Foreclosure Prevention: High Noon. Two Gunfighters. One Has NO Gun!

Legal battles are hard enough to fight if they are fair. But when one person goes into the ring blindfolded and with hands bound, it’s not fun to watch. This section will discuss the ideal ways to fight back if you are victimized, for any reason, by a wrongful foreclosure. What is provided is just opinion, and we are NOT lawyers, so take it as experienced laymen’s advice. In somewhat order of preference:

Best Foreclosure Avoidance/Defense Strategies

  1. Make enough money to pay your mortgage. This needs no explanation. Sorry, that’s hard to hear but it has to be on this list.
  2. Higher an experienced law firm who will invest many, many hours to find the myriad of technical issues and loopholes to provide an effective defense and prevent the loss of your family’s home. This needs no explanation, but a LOT more money that foreclosure victims can possibly have to invest! Unless you are like me and have lawyer friends and lawyers in your family who owe you big time and still love you when you’re poor:)
  3. Negotiate yourself. Invest the time needed to learn as much as you can about all your options and rights and invest the time needed to communicate with the lender to see if the lender may be willing to work with you. This is challenging in many ways: First, there is a LOT to learn. And most people who are broke are already investing a LOT of time and energy feeding their family and trying to make enough money to keep a roof over their heads. Secondly, despite all the PR that may make us feel otherwise, lenders are NOT obligated to grant loan modifications. And even Obama’s programs, when you look realistically at the bottom line, are 100% voluntary systems for “encouraging” banks to work with borrowers. But encouragement is a little tiny word compared with profit when it comes to motivational factors. Realizing this, makes the foreclosure victim more knowledgeable and thus more effective as a negotiator. Another piece of advice that helps is to remember that we are not people fighting people here. The job description of the people working in companies such as J.P. Morgan Chase who are hired to interface with people facing foreclosure is a lot like the role of reconnaissance roops in the military. It would be foolish to send in troops who knw every detail and every secret — so, in the likely event that some will get caught, very little valuable information will be leaked to the enemy. So the congenial, seemingly sincere person answering the phone for Chase, more likely than not sincerely believes he or she is there to help you. No other system would work so effectively. So those people are not your enemy. A company such as Chase is not designed to be  a social services provider. They are in the lending business. And when it comes to sub-prime mortgages, it’s more like the loan-shark business. Especially when you realize (and it’s important to realize this) that when WaMu went under, Chase managed to buy WaMus sub-prime loans for about 3 cents on the dollar. That means that if you have a $400,000 mortgage originally with WaMu and now with Chase, chase can generate a profit buy selling your house for very, very little! ($12,000 at face value — Less expenses of course) This information should serve to give you an idea of just how LITTLE bargaining POWER you hold, and how much power the bank has to do whatever they want. So treat the bank as you would you dentist or surgeon, and don’t say nasty things to them as the anesthesia is beginning to take effect, unless you want to wake up with the wrong teeth pulled out or the wrong kidney removed:) There is NO REASON to argue with them, or get angry. It’s like trying to extract information from those troops who were sent into dangerous enemy territory without a single drop of sensitive information. I.e., the people answering the phone don’t make the strategies for how to bleed foreclosure victims dry, that’s simply profit-driven corporate planning. Figure out a way, rather, of seeing if you can point out to the lender that modifying YOUR loan will be a safe way for the bank to increase their earning potential on your property. Without that simple reality in place, the lender has no reason to really GRANT your permanent modification and you will be placed in what Catholics would term Permanent Loan Modification Purgatory to suffer endless carpal tunnel syndrome sending faxes that will wind up in the round file until the lender decides that you are sufficiently fattened for the slaughter and the feast.
  4. Hire a Para-Legal Foreclosure Defense Company. And, be aware that in this case, para = parasite. Sell anything you have left, send them a big fat certified check that you should probably spend on feeding your family, and get nothing in return. If you choose this method, may I suggest you go to one of the myriad websites that are out there, search engined optimized to screw you out of your very last drop of blood. There are websites, that appear like this one, and take you name and contact info and SELL it to any pretend-law-firm willing to pay for leads. I think one of them, at the top of Google, is Sign up and get hounded today. In fact, it is a state bar violation, at least in some states, for real law firms to acquire leads from websites that collect them from people under duress facing foreclosure. Then you’ll get email and phone calls and more harassment than you need right now. If you’re inclined to do this, maybe I can sell you some beach front property in Arizona:)
  5. Walk/Run away from the whole thing. (Understandable but not recommended) Pack up the car, and drive… Not my cup of tea but some people, understandable become, let’s say, quite disenchanted with the American Dream. Some to the extent that they spend a little extra on a bulldozer and level their home. Now if this were the case with a WaMu loan, WaMu may be better off, after all,  a nice developed land could certainly bring in more than $12,000.
  6. Unite and Help Others. Do the best you can to do right for your family and stick it out. And if you can muster a little more energy, put some information together in a website to help other nice people in the same boat.

Here’s the punchline. As they say in Brooklyn: There ain’t no such thing as a Free Foreclosure Lawyer. But if I can save you from throwing your money away on some ambulance chasing “law-firm mimicking” thief, then please accept my apologies for misleading you. This is not a bait and switch, rather a bait and rescue. Good luck my friends! And send your comments and stories.

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