to focus on the Court case. Do not call the bank and if you have already done so, do not listen to what they tell you. Remember – the bank is suing you. The bank is not your friend. Keep your focus on the litigation, which is what is taking place in Court. This is how you fight the bank and keep you and your family in your home. The folks at the bank do not understand litigation and are not lawyers.

For more information read our FAQ below.

Call for Advice. Call Torrens Law Group P.A. at (813) 260-4883. Serving all of Tampa Bay, Florida.

Tampa Foreclosure Attorneys FAQ

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How do I know if I have been sued in foreclosure?
You will know that you have been sued in foreclosure when you are served by a process server with a thick stack of papers. This thick stack of papers will be a Complaint and Summons and it will state that you have 20 days to file a response. If you are served with these papers, do not call the bank. Call a foreclosure defense lawyer.
If I am served with a foreclosure lawsuit, do I need to start packing immediately?
While lawyers cannot make any guarantees, if you hire a competent foreclosure defense lawyer to defend you in the foreclosure lawsuit, you will not need to start packing immediately. You will probably have much more time in the home than you think.
What is the purpose of hiring a foreclosure defense lawyer? Why not just contact the bank and explain my situation?
A foreclosure lawsuit is just like any other lawsuit against you. You have the right to assert legal defenses to foreclosure and sometimes the bank’s foreclosure case can actually be dismissed. You have the right to file a Motion to Dismiss (if proper legal grounds exist), to file an Answer and Affirmative Defenses, to demand the production of documents from the foreclosing bank, and even to take the deposition of the bank’s corporate representative. If the case is not resolved prior to trial, you can even take the case to a contested trial whereby you have the opportunity to cross-examine the bank’s representative. All foreclosure trials in Florida are “bench” trials, which simply means a non-jury trial. The final ruling is made by the judge. This is why it is so important that you hire a competent, aggressive foreclosure defense lawyer. Defending yourself in foreclosure can be a technical process where it is required that one truly understand the litigation process, the rules of procedure, and the relevant case law and statutes.
If I have been sued in foreclosure, is it still possible to save my home?
Yes, it is. Every case has different facts but you may be eligible for a loan modification. Whether you qualify or not depends on various factors, such as whether you have had any previous modifications, what your current monthly income is, and what your current monthly mortgage payment amount is. If you qualify for a loan modification, generally the bank or mortgage servicer will place you on a three month “trial period” in which you will make your modified mortgage payments for three consecutive months. As long as you make your three monthly payments on time, you will receive your permanent loan modification documents to execute and return to the bank for recording in the official records. Then your foreclosure case is dismissed, and the lis pendens released.
What if I want to walk away from the property with no personal liability?
During the initial consultation with a potential foreclosure defense client, we always make sure to ask what your goals are for the case. Some folks would like a loan modification, other folks have fallen on hard times and need more time in the home, whereas other folks are tired of dealing with the property and wish to walk away with no personal liability. Most of our clients are “underwater” on their properties. This means that they owe more on the mortgage than the property is worth. This has serious ramifications for a foreclosure case. Let’s say you owe $200,000 on your mortgage, but the property only sells for $100,000 at a foreclosure sale. You could be facing a deficiency judgment of approximately $100,000. For clients who are interested, we are oftentimes able to work out a deal with the bank and their attorney whereby you agree to give back the title to the property in exchange for a waiver of the deficiency and perhaps some cash relocation assistance as well. This type of deal commonly referred to as “cash for keys,” allows the client to walk away from the property without any personal liability for the mortgage debt.
If I am not paying my mortgage, what defenses to foreclosure could there be?
There are many other defenses to foreclosure other than being current on your mortgage. For example, in most cases, the bank has to send you a certain notice before filing a suit against you. The bank has to prove that it has the rights to the Promissory Note. Many of the mortgage loans have been sold off so many times that often it is difficult for the bank to prove that it actually has the right to enforce your particular loan. Each foreclosure case has different facts. Under the existing case law and the applicable Florida Statutes, there are legal defenses to mortgage foreclosure other than being current on your mortgage.
What if I would like to short sale my property but I have been served with foreclosure papers?
Even if you have your property listed with a Realtor for a short sale, we still highly recommend that you consult with a competent foreclosure defense attorney. We have seen quite a few cases where the homeowner thinks a short sale will be approved, then learns that their home is going to be auctioned off at a foreclosure sale. To ensure you and your realtor will have the time needed to get your short sale through, we highly recommend you at least have a foreclosure defense lawyer file your defenses in the

Remember To Act Within 20 Days of being served!​

What are the most common options you can pursue in order to resolve my foreclosure case?

