Often, potential clients from Middletown, Newburgh, White Plains, Orange County, and throughout New York come to us at Hayward, Parker & O’Leary Esqs. after receiving a pre-foreclosure notice or a foreclosure summons and complaint. The first item they ask is usually, “Is there any way I can stop this foreclosure?” While every situation and foreclosure timeline differs, New York and federal law provide means for a foreclosure defense attorney to stall, stop, or fix your foreclosure. Additionally, even if you are unable to halt the foreclosure process initially, the process can be extremely lengthy, often taking well over a year.
The process for foreclosure in New York is very technical, requiring numerous notices, disclosures, conferences and other procedures. While New York law does not require it, many people have mortgage agreements mandating that a notice be sent within 30 days of a missed payment. If your mortgage did not require this disclosure, the first you hear about the foreclosure is in a pre-foreclosure notice sent at least 90 days prior to proceedings. 90 days later, the lender can file a summons and complaint and deliver it to the homeowner. Depending how the complaint was delivered, the homeowner then has either 20 or 30 days to answer.
A mandatory foreclosure settlement conference is then scheduled. At the conference, the homeowner meets with the lender and attempts to amicably resolve the matter, such as through a mortgage modification. These conferences are often postponed and rescheduled, but the homeowner should always participate, because they may be able to stop their foreclosure, and also because even if no deal is reached, the settlement process effectively puts a stop to the foreclosure until the conferences are concluded.
If the settlement process does not produce an amicable result, the lender typically asks the court for summary judgment in their favor. In the past, lenders were often usually granted this. However, after improprieties and general sloppiness of document handling under the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) came to light, some homeowners have defeated the motion. If summary judgment is granted or no answer was filed, an order of reference is signed and filed. The referee then computes the amount due and reports this information to the Court. A Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale is then issued, which gives the lender the right to sell the property at auction. A Notice of Sale is then published, followed by an auction sale. When the referee concludes the sale to the highest bidder and delivers a referee’s deed, title to the property is deemed transferred and the former homeowner can be evicted if they remain in the premises. It is the cumbersome nature of this process that gives rise to the many stories heard about people remaining in their house for a year or more after the foreclosure has commenced.
In Middletown, Newburgh, Orange County and throughout New York there are numerous ways to stop or stall foreclosure. Some of the means to avoid foreclosure are provided by state or federal law, while others are caused by mistakes. They include:
A foreclosure notice does not mean you have to lose your home. In New York, the foreclosure process is lengthy and offers numerous opportunities to delay it or avoid foreclosure entirely. Protect your home by calling us, Hayward, Parker & O’Leary Esqs., at 845-343-6227 or contacting us online for your free consultation.