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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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Need urgent advice on Foreclosure Process Long story short

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Need urgent advice on Foreclosure Process

Long story short I am planning to file Chap 7 and have volutarily allowed my house to go into foreclosure by withholding payments.

I was served a foreclosure on the Eve of August 1. I notified my Bankruptcy attorney of this and he said he was going out of town for a week and would respond after he got back. Now with about 5 days to the deadline he tells me that he wants $750 to answer the foreclosure petition.

I would have thought it would be something I could do my self. I barely living from paycheck to paycheck and it would be a disaster if I lost the delay of foreclosure. He did say I could make payments but I hate to go into further debt and possibly delay the bankruptcy.

I am concerned he is taking advantage of the situation. Is it realistic that I might answer the foreclosure petition on my own? I am wondering if maybe I am taking to big of a chance here because if the bank got immediate possession of the house it would be an unthinkable disaste for me. (I wanted to send a PDF of the Foreclusure papers but couldn't find anywhere to do this???)

William B. Esq. :

Dear customer, my name is Bill. I am sorry to learn of this unfortunate situation. There are resources available online to assist you in developing an answer to a foreclosure complaint.

William B. Esq. :

The State of Iowa Legal Aid has a helpful website for mortgages (and has links and sample papers for you to review). http://www.iowalegalaid.org/issues/housing/foreclosure-prevention-1

Customer:

Thank you. I will have a look at that. I guess then you feel I am not taking too big of a risk answering the foreclosure myself?

William B. Esq. :

Another state's legal aid is more helpful as far as providing the process that a foreclosure action takes, and sample documents to file (it is from Ohio, not Iowa, so the specific citations and case law will be different, but the form will be roughly the same): http://www.communitylegalaid.org/library/foreclosure/350-how-to-file-a-pro-se-response-to-a-foreclosure-complaint

William B. Esq. :

I take it from your post that you do not contest the foreclosure, you just intend to delay the inevitable sale before you file for bankruptcy. Is that correct?

William B. Esq. :

(This makes a difference in the risk analysis factor).

Customer:

That is correct. Due to my financial situation I need time to catch up on my finances. I can no longer afford the house.

Customer:

The attorney feels if he does the answer he could get an extra 3 months which would make allow the cost to be justified. Any thoughts?

William B. Esq. :

The risk is pretty minimal in that case. What you are looking at is simply ensuring that you properly file an answer with the Court and serve it on the plaintiff (lender). This will start the litigation process, which will include discovery, and some other procedures designed to protect the defendant in civil litigation. I can never promise a specific time frame, but if all you are looking at is 3 months, it is unlikely that you will have reached a judgment by that time so long as you have appeared and at least participated in the litigation process.

William B. Esq. :

Do make sure you check with the attorney before you file something with the Court to ensure you are not compromising your bankruptcy position.

Customer:

To be clear you are saying that that filing the answer myself would be a minimal risk?

William B. Esq. :

That would be my understanding. If your goal is only to buy a couple of months in the course of litigation (you do not have any real defense identified by your attorney), there are very few procedural mechanisms that can bring a matter to judgment in less than 3 months after the time a complaint is filed as long as an appearance is made by the Defendant (an answer is filed).

Customer:

Ok thank you so much for your expert advice!!

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