Times are tough for many Ohioans. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about job loss, hospitalizations, evictions, and foreclosures. As federal protections against these actions start to lift, more people might be facing the loss of their homes. If you have missed mortgage payments and have received a notice of foreclosure, it’s important that you don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore it. You might not be able to save your home, but you can make life a lot easier for yourself by taking our advice.
What to Do If You Receive a Foreclosure Notice
Here is my free Public Service Announcement: if you are sued by your lender and are served with a copy of the complaint and a summons to appear in court, file an answer to the lawsuit within the given timeframe—usually 28 days. It doesn’t matter if you know you can’t pay what you owe or if you believe the foreclosure is a mistake. Respond to the complaint in writing. Even if you eventually end up losing your house, you could stay another six to eight months in the house by responding to the lawsuit. If you don’t respond, the lender will likely get a default judgment, and you could be evicted with little warning.
Defenses Against a Foreclosure Lawsuit
If you need help responding to a foreclosure notice, Littlejohn Law can assist with the process. If you have filed an answer with the court but want legal advice about whether you can fight the lawsuit, we can also help. It’s sometimes possible to successfully defend against a foreclosure lawsuit. If we find any of the following, we might be able to stop the foreclosure:
- The mortgage company made a mistake. If you have been making payments on time, you might have been sued because the mortgage servicer failed to properly credit your payments, mixed up your account with another homeowner, failed to inform you of a missed payment, or made some other clerical error.
- The current mortgage holder can’t prove ownership. Mortgages are often sold multiple times after you take out the initial loan. If the current mortgage holder doesn’t have all the correct paperwork, can’t show the chain of ownership, or can’t prove they own the loan, they cannot sue you for payment.
- Ohio law has been broken. Ohio has certain rules and regulations in place for mortgage lenders. Particularly if your mortgage company is located in another state, it’s possible that they violated Ohio law in charging fees, filing a complaint, or notifying you of your delinquency.
- Federal consumer protection laws have been broken. Mortgage lenders are also subject to federal law. If these laws were broken when you were approved for the mortgage initially, you might be able to keep your house.
Depending on your unique situation, there could be other defenses available to avoid foreclosure and save your house.
Contact Our Real Estate Litigation Team
If you are facing a foreclosure lawsuit in Ohio, we hope you will take our advice and RESPOND TO THE LAWSUIT. If we can help in any way, please contact our real estate litigation team for more information. Even if it’s not possible to save your house, there are alternatives to being left homeless. Don’t ignore the warnings, and don’t give up too easily. And remember—Littlejohn Law is here for you.