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Foreclosure Attorney in Tuscaloosa, AL
Sometimes life hands us challenging situations that place us in a financial bind. The loss of a job, an illness, a divorce, or an unanticipated emergency can quickly deplete your funds, leaving you unable to keep up with your bills. You could be in danger of losing possessions such as your home if you fall behind on the mortgage payments. This further increases your hardship. If you need help saving your home, contact foreclosure attorney Eric Wilson today.
A foreclosure lawyer knows bankruptcy law and devises the plan for your situation, whether you want to let your home go or keep it. Don’t let too much time pass. Once a mortgage company begins the foreclosure process, it moves swiftly. The legal team at Eric Wilson Law is eager to establish an attorney-client relationship with you and begin working on your legal issues. Call 205-349-1280 today to consult with professional foreclosure attorneys.
What is Foreclosure?
When a homeowner falls far enough behind on the payments for their house, they’re at risk of losing their home. A “foreclosure” is when a lender or loan holder sells your property to pay all or some of your mortgage debt.
This legal process is possible because you agreed to it when you signed your mortgage paperwork. Your bank or lender gave you the money to finance the home. You agreed to make a specific payment amount for a specified number of years in return.
Per your mortgage contract, the lender can foreclose on the property and sell it if you get behind on your house note. They use sale proceeds to pay off or pay down your mortgage if you fall behind on your house payments.
When Can the Foreclosure Process Start in Alabama?
Federal laws specify a period of 120 days of payment delinquency before a lender may begin foreclosure proceedings. After this point, the lender must follow Alabama state laws in order to start the foreclosure process.
Types of Foreclosure
There are two ways your lender may foreclose on your Alabama home. These are:
- Judicial foreclosure – The lender must obtain a court order to begin the process.
- Non-judicial foreclosure – The lender puts a public notice in the local newspaper at least once a week for three consecutive weeks. Then they can hold a foreclosure sale for the home.
The non-judicial process is used most often by lenders in Alabama because it is faster.
In Alabama, a lender does not have to notify a debtor before the foreclosure process begins for the judicial or non-judicial process. However, many mortgage contracts require it.
How Long Does Foreclosure Take?
In Alabama, the foreclosure process moves very quickly. The whole process could conclude in as little as 30 days.
You can stay in your home while the process is underway. Once the house sells, you’ll have to move out. You get an eviction notice if you refuse to leave. Then the police remove you and your belongings from the property.
Right to Reinstate the Loan
“Reinstating” a loan is a possible way to stop a non-judicial foreclosure in Alabama. The law doesn’t specify when this may happen before a foreclosure. However, many mortgage documents give a borrower up to five days before the property sale.
Should the borrower wish to reinstate their loan, they must catch up on all delinquent payments and pay all fees and other associated costs in a lump sum by the deadline.
After the foreclosure sale, Alabama law lets a borrower buy back or “redeem” their property. The borrower does this by paying the total loan balance, interest, insurance premiums, and taxes.
After a foreclosure sale, there is typically a balance still owed on the mortgage. A property rarely sells for the full amount of the loan. This remaining balance is called a “deficiency.”
Lenders may sue Alabama borrowers for the deficient amount. If a court enters a deficiency judgment against a debtor, the lender may employ collection efforts to recoup the shortfall. This includes bank levies, wage garnishments, and property liens.
When You Should Hire a Foreclosure Attorney
Navigating a home foreclosure is a stressful and uncertain time in your life. Luckily, an experienced attorney can guide you through the process. Retaining the legal services of an attorney at Eric Wilson Law for your foreclosure may be the best choice if any of the following situations apply to you.
You Have a Defense and Want to Keep Your Home
If you want to retain your house and believe you have a valid defense against its loss, you’ll need the help of a lawyer who is skilled in handling foreclosure cases.
Every situation and case is different. Your Tuscaloosa foreclosure defense attorney knows the law. They evaluate every aspect of your foreclosure, craft compelling arguments, follow court rules, and file the necessary forms.
You Are Active Duty Military
Military members serving on active duty have protections under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Your Tuscaloosa foreclosure lawyers will defend your rights under the SCRA and ensure that your lender follows the law.
