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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 89141
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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My mortgage company has given over my mortgage to an attorney

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My mortgage company has given over my mortgage to an attorney to follow through on foreclosure. Mortgage company refuses to take any more payments. Attorney has sent reinstatement letter with MOST of the line items listed as estimate as of about 10 days ago. When I got a revised one today, the estimates were removed and has about $3000 of additional fees in addition to the mortgage amount that they want for total reinstatement. Are any of these amounts negotiable? Is there anyway to get these costs down? Can the mortgage company negotiate any of this? Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Are any of these amounts negotiable?

Yes. Understand that even though your position is weak, you still have some leverage. Litigation is expensive and time consuming. The mortgage company does not want to file a foreclosure unless they really have to. If they do, you can:

1) tie them up in court; and/or
2) file a bankruptcy, which may void the foreclosure and severely reduce the amount, and/or draw it out over a period of time.

As such, while one should not take this as license to make outrageous counter-offers, it does provide one with some leverage to make subtle requests in a counter-offer. Such as taking a few hundred/thousand off the amount(s), and/or, requesting a payment plan, etc.

If such a counter-offer is made, it should be done in writing via latter, or email (if time is of the essence). Nothing verbally.

Is there anyway to get these costs down?

See above.

Can the mortgage company negotiate any of this?

Of course. It is their contract as much as yours. They can negotiate a different agreement if they see it more worthy to continue with you being the owner than foreclose.

As such, it is best to approach this with a "stick and carrot" approach -

STICK: "hey negotiate with me or I may file bankruptcy and/or challenge the foreclosure any way I can."

CARROT: "I"ll be a good payor and will be happy to make payments and catch up if you just work with me..."

Simply asking them may not work. It may be better to also make them see (via the stick/carrot) why working with you is in their best interest.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

>>The mortgage company does not want to file a foreclosure unless they really have to. If they do, you can:


 


Well it seems they don't mind because I have three other properties with different mortgage companies with mortgages just as delinquent as this one and they seem more willing to work with me and have not put it into foreclosure yet.


 


I have contacted the mortgage company again and said how can I solve this issue. They are sending me the paperwork for a loan modification which they are not certain will help but will hold off the sale date so that I will have more time to come up with the funds. How nice of them.


 


Do you think a counter-offer letter is worth sending? If so then to who? The mortgage company, the attorney or both?


 


Thanks.


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
David,

I can understand your frustration. I have been there.

Do you think a counter-offer letter is worth sending?

Oh yes. After all, the worst they can do is say "no," right? It only costs a few dollars to send a certified letter. It never hurts.

If so then to who? The mortgage company, the attorney or both?

Both. However, technically, you should be negotiating with the attorney ONLY. As such, the purpose of sending it to the mortgage company is simply if the attorney fails to relay the counteroffer quickly enough, at least the mortgage company will receive a copy of it directly from you.

But the letter sent to the mortgage company should simply be a "cc" of the letter sent to the attorney.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I called the mortgage company to see if I could work something out from their end. They asked, "how much money to do you have?". That seem a little used-car-salesman like. I have enough to bring the mortgage up to date and I thought they might take that and be done but.... they suggested that I do a home modification paperwork (total financial disclosure) that it would delay the sale date of the house so that I could come up with the additional attorney fees that would be due.


 


I feel like I slipped into that one. Now they will have all the money AND all my financial information.


 


Is this good or bad? I always think they are out to get me and pin me. Especially since the loan is only about 30% of the value of the house. They KNOW that they can get all their money back easily if they force a foreclosure. Is my thinking correct? or paranoid?


 


Thanks.


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
David,

They asked, "how much money to do you have?". That seem a little used-car-salesman like.

Yup. Because in the end, that is all they care about, I am afraid.

have enough to bring the mortgage up to date and I thought they might take that and be done but.... they suggested that I do a home modification paperwork (total financial disclosure) that it would delay the sale date of the house so that I could come up with the additional attorney fees that would be due.

Well, I would be careful. Sometimes a mortgage asks you to do a modification and then claims to have it approved, you have to fall even more behind. But once you do so voluntarily and cannot catch up even if you wanted to, they foreclose on you. Some banks have been sued for such behavior. I do not trust them. It would be wise to stand in the position of "look, I will catch up and not fall behind again. I do not need to do a modification here."

