Strong and Effective Foreclosure Defense
Your home is more than just your most valuable asset; its importance in your life goes beyond material terms such as market value and equity and reaches feelings of safety and security. When the bank moves to foreclose on your home, it is natural to want to fight that move with every means available. Fortunately, there may be many defenses available to a foreclosure action, including violations of Florida state and federal law by the lender or even bad faith. The Kaniuk Law Office helps homeowners fight wrongful foreclosure and explore all options available to save their home or obtain the best possible outcome when faced with foreclosure.
Below is a look at some of the main ways the Kaniuk Law Office can help you in a Florida judicial foreclosure action. For immediate assistance, call 561-292-2127.
State claims involving issues of title, possession or fraud
In state court, a defense to foreclosure may be that the bank engaged in fraud or predatory lending in violation of the Florida Fair Lending Act. This law prohibits a variety of unfair, deceptive or fraudulent acts related to financing or the lending of money. For instance, the bank may have oversold you on your loan, putting you into a mortgage that you didn’t actually qualify for, or that the lender knew you would not be able to keep up with. Other times, consumers may be misled about the terms of a loan. For instance, it may not be made clear that the interest rate offered is only an introductory rate for a short period of time, or that the rate is variable or includes a hidden balloon payment down the line. A broker, agent, or lender has a duty to make sure the borrower clearly understands the terms of the loan, and a homeowner who was tricked or misled into an unmanageable mortgage may have a valid defense to foreclosure.
Other defenses in state court include quiet title actions and similar lawsuits. If the bank cannot prove that it has title and a right to take possession of the property, they can be stopped from foreclosing. It is not always a simple matter for the bank to produce a claim to the title. In today’s financial markets, mortgages are pooled, sold, broken into pieces and sold again, many times over, and it may not at all be clear who actually holds the note.
Other common mistakes made by lenders that could lead to your house being wrongfully foreclosed include:
Bank believes you are late on payments when you are actually current
Bank foreclosures while you are in the process of working out a loan modification
Bank force places insurance on your property, even though you already have insurance of your own
Bank pays the wrong amount of property tax
- Bank misapplies payments made during the period of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Federal claims involving lack of required disclosures
Mortgage foreclosure in Florida takes place primarily in state courts. However, there are many federal laws impacting the lending of money or the delivery of a home mortgage, and violations of these laws may be a way to stop a foreclosure in federal court. For instance, the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires the lender to deliver a good faith estimate of the loan and accompanying costs, and restricts the fees which can be charged. If you were not given this estimate, or if you were overcharged in obtaining your mortgage, you may be able to prevent the bank from foreclosing.
Another applicable federal law is the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). TILA and its implementing regulation, known as Regulation Z, require lenders to show borrowers the true cost of the loan they are getting, with clear disclosures and explanations of the terms involved. If you did not understand the terms of your loan or the way the interest rate would operate, the bank may have committed a TILA violation when it sold you the mortgage.
Not just foreclosure defense but also foreclosure avoidance
If you are in default on your mortgage and facing the threat of foreclosure, Kaniuk Law Office can work with your lender to negotiate better terms or get out of the loan altogether without having to go through the judicial foreclosure process. We are experienced in loan modifications that are effective and enforceable. We also advise clients when it would be in their best interest to get out of the property through a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, cash for keys or other arrangement. As an experienced real estate attorney, Ron Kaniuk understands the necessary steps to negotiate an effective deal and draft the appropriate documents to ensure that you are not liable for any deficiency and to minimize any impact on your credit score.
Help is Available for Florida Mortgage Default Matters
Attorney Ron Kaniuk is experienced in both residential and commercial real estate, including real property litigation, title insurance and closings, mortgages and refinancing. If you are having trouble meeting your monthly mortgage payments, or if you are in default and have received a notice of foreclosure, you may have options available to help you keep your home or find other positive solutions. For immediate assistance, call the Kaniuk Law Office at 561-292-2127 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.