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If you currently are unable to make your payments, it is critical to take action now in order to stop potential action from creditors. Ignoring the bills and not seeking legal advice can make matters worse, increasing the likelihood of a potentially much worse outcome.

For example, borrowers who seek foreclosure help early are much more likely to work out a meaningful solution, no matter how advanced their foreclosure situation. Typically banks do not want to foreclose on your property and they are much more interested in collecting payments every month, than owning, rehabilitating, and marketing foreclosed homes.

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    Each takes time and each offers certain advantages and disadvantages.



    The following are possibilities that we can procure through the mortgage modification process:

    • Lowering the monthly payments Reducing or modifying the interest rate Extending the term of the loan
    • Reducing the principal balance
    • Deferring delinquent money payments onto the end of loan If mortgage modification seems like the right option for you, contact us for a consultation.

    Mortgage loan modification is a great solution for a borrower who wants to stay in their property, but can’t afford the current payment but still has income and may be able to afford a lesser mortgage payment. Mortgage loan modification is also a solution when the payment has not been made for a while, but the borrower can now afford to start making payments again.

    A mortgage loan modification is a permanent change in one or more of the terms of the loan that will allow the loan to be reinstated and results in a payment you can afford. For example changing the amortization schedule of the loan and/or lowering the interest rate can make a big difference, reducing monthly payment amount to something the borrower can afford to stop a foreclosure.


    A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale fall short of the balance owed on a loan secured by the property sold. In a short sale, the bank agrees to discount a loan balance because of an economic or financial hardship on the part of the owner.

    The home owner will attempt to sell the property for less than the outstanding balance of the loan, and turns over the proceeds of the sale to the lender. Many lenders will agree to accept the proceeds of a short sale and may forgive or be willing to negotiate on the rest of what is owed on the mortgage. In such instances, the lender would have the right to approve or disapprove of a proposed sale.

    Negotiating a Short Sale with the lender can be a lengthy and difficult process. The lender may require a written contract with you and the buyer, a HUD-1 or settlement statement of the sale, a buyer assurance letter stating the potential buyer is approved for the new loan, proof that the house has been on the market for a period of time with a Real Estate Agent and financial information from you.

    Many short sales fall through for a number of reasons. We can successfully negotiate short sales for many home owners and we know what documentation the lender needs for approval and in what order.

    Contact us for more details.


    If you can no longer afford your property and a modification or short sale will not work for you needs, your lender may agree to accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.

    A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is a conveyance of the property from the property owner to the current mortgage holder. The conveyance is done to avoid foreclosure proceedings.

    Like a short sale, whether or not the mortgage holder agrees to accept the Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure as full satisfaction of the underlying debt depends on each lender and the specifics of the transaction.

    Not all properties will qualify for a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. If there are any existing any liens or judgments recorded against the property owner or the property or if the property is encumbered by a second mortgage, then the property will not qualify for a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. Contact us for more details on Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure.


    Beware of any non-attorney who claims they can assist you in modifying your mortgage. The Foreclosure Rescue Act, Section 501.1377, Florida Statutes, went into effect October 1, 2008 and imposed restrictions on non-lawyer loan modifiers offering to protect distressed homeowners.

    There have been many recent stories in the press of large national loan modifications companies being investigated by the Attorney General from many states across the Country. These companies collect high fees and have a reputation for failing to deliver any real results for their clients.

    At Cuenant & Pennington, PA we defend clients against all types of creditors. We can use the rules and laws already in place to put you on equal footing with your lender.

    I’m behind in my mortgage payments… now what?

    If you have a mortgage on your home and you are behind in your payments, pay close attention to any letters you receive. Your rights may depend on the type of mortgage you have. Be sure to keep copies of all letters and notice… do not throw them out! Do not ignore letters from the Mortgage company. Consult an attorney for further legal advice.

    I believe I am a victim of consumer fraud. Who should I contact?

    If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you may contact the Florida Attorney General at (866) 966-7226.

    I’ve been served court papers for foreclosure.,. now what?

    If the bank or mortgage company has started a foreclosure suit against you, you will be served court papers by the sheriff or a process server. You will probably receive a summons, a complaint, and an order to show cause. These papers come with a deadline: You must respond within 20 days. As soon as you receive court papers, read them. Talk with an attorney to get advice.

    Frequently Asked Questions


    Can I defend this lawsuit without hiring an attorney?

    Yes. Any defendant may represent themselves in a foreclosure proceeding, however, it is strongly recommended that individuals seek the advice of legal counsel. If a settlement is to be reached with the bank, typically, they can take several months. An experienced foreclosure attorney may be able to buy the time needed to work out a successful negotiation with the bank.

    I have been speaking with the bank and they say I may qualify for a loan modification. Do I still need to defend the lawsuit?

    Absolutely. This is a fairly common misunderstanding that homeowners believe. Simply because the bank is willing to enter talks with you about your payments does not preclude them from continuing on with litigation proceedings. UNTIL AN ACTUAL AGREEEMENT WITH THE BANK IS REACHED, THEY WILL CONTINUE WITH FORECLOSURE PROCEEDINGS AS IF NO AGREEMENT HAS BEEN ENTERED.

    What is a Summary Judgment?

    A Summary Judgment in a foreclosure action typically is when a bank has pleaded to the court that they are entitled foreclose on the property and the court agrees with these findings.

    Can I still negotiate with the bank after a judgment has been entered?

    Yes. A judgment simply gives the bank the permission to sell the property. They do not own it, nor will anyone else until an actual sale takes place and a new certificate of title is issued. Up until that point, a homeowner or their attorney can still attempt to negotiate with the bank.

    Are there any other options?

    You may wish to sell your home. You have the right to do so until the foreclosure sale. This may be the best way for you to get back the equity you have in the home. If you want to do this, contact a realtor. You may want to consider bankruptcy. In some situations where the household has a steady source of income, bankruptcy can help you save your home. Talk to an attorney who handles bankruptcy matters for advice.

    You also have the right to “redeem” your home until the sale of the house. To redeem your home, you must pay all amounts owed on the mortgage, plus attorney fees, and the court costs that went with the foreclosure. If you do this, you can stop the foreclosure sale. You may also want to consider deeding the house back to the bank or mortgage company. Contact the attorney representing the mortgage company to discuss this option.


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    If you need help meeting your debt obligations, taking an active role early plays a major role in avoiding foreclosure, eviction and other devastating outcomes. Regardless of the circumstances, you have options.


    Based on your situation, we may be able to work with your lender to avoid a foreclosure.


    By defending a foreclosure lawsuit an owner can buy precious time to successfully negotiate a loan modification, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, look into the benefits of bankruptcy, and otherwise give you the time you need to make an informed and intelligent decision about what is the best course of action for you proceed.


    If you are facing a situation where you are unable to meet you monthly debt obligations, there we may have options for you to explore. Each takes time and each offers certain advantages and disadvantages.

    If you have been served foreclosure summons and compliant you only have 20 days to answer the complaint against you. If you don’t answer, or don’t answer correctly, you may waive several legal defenses that can be asserted on your behalf and the bank can then ask the court to rule in their favor on motion of Summary Judgment.

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