There are so many foreclosures and so few attorneys who know how to defend on behalf of the homeowner. I have referred many clients facing foreclosure to an Orlando real estate and commercial litigation attorney named David Cohen. David has had good success defending foreclosures, which often results in giving his clients extra time to remain in their homes while they attempt to resolve the foreclosure case. David recently gave me an overview of his tactics and results fighting foreclosure suits on behalf of clients, many people who were either unable to make payments or who were faced with negative equity.
David Cohen explained that a foreclosure action is procedural in nature and that the bank is required to prove its claim. Often the banks’ attorneys are so overwhelmed it takes them months to address any defenses raised. Most homeowners do not answer foreclosure complaints, and foreclosure judgments are entered after default. Default foreclosure judgments are easy for the mortgage lender to process quickly.
Filing an answer or raising defenses requires the lender to turn the file over to legal staff for more involved litigation. In many cases, a defense attorney can find technical defects in the foreclosure suit or the original loan documents, some of which can even defeat the lender’s lawsuit. It is not uncommon for a well defended case to take more than six months and often as long as nine months after the complaint is filed and the homeowner is served with a summons to reach a conclusion. Often during this period, the banks are willing to negotiate a resolution to the case, which resolution may involve an agreement to waive any claim to a deficiency judgment.
Legal fees associated with foreclosure defense usually range between $1,500 and $3,500 over a four to nine month period. As the defense costs are generally substantially less than what a homeowner was paying as a monthly housing expense, it is usually a good decision to hire an attorney to defend a foreclosure action rather than allowing the bank to take a default.