Fighting for your home or finding another solution to keep your home is distressful. Without the proper guidance or defense, you can end up losing your home. A reliable foreclosure attorney can help you with the tedious process. To find the lawyer that can help you achieve the outcomes you are looking for, you have to choose a reliable one.
Consider the following tips that can help you in your decision:
1. Choose Experts
Lawyers have different specialties. To win your case, you need the best foreclosure defense. Years of handling foreclosure cases can also measure up the expertise of a foreclosure lawyer. Experienced foreclosure attorneys know that bankruptcy is not the only option you can have. However, they must be well-versed on bankruptcy law and loan modifications.
At least five years of experience ensures that your lawyers know various strategies to save you from losing your home. To understand the latest changes in laws related to foreclosures needs regular handling of such cases. Moreover, knowing what a foreclosure attorney can do is one way to screen out the experts from not. A competent lawyer must be able to do the following:
- Answer summons and complaints stating your intention of fighting the lawsuit.
- Attend settlement conferences that can take a lot of times when pursuing a permanent resolution.
- Use defense strategies such as arguing on lack of standing to foreclose or unfair lending conditions against the plaintiff. It is used in delaying foreclosures
- Get a loan modification which is challenging to get approved without a lawyer’s assistance.
2. Look in the Right Places
Knowing the right place to search for foreclosure attorney decreases chances of hiring the wrong one. You need to conduct significant research if you want the best lawyer. When researching, it’s important to know the track record of the lawyer in foreclosure cases. Compare the successful outcomes to that of the filing of bankruptcy for their clients. It will give you an insight into the possible outcome of your case.
Searching for a lawyer can come by word of mouth or referrals. Other methods include the following:
- Call a legal aid office in your area who can refer you to lawyers best for your budget.
- Search on websites but beware of scams and fake good online reviews.
- Check local bar associations that lists attorneys and their disciplines if there are.
3. Schedule A Consultation
Asking the right questions will help you figure out whom you want to work with. Meeting your potential lawyers can help you eliminate the ones not suitable for your case. During this engagement, interview and ask questions. Their manner of speaking must help you understand your options and the law.
Ask them for references so you can reach out to their previous clients and know how satisfied they are. Also, you need to know what recommendations they can give after going over your case. During the consultation, you also need to know the following:
- Fees, billing, and pricing that they ask for their professional service.
- Experience in handling similar cases and how they have handled it.
- Practice in bankruptcy is different from foreclosure law, so ask them where their expertise lie because your option must need someone who specializes in it.
4. Know Your Financial Capacity
Inability to pay your mortgages can lead to foreclosures. It may be due to the economic crisis or losing a job or just not having the financial capacity to continue your mortgage loans. Loan modification lowers your interest rate and if granted, can save you from foreclosure. However, loan modification requires an attorney to get it approved. The cost of an attorney can be burdensome.
If you are on a tight budget, you need an affordable lawyer. Many firms can charge a flat fee without hidden charges. Others offer different methods of payments. To fit your budget with the lawyer’s fee, inquire on the following and choose what suits your financial capacity:
- Hourly Rate – only pay the lawyer for the time spent working on your case, but no exact price as it can go high quickly
- Monthly Rate – you know the cost for each month but must pay each month even if not activity takes place during your case
- Flat Fee – you know the total cost of your case no matter how long it takes, but some lawyers require you to pay upfront
5. Look for Red Flags
Many lawyers are dedicated to helping their clients. But there are some who takes advantage of their clients to make money. Bad lawyers can take little action for your case. Or they can be ineffective and fail to keep clients informed. Moreover, when they overlook critical issues, they can leave you in a worse position.
To avoid such a scenario, be wary of the following red flags and never hire such lawyers:
- Excessive Fees – charging over the going rate based on their experience and not providing services according to their fee may be a way to take advantage of you
- High Number Of Clients – more clients generate more income leaving lawyers no time to focus on each client
- Promise To Stop Foreclosure – no one can predict the outcome of any case so accept a promise of working aggressively for your case but not the promise of stopping the foreclosure
Relying on your foreclosure attorney during the process is a way to lessen the stress coming from foreclosures.With the right attorney, you can either modify your loan and save your home. However, if you hire the wrong one, you may end up filing for bankruptcy. Therefore, applying the tips above will increase your chances of finding the best foreclosure attorney.