Top 6 Foreclosure Solutions

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1. Foreclosure defense litigation
Remember that when you are served with a foreclosure lawsuit, you have been sued and you need a competent foreclosure defense attorney to defend you vigorously in Court. There are many Court documents that need to be filed, hearings that need to be attended. If you do not mount a vigorous defense in Court, the bank will get a foreclosure judgment against you and sell your home. Attorney Ryan Torrens is comfortable in the courtroom and has beaten the bank in many foreclosure trials. Remember that even if you wish to explore one of the options below, you will still need an attorney to defend in Court. At our firm, we engage in foreclosure defense litigation to protect your interests and at the same time, try to achieve a resolution of the case that works for you. If you have a viable defense and wish to try your case, we will not hesitate to lead that battle for you and try your case on the merits. Read more about Foreclosure Defense Litigation.
2. Loan Modification
If you would like to save your home, a loan modification can be a good option. If you have the income to pay a reduced mortgage payment, we can assist with your application for a loan modification. If you are approved for a loan modification, your foreclosure case will typically be put on hold while you make three “trial payments” to the bank to prove your ability to perform on the loan. If you make your three payments timely, you will then sign a permanent mortgage modification and your foreclosure case will be dismissed! Remember, while you are trying to apply for a loan modification, the bank will often still try to push forward with the foreclosure. This is illegal now but the banks still do it. This practice is called “Dual Tracking.” This is why it is critical that you have a competent foreclosure defense attorney to defend you in court while, at the same time, assist you in getting your loan modification application approved. Read more about Loan Modification.
3. Reinstatement of Loan
A reinstatement is when you pay the past due balance to the bank. At any point, after you fall behind on payments, you have the right to request and receive a reinstatement quote from the bank. You generally have the right to reinstate the mortgage up until the time that a foreclosure judgment is entered, but often lenders will accept a reinstatement post-judgment, as long as the reinstatement is received prior to the foreclosure auction. Under those circumstances, the bank would then move the Court to have the judgment vacated and the case dismissed. A reinstatement is a very speedy and quick resolution of your foreclosure matter if you can put together the funds to afford it. Read more about Reinstatement of the Loan.
4. “Cash for keys”
A “cash for keys” deal is when you work out a deal with the bank where you give up your home in exchange for a cash payment for relocation assistance, a release from the mortgage debt, and an extension of time in which to move. For example, under a typical “cash for keys” deal, you may receive a check for $5,000.00 to assist you with relocation expenses, a release from the mortgage debt so you don’t owe the bank any more money, and another four months in which to vacate the property. If you are looking for a clean way to “walk away,” this could be a good option for you. Read more about “Cash for keys“.
5. Short Sale
A short sale is when you sell your home and the bank agrees to accept an amount that is less than the total amount due on the note and mortgage, hence the name “short sale.” Generally, with a short sale, you will be released from the debt as part of the deal. You always want to review the closing paperwork carefully to make sure you are being released from the debt. Sometimes, especially if it’s a smaller lender, they may try to get you to sign a promissory note for the difference between what is owed on the note and mortgage and what the lender is getting from the short sale. Do not sign that! You can list your property for a short sale even when you are in foreclosure, but you still need a competent defense attorney to litigate the case and get you the time you need for the short sale to be completed. Read more about Short Sale.
6. Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
A deed-in-lieu can be a great option if you want to walk away from your property and reduce or eliminate your liabilities. A deed-in-lieu is only an option if you do not have any junior liens such as second mortgages, lines of credit, etc. A deed-in-lieu is where you sign your deed back over to the bank in exchange for a cash payment and a release from the debt so you do not owe the bank any more money on the mortgage. You have to submit a deed-in-lieu application and get approved for it and our firm can assist you with your application for a deed-in-lieu. Read more about Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure.