Kenneth smith

Foreclosure Defense & Foreclosure Mediation

Helping People Keep Their Homes

Over the past several years the mortgage industry did a great disservice to the public. Loans were made to people regardless of their ability to repay the loan according to its terms. “Interest only” loans and “adjustable rate mortgages (“arms”) are now taking their toll and the rate of foreclosure in the nation (and especially in Florida) is the highest it has ever been in history. Millions of people are losing their good credit, losing their homes and having their lives turned upside down. If this nightmare is happening to you, there may be something you can do to help yourself.


Just because you have fallen behind on your mortgage does not mean that you are out of options. There are options available to work out an agreement with your lender to keep your home, while paying a mortgage that you can afford. Loan modifications are your opportunity to create a plan to keep your home.


I am a leading attorney in the area of foreclosure defense in Washington state. I represent people facing mortgage foreclosure – coming up with creative solutions to their mortgage problems. I use my expertise in this area of the law to help families keep their homes, while seeking to modify the terms of their mortgage.


Foreclosure is something that can happen to anyone. Your lender won’t automatically put you into a Loan Modification or Loan Workout program to bring your loan up-to-date. Having an attorney to help you file the proper motions and stop the foreclosure process during the mortgage modification process can be a valuable asset. Responding to this legal and financial challenge promptly and appropriately to your circumstances is vitally important. I have a reputation for aggressively acting to protect my clients from being the victims of wrongful foreclosure. I use every legal strategy available to keep my clients and their families in their homes and prevent the banks from foreclosing.


Stop Foreclosure: Foreclosure Defense Solutions

Foreclosure Defense Litigation is about buying you time. Time to get a loan modification. Time to complete a short sale. Or time to pressure the lender with your own lawsuit if they did anything wrong when issuing the loan. And as we've seen over the past year, lenders do not always follow the proper procedures when issuing mortgages. Documentation sometimes gets sloppy. Signatures might not be properly obtained. Errors occur. A good foreclosure defense attorney knows how to find those errors.

That's what I do. I catch the lender's mistakes. And because I have extensive experience in discovery, I use every tool available to find the errors that will help us buy you the precious time you need to hold on to your home. Some options to defend a foreclosure are:


Loan modification process: Each mortgage lender has programs available to help people modify their mortgages. They make it difficult on purpose to get the modification. I have successfully gotten my clients modifications that have lowered their interest rates, extended their payments and put the past due payments into the mortgage.


Mortgage mediations: The Washington state courts have a mortgage mediation program that allows people who are facing foreclosure to meet with the lender and an impartial mediator to try to find a solution to their mortgage-related problem. I routinely participate in these mediations, helping my clients obtain the best solution possible.


Lack of note defense: Foreclosure, just like any other legal proceeding, the bank needs to be able to prove your debt. With the high rate of foreclosures and the constant selling and reselling of mortgages, it is possible that your bank will be unable to provide the correct documents to win in a foreclosure case. While this outcome is relativity rare, there is a chance your mortgage has been bought and sold so many times that they can no longer prove your debt. If that ends up being the case, your mortgage lender may not be the proper party to foreclose. This may give rise to a produce the note defense to either defeat the foreclosure action or get a favorable settlement.


Fraud by the lender: Your lender may have committed fraud when the loan was made. If fraud is determined, your lender may be liable for damages and attorney fees. In many cases, negotiated settlements have resulted with the mortgage lenders as well.


Violation of truth in lending laws: Your mortgage lender may have violated Truth in Lending Laws when the mortgage was issued. This fact may lead to a successful resolution of the foreclosure and let you keep your real estate. I have much experience with the Truth in Lending Act and have used it to successfully defend many foreclosure actions.


Bankruptcy: If you are financially distressed overall, filing bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) is an effective way to stop foreclosure immediately and buy you time to resolve an "upside-down" or "underwater" mortgage problem.


