Avoiding Foreclosure

The easiest way to stop a foreclosure is to file bankruptcy. If you plan to stay in your house, filing a Chapter 13 is often the best solution. Many people have been misled by news stories and scam artists that there are other possible ways to stop foreclosure in Georgia, however, the circumstances that those other remedies are effective in are few and far between.

Since 2006, the number of Georgians who have suffered foreclosure has risen 162 percent, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit agency created as a result of the housing crisis caused by lending scams.

Georgia is a Non Judicial Foreclosure State. "This means that the lender does not need to take you to court in order to begin foreclosure proceedings. However, there are steps that the lender must take to initiate the foreclosure. You must be at least 90 days behind on your mortgage. The lender or the lender’s attorney must advertise the intended date of foreclose for 30 days in a legal publication in your county of residence." (1)

The advertisement in a legal publication does not mean it will be in the newspaper you read. In Fulton County, this refers to the Fulton County Daily Report, a paper you are probably not familiar with.

The easiest way to stop a foreclosure is to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy will only delay the foreclosure, and sometimes for a very short period of time, i.e. 1-3 months, because if the lender wants to lift the bankruptcy stay, he is allowed to do so, whether we oppose the lifting or not.

Outside of bankruptcy, there are other methods but many can be expensive and the chances of success are not high. One common method, where a loan has changed hands once or numerous times, is to dispute the lender's right to foreclose due to "robo signings" or failure to produce the required paperwork. This will delay the foreclosure, but can be costly since it involves a lot of litigation. Nevertheless, it does give you as a homeowner time to refinance the home or negotiate settlement, but it does not often lead to a court order prohibiting foreclosure if you are in default.

A Short Sale is another method employed by homeowners and lenders, but it has pitfalls as well.

Do you have more than one mortgage? If you do, there are other issues that must be addressed; and if your house is worth less than what you owe on your first mortgage, and you file bankruptcy, you may be able to strip out or avoid paying the 2nd Mortgage and 3rd Mortgage if you have one, in their entirety.

(1) Georgia Department of Community Affairs. https://www.dca.state.ga.us/housing/homeownership/programs/foreclosure.asp
(footnote above)

Why Choose Us?

We have helped many people avoid becoming a foreclosure statistic by providing insightful legal counsel based upon their unique circumstances.

Dual knowledge of complex financial and legal matters distinguishes Miles W. Rich as a uniquely qualified attorney. When meeting with clients, he evaluates their circumstances, explains which options will help them stay in their house and provides knowledgeable legal counsel, but our clients always make the final decision.

We meet many good people who are just like millions of other people who were hit hard by the unstable economy and weak housing market.

Important Questions to Ask

  • Can I stop foreclosure entirely or is it just delayed?

  • Will all types of bankruptcy stop foreclosure?

  • Do foreclosure solutions apply to commercial as well as residential property?

  • What is the definition of being "upside down" and how would that affect me?

  • How will a foreclosure factor into my divorce agreement?