Servicer Is Dual Tracking
Servicers are not allowed to dual track. Dual tracking happens when a lender proceeds with foreclosure while an application for a foreclosure alternative is pending. This is a violation of the law that requires swift action before a sale.
Once your home sells, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get it back.
Foreclosure alternatives include loss mitigations such as loan modifications, forbearance, short sales, mortgage assumptions, deeds in lieu of foreclosure, and bankruptcy.
You Want to File for Bankruptcy
A bankruptcy lawyer at Eric Wilson Law is available to help you if you’d like to file for bankruptcy to stall a foreclosure on your home.
Can a Bankruptcy Stop a Foreclosure?
A bankruptcy filing puts an “automatic stay” in place, stopping the foreclosure process. The bank must also stop debt collection activities during an automatic stay.
Your lender would rather have the money for your home than pursue foreclosure against you. Foreclosure is a complicated and expensive process for all involved. Even though it can take up to a year to lose your house, don’t count on it. You need legal assistance right away.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy means you’ll have to relinquish certain property to a bankruptcy trustee. The trustee sells the property and gives the proceeds to your creditors.
You may be able to keep your house if you reaffirm your secured mortgage debt or meet the following criteria.
- You’ve made current payments on your mortgage loan.
- You have the financial ability to keep the loan current in the future.
- The exempt amount is more than your home’s equity.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another option to keep your home. However, you’ll be required to make monthly payments on your mortgage after bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 creates a repayment plan for your debts. You must be able to afford these payments to qualify for Chapter 13. The plan helps you stay current with your house payments during the three to five-year period.
If your bankruptcy is already filed, the bank may be more willing to modify your home loan after the discharge of your other debts.
The foreclosure has long-lasting negative financial consequences. The impact on your credit is so severe that getting a future home mortgage loan is difficult. You’ll probably have to complete a waiting period before applying for a new loan.
Additional effects include:
- Loss of your home and need to find a new place to live. This isn’t easy with a foreclosure on your credit history.
- Foreclosures remain on your credit for seven years, which causes long-term credit damage.
- The impact on your personal wealth through the loss of your home and its equity.
- Enduring litigation, clients, wage garnishments, and more if you owe a deficiency balance after a foreclosure sale.
The best way to avoid foreclosure is to communicate with your lender. Contact your lender immediately when you realize you may miss a payment. They’ll have options for you, including a payment plan or deferral if your financial struggle is temporary.
Helping You Understand Your Options
If you are served with a foreclosure notice, you may feel like you have no options to protect your home, but you do. Our Tuscaloosa foreclosure attorney takes the time to listen to your concerns and goals. After analyzing your unique situation, Eric Wilson will help you understand what actions to take to protect what matters most to you.
For example, filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop a foreclosure proceeding, giving you time to consider your options. If keeping the property is important to you, Eric Wilson will make sure the bank proves its case by verifying that it:
- Did not overcharge you on monthly payments
- Did not miscalculate your interest rate
- Credited all payments received to your particular account
- Complied with statutory guidelines for notifying you of its intent to foreclose
- Gave you the required opportunity to reaffirm your mortgage
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can also include past-due payments in your plan. However, you must continue to make current monthly payments throughout the payment period to keep the house. Under certain circumstances, you can also strip off a second mortgage in Chapter 13.
If you are not far behind on your payments, bankruptcy might not be your best option. Our attorney will help you explore alternative options such as refinancing or obtaining a loan modification. If you would rather let go of the property, we can help you negotiate a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure.
We understand that debt problems can happen to anyone. Perhaps you lost your job, experienced a difficult divorce, or suffered a medical misfortune. We want to help you protect your investments and obtain a fresh financial start through bankruptcy.
Foreclosure Attorney Near Me
Are you facing foreclosure? At Eric M. Wilson, LLC, our law firm can help you save your home and regain control of your finances. We focus exclusively on assisting individuals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, achieve debt relief through bankruptcy. Experienced attorneys at our firm explore options that protect your most important assets.
Our Tuscaloosa foreclosure lawyers can help you understand your rights and other options to avoid foreclosing your home. We offer free initial consultations to discuss concerns and ultimate goals. Call us today at 205-349-1280.
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
The following language is required pursuant to Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
Eric M. Wilson, LLC
1902 8th St Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
205-708-2115Tuscaloosa Law Office Map and Directions