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What does a Foreclosure Lawyer do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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A foreclosure lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in handling foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosure lawyers may work for banks and other financial institutions processing foreclosures as they are required. They can also work on the other side of the process, advocating for clients who are contesting a foreclosure or attempting to negotiate. Rates of pay for foreclosure lawyers vary depending on where they practice and how many years of experience they have.

Like other legal professionals, a foreclosure lawyer must attend law school and pass the bar in order to be allowed to practice. In the later years of law school, the lawyer takes elective courses that provide a grounding in the areas of the law that pertain to foreclosure. Once qualified to practice, the lawyer can apply to work for law firms or the legal departments of financial institutions, or opt to practice independently.

Foreclosure lawyers who work for financial institutions assist with the processing of foreclosures. They establish the protocol for foreclosing on property to ensure that foreclosures are performed legally. This includes drafting the letters that are sent to customers and preparing legal filings related to the foreclosure. If clients opt to contest the foreclosure, the foreclosure lawyer will be involved, including if the case proceeds to court.

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Lawyers who work for individuals assist people who are threatened with foreclosure or who are in foreclosure. The foreclosure lawyer confirms that the financial institution is complying with the law at every stage of the process and can assist the clients with fighting the foreclosure. For example, people may have been fraudulently misled about the nature of the loan, in which case the foreclosure lawyer can help to prepare a case and to prevent foreclosure while the case is pending.

In these cases, the foreclosure lawyer acts as an advocate for the customers. The lawyer will handle any negotiations or discussions with the lender, including responding to paperwork and filing claims against the lender. This can include helping people negotiate a loan modification or other concession to help them stay in their homes.

When people are threatened with foreclosure or think that they might need to negotiate a short sale, it is advisable to bring a foreclosure lawyer in as soon as possible. Finding a foreclosure lawyer can be a challenge, as some unscrupulous practitioners prey on people who are in economically vulnerable positions. Resources like lawyer reviews, bar associations, and professional organizations of foreclosure lawyers can help people identify fully qualified lawyers in good standing to work with.

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Logicfest
Post 3

@Vincenzo -- That is kind of cynical, isn't it? There are some attorneys who will take on a good case and will let people pay things out over time. One might have to look around to find such an attorney, but they do exist.

As for the other part of your comment, you are correct. Quite often, that foreclosure defense lawyer will realize a client will be better off just filing for bankruptcy and trying to save his or her home. That attorney is often a bankruptcy lawyer, too.

Vincenzo
Post 2

@Melonlity -- A major problem with all of that is that people who are facing foreclosure rarely have the cash to pay an attorney to defend them. Attorneys don't work for free and getting one to cut his fee in a foreclosure proceeding is tough regardless of how good a defense the consumer has.

As for bankruptcy lawyers, they usually get paid out of the Chapter 13 plan so consumers don't have to come up with much money up front. As much as I hate to admit it, some people are better able to afford a bankruptcy proceeding than defending a foreclosure action. The bankruptcy case might be used to deal with the foreclosure and save the home, too.

Melonlity
Post 1

@Melonlity -- Most foreclosure lawyers work for banks and are the ones filing cases and working to take homes away from people who violated the terms of their mortgages. That is unfortunate because a lot of consumers need foreclosure attorneys of their own.

Quite often, consumers have some defenses to foreclosures that they don't know about. Heck, they rarely show up in court after they have been sued or served with a foreclosure notice. They could use good attorneys to help see them through a difficult time.

A good number of consumers who get chewed up by a foreclosure proceeding have not choice but to seek out one the area bankruptcy lawyers to avoid losing everything they own. Often, people would be better off getting a foreclosure lawyer to help them with those actions rather than waiting around until a bankruptcy lawyer has to be hired to bail them out.

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