What is the best thing to do regarding trying to save my house is a foreclosure situation?

I lost my income a few years ago and haven’t been able to replace it. I filed a Chapter 7 and it was discharged last year and included the house. Since then I applied for a loan modification and was declined because of insufficient income. I was just served with a 30 day window to file an answer. I want to keep the house and am still hoping to generate the income necessary re-open negotiations for a modification. Would it pay for me to get legal help to file the answer and deal with this process? By

Asked on July 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is probably not worth it to hire an attorney. These cases can be expensive--generally $1,500 or more to start (e.g. as a retainer) and can end up costing several thousand dollars. If you have that much money, you are much better off offering it to the bank if you can work out some payment plan that will let you keep the house (obviously, it needs to be a payment plan you can actually afford; and important--if you can come to one, get it in writing and don't pay anything until you do). At the end of the day, if you have defaulted on the loan, there are only two options to keep the house: 1) find a way to pay the loan; or 2) get the bank agree to a payment plan you can meet, which agreement is voluntary on their part. That's it: there are no defenses to nonpayment of a loan other than settling with your creditor or paying  the arrears. 

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