Frequently Asked Questions About Foreclosure in Ohio
Home foreclosure can be a very confusing process, especially in states like Ohio, where every case must slowly wind its way through the clogged court system. And with thousands of homes facing foreclosure each month, the crisis continues to grow.
To help homeowners facing the loss of their home, listed below are some frequently asked questions about foreclosure in Ohio:
- Do I have to hire an attorney to fight a foreclosure case? You certainly don’t have to hire an attorney, but given the unique complexities inherent to these cases, many people choose to hire an Ohio foreclosure attorney.
- How long will I get to keep my house? This depends on the unique circumstances of your case, but there are so many delays in the foreclosure process, a robust defense could help you stay in your home for years. In Ohio, even simple foreclosure actions can take many years to reach a conclusion.
- What are my odds of defeating the bank? Better than you think, although the numbers are hard to gauge, because roughly 90 percent of foreclosure actions in Ohio go uncontested. Of the remaining 10 percent, a significant number are defeated due to mortgage servicing errors, fraudulent foreclosure practices, or other violations of Ohio or federal housing laws.
- What happens if I lose? There are two possible scenarios. First, if you lose, and the bank refuses to modify your loan, the worst case scenario is that you’ll eventually have to move out of your house. Often, however, lenders are willing to renegotiate the terms of the loan so you can stay in your home. The more pressure you and your foreclosure attorney put on the lender in court, the more likely it will be to address a potential loan modification.
Of course, these are only a few of the most frequently asked questions about foreclosure in Ohio. These actions are governed by a large body of state common procedural laws. For more information about substantive or procedural foreclosure law, contact an Ohio foreclosure attorney near you.
Avoid foreclosure! How to, 3 Steps:
If you’ve been late on a few mortgage payments, you may think you’re on the verge of losing your home to foreclosure. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are, in fact, several possible ways to avoid foreclosure! Here’s how to start fighting a foreclosure, in 3 simple steps:
- Contact an Ohio foreclosure attorney. Mortgage lenders hire a small army of attorneys to pursue foreclosure claims. You don’t want to fight these experts alone. To help level the playing field, many homeowners hire an Ohio foreclosure attorney. For many people, this is the first step towards a successful foreclosure defense.
- Craft a foreclosure defense plan. Depending on the status of your case, your Ohio foreclosure attorney might decide to immediately file an answer to the foreclosure complaint. Other options include requesting a clarified complaint, filing a motion to dismiss, or sending discovery documents to your mortgage lender to obtain more information.
- Execute your foreclosure defense strategy. It takes a bit of patience, but once you and your foreclosure attorney have crafted a strategy to avoid foreclosure, the match is on. And it can take months, or even years, to perform the most basic tasks in a foreclosure case. The most successful homeowners typically take a long view, and know that their attorneys will need their cooperation for the long haul.
This, of course, is a bit over-simplified, but in your effort to avoid foreclosure, these three “how to” steps—contacting an attorney, formulating a plan of attack, and enacting the strategy—are the core of most successful foreclosure defenses.
Remember, too, that Ohio foreclosure laws are strengthened by a large body of federal regulations, like the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), which often throw a wrench in the plans of aggressive mortgage lenders.
Under RESPA, for example, homeowners have a right to send a Qualified Written Request to their mortgage lenders asking for very specific information about the servicing of their home loan. If the lender fails to appropriately answer these requests, its foreclosure claim might be compromised.
And Qualified Written Requests are just one weapon in the vast arsenal possessed by Ohio foreclosure attorneys. With a bit of patience, and a willingness to stand up to your mortgage lender, you may be able to save your home from the extreme action of foreclosure.