If you are facing foreclosure, you are probably facing a huge amount of stress and uncertainty about the future. You may also be overwhelmed and confused about exactly what is happening, and what exactly your rights are throughout the foreclosure process.
In the State of New York, people facing foreclosure do have a number of very important, legally enforceable rights that they should be aware of. These rights are non-negotiable, and you can legally defend yourself if they are violated.
What Are Some Of My Rights Before The Foreclosure Process Begins In Court?
- You have the right to be notified at least 90 days before a foreclosure suit is filed. This notification, called a Pre-Foreclosure Notice (PFN) must inform you that you are in default and at risk of foreclosure.
- You have the right to hear your “loss mitigation” options. These are any options that may allow you to keep your home and avoid foreclosure. The plaintiff (usually your bank or mortgage lender) is legally required to explain these options to you. You can also file a Loss Mitigation Application, which the plaintiff must fill in their portion of before continuing with a foreclosure suit.
- You have a right to be notified of your rights during the foreclosure process by the plaintiff.
What Are Some Of My Rights After The Foreclosure Process Begins In Court?
- You have the right to stay in your home for the duration of the foreclosure process, unless you are ordered by the Court to vacate. If you do remain in your home, you are still responsible for maintaining the property.
- If you are fighting foreclosure and can remain in your home, it is important for you to do so. You may be pressured into leaving your home by the foreclosing plaintiff (usually your bank or mortgage server). This is because in cases where a person abandons their home during the foreclosure process, the plaintiff can pursue an expedited process and speed up foreclosure. This is often preferable for them, so they may try to convince, pressure, or coerce you into leaving.
- You should also make it very clear that you are still occupying your home. Besides for physically remaining in your home, one of the best ways you can do this is by promptly reviewing and responding to all documents and notices that you receive related to the foreclosure.
- You have the right to a copy of all legal papers in the foreclosure lawsuit, at the beginning of the lawsuit. This is sometimes known as “service” of the Summons and Complaint. You must respond to this “service” with an “Answer” within 20 days (or within 30 days if you were not personally served).
- You have the right to due process and all Court proceedings. The foreclosure process has a number of steps and often involves multiple days in Court. You should always appear when you are summoned for Court or made aware of a hearing date. Failing to do so can also make it easier for the plaintiff to move for an expedited foreclosure process.
- You have the right to an explanation of the nature of the foreclosure action against you.
- You have the right to “good faith” negotiations during the foreclosure action. This means that the other party is required to negotiate in a way that is honest and fair.
- If your home is ultimately resold for more than what you owe, you have the right to apply for the surplus funds. It is important to consult a foreclosure attorney to pursue this surplus application.
- You have a right to end foreclosure if you meet specific terms. At any time, you have the right to end the foreclosure process—whether or not the plaintiff agrees—so long as you repay your loan in full. You can make this payment at any point, up until the sale of your home. You can also end foreclosure by negotiating a settlement with the plaintiff.
If you are in the Mineola, NY area and you are facing foreclosure, there is help out there for you. Reach out to Mineola Foreclosure Fraud Attorney R. David Marquez, PC today at (516) 478-9302 for an expert consultation on your case.
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