Foreclosure Defense vs. Mortgage Modificationby Katheryn E. Hancock, Attorney on 01/09/14
If you have a pending foreclosure, you may be looking into foreclosure defense and/or mortgage modification. But what is the difference?
Foreclosure defense fights the foreclosure process in the state court system by arguing the foreclosure is wrongful for some reason, or by filing motions to delay the foreclosure sale. Many foreclosure defense attorneys argue that the mortgage company does not have the proper paperwork and therefore the mortgage is not valid. Typically, these tactics work to delay the foreclosure process, sometimes even for years.
Mortgage modification is the process by which someone seeks to change the terms of their mortgage by working with the mortgage company. This can include lowering the interest rate, forgiving arrearages, lowering the payments by increasing the term of the mortgage, and even forgiving principal (lowering your actual mortgage balance). One caveat to mortgage modification is that the mortgage company does not have to stop a pending foreclosure while they are working with you (unless you file bankruptcy).
So which option is right for you? Well, if you are on the fence about actually keeping your home and just want more time to live there before moving on, then foreclosure defense may be the better option. Another reason would be if the mortgage company did something wrong and you want to fight to make them correct their mistake. If you want to keep your home and just need some help lowering the payments, interest rate, and/or balance on the mortgage then mortgage modification would be your best bet. Mortgage modification can be done with or without a bankruptcy filing, but see my earlier post about the excellent mortgage modification program we have here in the Florida bankruptcy court system.
Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks.