If you are facing foreclosure or have already been foreclosed, you need to think very seriously about whether it makes sense to fight while staying in your home. I’m all about wanting to fight the mortgage companies but it has to be done in a smart way and in a way that makes financial sense for you as the homeowner.
We only fight mortgage companies when the mortgage company has violated the law. So in this discussion we take it as a given that the mortgage company has done something wrong to you.
So you have a legal right to fight back to either stop the foreclosure or to perhaps undo the foreclosure.
But is this a battle worth fighting from your home?
If you are successful, will you be happy staying in your home? I know this sounds like an odd statement but sometimes when you take a step back and look at your home you realize that it is not worth what you owe and there may be major repairs coming up. The house may no longer fit your lifestyle or where you work, kids go to school, etc.
How much will it cost you in legal fees to fight?
What if you lose? Could you owe money damages to the mortgage company for staying in the house?
It is very smart to think seriously about whether this is a battle that you want to fight, in order to keep your home. Make sure that your home is worth keeping if you’re going to fight this battle.
I’ve been criticized by some for even mentioning this. There are those that believe that every home is worth fighting for regardless of the cost.
That’s naïve absurdity to me.
The question is not whether you should sue your mortgage company or walk away from a lawsuit. If your mortgage company violated the law, then by all means sue the mortgage company. I have filed many lawsuits against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, etc.
But the question is whether you want to do that lawsuit while staying in this house. Sometimes the better decision is to leave your home, get a fresh start, and sue the mortgage company in federal court for money damages. Then, the issue in court is simply how much money the mortgage company owes you. Not whether they need to give you a good modification which may end up trapping you in a loan that you do not need to be trapped in.
The point of this rant is that you have to think through these issues on the front end and decide if it makes sense to stay and fight or if it makes sense to leave your home and then fight the mortgage company over money damages.
Every situation is different and the only way you’re going to know the correct answer is to think through this and often it helps to have the advice and counsel of a lawyer who does this type of work. While many times people think of my firm in this area as only litigating cases, because we do not negotiate before filing suit in federal court, but a real value that we bring is to help you to think through your options and decide which option is best for you.
Not which option is best for your second cousin three times removed ex boyfriend’s gardner in some other state.
It really doesn’t matter what somebody else is done. What matters is what is the best decision for you.
I hope that this post is been helpful to you and if you live in Alabama and want help in thinking through these issues, feel free to contact my office at 205–879–2447 or you can contact us through our AlabamaConsumer website.
Thanks for reading this and I wish you only the best.
John G. Watts
PS — You can read about the new RESPA/CFPB rules that make it easier to stop a foreclosure and to sue mortgage companies for violating the law.