I feel like I slipped into that one. Now they will have all the money AND all my financial information.

If you already sent them that paperwork, oh well - what is done is done. If not, then see above.

Is my thinking correct? or paranoid?

A little paranoid. However, being worried is healthy. But you may be catastrophizing. See here. It is when our brain tags on to the worst case scenario and begins to run with it. One step at a time. You will get through this.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 89141
Experience: Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
Ely and 8 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Here is where I am.


 



  • I have been served a summons to appear.

  • I have applied for a loan modification. They have all the documents and it is going to underwriting.

  • I have sent a letter making an offer to pay less than the reinstatement amount. Copy to mortgage company and attorney.


 


How can I prepare for a summons?


 


 

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I am sorry for this situation. Please understand that while they are considering a loan modification, they can foreclose! Many actually do, and I suspect that they use the loan modification to catch people off-guard. Understand that the loan modification is not a right but a privilege, which they may extend to you. But until they agree and sign on the dotted line, the old contract still controls!

If they are foreclosing, it sounds like they are rejecting (or likely will reject) the modification. One may wish to call the modification department and ask them "Hey, did your company do this on purpose?" They may claim that "oh that's a different department" but frankly, I do not buy it...

Anyhow, one may wish to file an "answer" in an attempt to slow down foreclosure. Sample below:

[caption] - TITLE AND PARTIES (just copy of their filing)

DEFENDANT'S ANSWER (centered)

NOW COMES Defendant, YOUR NAME, named Defendant in the above-entitled and numbered cause, and files this Answer, and shows the Court:

GENERAL DENIAL
Defendant denies allegations in paragraph 1 of Plaintiff’s pleading.

Defendant denies allegations in paragraph 2 of Plaintiff’s pleading.

Defendant denies allegations in paragraph 3 of Plaintiff’s pleading.

Defendant denies allegations in paragraph 4 of Plaintiff’s pleading.

(etc)

Defendant denies each and every allegation of Plaintiff's Complaint, and demands strict proof thereof as required by rules of evidence and procedure for the State of Florida.

PRAYER
Defendant prays the Court, after notice and hearing or trial, enters judgment in favor of Defendant, awards Defendant the costs of court, attorney's fees, and such other and further relief as Defendant may be entitled to in law or in equity.

Respectfully submitted,
Your Signature
Your name


(NEW PAGE)

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE (centered)

I certify that on (date filed) a true and correct copy of Defendant's Answer was served to the opposing party.

Your Signature
Your name


A copy is filed with the Court, and a copy with the other party's attorney - certified letter, return receipt.

But if one is behind, the foreclosure may be executed in the end. One may wish to consider a bankruptcy to halt it... let me know if you need information on this.

Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am still waiting on a response from my offer to pay almost all the resinstatement fee. Is this summons or the court any place to try and make a financial deal? I fully intend if at all possible to keep the property but need some relief on the fees and attorney costs that have accrued.


 


By the way, the Process Server, first served papers to my tenant at the property. Is this a violation of some sort? I heard they weren't allowed to inform anybody about this personal situation other than me. They have my personal postal address on file. Should I mention that somewhere?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
D,

I am still waiting on a response from my offer to pay almost all the resinstatement fee.

Well... you can. My gut feeling is that they may foreclose, meantime.

Is this summons or the court any place to try and make a financial deal?

No. They are foreclosing on you.

I fully intend if at all possible to keep the property but need some relief on the fees and attorney costs that have accrued.

One has to call them like I explained and state "hey... what's going on here? We were making peace and all of a sudden you file?"


By the way, the Process Server, first served papers to my tenant at the property. Is this a violation of some sort? I heard they weren't allowed to inform anybody about this personal situation other than me. They have my personal postal address on file. Should I mention that somewhere?

In the end, you received them. This is not a violation per se; it was improper, a minor mistake on a part of tenant. You can possibly file a motion to quash service based on this, but it will buy you a few days at the most. So really, this is a non-issue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

>>One has to call them like I explained and state "hey... what's going on here? We were making peace and all of a sudden you file?"


 


Call who, the attorney, mortgage company or both?

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Both. Hopefully, one of them would be receptive enough.

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Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
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Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.