Why Hire a Lawyer-part 2

As the economy pushes people to the brink of despair I am finding my role expanding as I try to answer the question: “what can I do?” as accurately as possible. People have been so bombarded with information from their lender, from “foreclosure prevention specialists” (who charge outrageous fees for simple services), or family and friends, but still often do not have a clear picture of all of the choices that are available to them. So many people are either hopeless in situations where hope still exists for a positive result or holding on to unrealistic expectations when those expectations cannot possibly be met. In both of these extremes it is critical to talk to a lawyer who can lay out the situation as it really exists so the client can make choices based on having all of the information they can.

For example, many people have the mistaken belief that they can only negotiate workouts with lenders like loan modifications before their house actually goes into foreclosure. They think that when a foreclosure lawsuit is filed, that’s the end. This is absolutely false!!! I’ve seen deals that were negotiated and settled right before a foreclosure sale was scheduled to happen. As I stated in my last post it is often possible to gain more time to finish these negotiations by actively participating in the lawsuit and not just letting yourself be defaulted. When this simple fact is explained to many people they leave my office much happier than when they arrived knowing that all hope is not lost and there’s still time to try and save their property.

The flip side to this scenario is clients that cling to the belief that no matter what their economic situation they can still save their house. The reality is that no amount of fancy lawyering or brilliant negotiation tactics can change a situation where someone has too little income or too many expenses to catch up the shortfall and resume making regular payments on a house they cannot afford to keep. Sometimes, after hearing all of the facts a lawyer in this situation has to put on their black cowboy hat and be the voice of reason to say “you cannot afford to keep this house.” Friends and family will often not say this out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings, and rescue scammers won’t tell you that because they want your money. A good lawyer will be straight with you even if the news is bad.

Legal ethics rules define lawyers as the only people who can not only give legal advice but professional counsel about the pros and cons of a particular scenario. Whether the outlook is rosy or bleak, anyone facing foreclosure needs this type of advice.

Comments are closed.