For most people, their home is their most valuable asset. However, when circumstances unexpectedly change, many people find that it is challenging to keep up with a mortgage, utilities, and the other expenses of maintaining a home. If a mortgage goes unpaid, the lending financial institution will eventually initiate Rhode Island foreclosure proceedings.
A foreclosure is when a lender forces the sale of a property to cover the remaining balance of the loan. Typically, a lender will foreclose on a property if there is a significant history of non-payment. While the length of time that a lender will wait to initiate foreclosure proceedings can vary, it is common for a foreclosure to begin within six months of the first missed payment. This is not to say that a single missed payment will result in a foreclosure; most lenders understand that a homeowner may be facing a short-term financial hardship that they will be able to recover from if given the opportunity.
While the foreclosure process can be frightening, there are certain actions homeowners can take to prevent a foreclosure. It is important for Rhode Island homeowners to understand that the foreclosure process must follow strict guidelines, and a lender cannot suddenly foreclose on a home.
State and federal law provide that lenders must follow specific procedures when pursuing a foreclosure. One of these requirements is that the homeowner is kept informed of the lender’s intentions. For example, some Rhode Island homeowners have been able to fend off a foreclosure by proving that the lender failed to send them the necessary notices.
Once a lender begins foreclosure proceedings, many homeowners feel as though all hope is lost. However, that is not the case. Rhode Island homeowners who are facing foreclosure may be able to benefit from one of several available defenses, allowing them to keep their home. For example, if a homeowner is an active-duty member in the armed services, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides certain protections.
Lenders must also accurately provide homeowners with the amount of money they can pay to avoid the foreclosure and reinstate their mortgage. Courts have held that if a lender overestimates this amount in a letter or other communication to the homeowner, such an overestimation may unfairly deprive the homeowner of the ability to reinstate their mortgage.
The bottom line is that getting behind on mortgage payments is serious. However, it does not necessarily have to result in foreclosure. Rhode Island homeowners who are currently behind on their mortgage payment should consult with a dedicated Rhode Island real estate attorney to discuss their situation.
Are You in Need of a Rhode Island Real Estate Attorney?
If you are currently behind on mortgage payments and fear that foreclosure may be around the corner, do not hesitate and call the dedicated Rhode Island home foreclosure attorneys at the law firm of Bilodeau Capalbo. At Bilodeau Capalbo, we represent clients in all types of foreclosure cases, as well as in other related areas including bankruptcy law and insurance issues. To learn more, call 401-300-4055 to schedule a free consultation today.