Short sale: You may decide that walking away from your house with no more repayment obligations is the best way to go if you cannot or do not want to meet the terms of the existing or modified mortgage. In a short sale your lender may agree to accept proceeds short of what the property is actually worth as "payment in full" of the remaining balance of your mortgage. This avoids a foreclosure.


Deed in lieu of foreclosure: The lender may also accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure where it takes the property back from you without going through with the foreclosure process.


More Information About Loan Modifications

One foreclosure defense option is to hire an attorney who can work with your bank to lower your interest rate, extended your payments and/or put the past due payments into the mortgage loan. In order to argue for a loan modification, you must present substantial information to banks, showing them your ability to make the renegotiated monthly mortgage payments. I can help you gather the evidence that you need to try to convince your lender that you will make good on a new mortgage.

A loan negotiation typically involves convincing the bank to lower your interest rate or extend the term of your mortgage. Sometimes banks are willing to agree to these offers if they find it will prevent a foreclosure – which can be costly to them. Some of the types of loan modifications available to homeowners include:

- Recapitalization Agreement: Where all your arrears, interests, fees and past payments are added to the principal of your mortgage, allowing you to become current on your mortgage.

- Loan Modification: Allows you to extend the term of the loan or lower the interest rate, allowing you to make your monthly mortgage payments.

Borrowed money requires an agreement/contract which must state how much money was borrowed, the amount of interest and how the money is to be repaid. Loan modification is any adjustment to the original terms of a loan. It’s to create a situation where you can keep making monthly payments and protect your credit while your vehicle and home is in your possession. If you are facing foreclosure, applying for a loan modification may allow you to keep your home and continue making your monthly payments. There are several different ways your loan can be modified, and the how the terms may change depends upon your specific circumstances.


The way to receive a loan modification is to ask one from your bank. The best time to ask for a loan modification is long before foreclosure proceedings begin. Waiting too late could possibly mean losing your home. If you are having trouble making regular payments, contact an attorney to see if a loan modification can keep you from falling behind on your payments. Mortgage companies make a profit when you are able to pay your loan off in full and plus additional interest. Defaulting on your loan, filing for bankruptcy or put your home into short sale, the bank will lose money. Banks never want to lose money, so it is in your bank’s best interest to work with you. You CAN ask for a modification of your term.


When is the Best Time to Contact an Attorney?

The best time to hire an attorney is before you need one. As soon as you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, you could consider making an appointment with me. I can help you figure out your options. Keep in mind, you the consumer and homeowner HAVE options. You can choose to fight the foreclosure or consider loan modification or short sale your home to avoid foreclosure. If you think you may be facing foreclosure in the future, you should contact an attorney who can protect your rights.


If you have already been served with a summons from your bank about a foreclosure, the time to hire a foreclosure attorney is now. You have 20 days to respond to this summons from your bank. Many homeowners make the mistake of replying to the notice stating that they lost their job or other reasons it may be and have fallen behind on their payments. Banks can then turn around and use this letter as proof of your debt, even if they do not have the proper documents. Please do not make this mistake.


The first step of hiring a foreclosure lawyer is to have a consultation. This is the initial meeting with a lawyer where you will give them basic information about your situation. You should bring some basic documents (which might include mortgage payment forms, pay check stubs for you and your spouse if you bought the home jointly, and tax forms for the last few years to name a few) to this consultation in order to get the most out of your meeting.


Banks and mortgage companies are large corporations with deep pockets and expensive representation. After the housing market crash and government bail outs, it is obvious that banks do not have your best interest in mind. They are only looking out for their bottom line. You have the right to fight a foreclosure and to protect you and your family’s home. Hire a foreclosure attorney to protect your rights to your home.


I am an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who is well prepared to offer the most appropriate advice in your particular situation and negotiate with lenders in pursuit of a solution to the problem of impending foreclosure. If you need help, I suggest you contact me to schedule a consultation with me today.