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What is a foreclosure?
Foreclosure is what happens when you stop paying your mortgage. After 90 days, the lender (a bank or mortgage company) can begin the process of transferring ownership if you have not caught up with the payments.
A foreclosure is also known as premature closure of the deal.
To understand the next steps of the process, here is a simple breakdown of what you can expect:
Foreclosure in Georgia
When you take a loan with your house or property as collateral, you sign on a “Promissory note “and a “Deed”. These contain all the details of the loan repayment and the procedures for handling a default, should you be unable to make payment.
In Georgia, the title of the property belongs to the lender until the dues are met.
When the borrower misses a payment, they have 90 days to catch up. If the borrower cannot make any alternate arrangement within the next 15 days, the lender will begin foreclosure formally with the Notice of Default.
What is a Notice of Default?
A Notice of Default, or NOD, is the first step in legally warning you of impending foreclosure. By definition, Notice of Default is declared by the lender when you default on what’s applicable in the “Promissory Note “ or “Deed”, which you are a signatory to.
The property, which may be attached due to a breach of trust between the lender and debtor, is the one which had been decided as collateral in “Deed of Trust”. If you are unable to make payments within 15 days, brace yourself for the NOD 30 days prior to actual foreclosure.
Foreclosure is a simple process for banks. In most cases, all they have to do is send you a notice of intent to foreclosure with a certain time frame. If the borrower doesn’t pay back the money that they owe and reinstate the loan, the bank can run a foreclosure ad for four weeks, then foreclose on the first Tuesday of the following month.
If the bank doesn’t follow proper procedure; however, then the sale is invalid. The key to avoiding a foreclosure is to stop the foreclosure sale before it is complete.
On receiving a NOD, contact us. We will help in refinancing (we have the contacts) or play hardball with lenders for readjusting payment schedules favorably. We can also scour your assets for additional mortgages and save your home.
The Foreclosure Process
Thirty days before the scheduled foreclosure sale, the lender must inform the borrower through a notice of the initiation of proceedings to exercise a power of sale. The lender has specific guidelines in which they must provide this notice. The notice will turn invalid, if they do not follow the guidelines. Talk to our firm to find out these guidelines and discover if your notice was not delivered properly.
The lender must then publicize the sale. The lender needs to publicly advertise the foreclosure for at least four weeks in the official county newspaper where the property is located. Lender needs to do this only once a week in the month before the scheduled sale.
The borrower then has the option to reinstate the loan. Georgia residents don’t have the right to reinstate the loan before the scheduled sale, except under limited circumstances. However, they have the right to pay back the money owed and reinstate the loan. You can repay up to 5 days before the foreclosure sale.
If reinstatement doesn’t happen, the lender can hold a foreclosure sale. If the borrower did not have the ability to pay back the outstanding debt and reinstate the loan within the 30 days since notice was given, then the lender can hold a foreclosure sale on the first Tuesday of the month.
Why Hire a Foreclosure Attorney?
Foreclosure law is extremely complicated and many people feel like they just need more time to modify their loan, find mistakes, negotiate with the lender, or get help from family & friends.
Normally, lenders hate loan modification. Who wants to offer a longer tenure rate with reduced interest? Therefore, lenders and mortgage firms purposefully delay loan modification. This is why it’s important to contact an attorney with foreclosure experience.
We will stop any dishonest company from keeping you waiting for a loan modification while perusing wrongful foreclosure process against you. We will extract the minimum, fixed interest rate and the longer, optimum time of payment in the revised agreement, from the company.
You should try to avoid foreclosure at the inception. Stopping foreclosure at start not only helps you retain back the mortgaged property but also saves you from disastrous down- the downgrading of your credit profile.
Stop foreclosure when you sense the first chances of default. Try to catch up on the unpaid premiums in the period between first default and receipt of NOD. In case you were unable to do so, better rush to us. Let us be your guiding foreclosure lawyer.
What is Repossession?
Georgia state law states that if the debtor is late on car payments or has defaulted on its lease or finance contract, the creditor holds the right not only to repossess the car but sell it and also sue the debtor for the rest of the debt. This means that the debtor not only loses his or her car but also has to shell out either from wages or bank account to fulfill the debt.
However, you can prevent repossession in Georgia by filing bankruptcy, if your creditors want to repossess your car. This will provide you with a structured repayment plan and reduce the balance and interest rate you need to repay.
The Impact of Repossession
Repossession is defined as a legal process through which the creditor takes possession of the car, home, or any other asset pledged as collateral in case of a default by the debtor.
Simply stated, repossession can drive your credit to the ground and with it your business. It can cause a 100-point drop in your credit score. What’s more, late payments, collections, and public records will stay on your credit for about seven years.
Your Rights Regarding Repossession
If you get more than 10 days late with a payment, your creditors will contact you at least once a week. However, if your creditor is a large bank, it will wait for a minimum of 90 days or more before repossessing, others may wait up to 60 days.
However, your creditors cannot resort to harassment by sending bullies or musclemen to seize your car. Creditors cannot cause a breach of peace since they have to act according to the state law.
The repo laws of most states allow creditors to repossess your car at any time. They can do this without notice and also take it from your property. However, the creditors cannot enter your garage or call the police for assistance.
It is not a good idea to hide your vehicle from creditors. Although a repossession company or loan company will not be able to cut chains, break locks or damage property to repossess your car, in some states hiding a car from the repo is a crime.
How to Avoid Vehicle Repossession
Chances of defaulting on timely payments due to no fault of yours cannot be ruled out. However, in the event of such inadvertent default, it is best to appraise your creditor and make alternate arrangements for payment. In most cases, creditors remain supportive and agree on payment, rather than repossess your vehicle.
However, there are ways in which you can stop car repossession or minimize its chances:
- Pay the full amount of the defaulted payment.
- Seek shorter loan terms that are always quicker to pay off. The payback duration of auto loans has grown from four years to as much as seven years. However, your best option is to go for a loan plan of 36 to 48 months duration.
- If all else fails, file for bankruptcy. This will get your car an automatic stay, thereby preventing your creditors from seizing your car.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are granted immediate protection from your creditors and your assets are sold to pay them.
You need to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy within 10 days of repossession to brighten your chances of getting it back. Chapter 13 plan also helps reduce the debt to the ‘fair market value’, if your car loan is more than 910 days old.
Even if you cannot afford to make a Chapter 13 payment to keep your car, don’t offer voluntary repossession to your creditors, since this has adverse ramifications. A better option is to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and surrender the vehicle. This will prevent the creditors from repossession.
If you want to prevent or delay car, van or truck repossession in Atlanta, Georgia, contact our experienced car repossession attorneys as soon as you can. They will offer sound debt solutions since they know the ways to get you out of debt and save your car from being repossessed.