San Diego Foreclosure Attorney
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Looking for a San Diego foreclosure attorney? Chang and Diamond, APC has got your back. Call us today for a full case review.
How Can a San Diego Foreclosure Lawyer Help?
Foreclosure can be an emotional and uncertain time. The process can also move quickly, leaving you little time to make crucial decisions. Engaging the services of a foreclosure attorney can relieve some of that stress.
At Chang & Diamond, APC, we understand the unique challenges Southern California homeowners face. We are not just legal advisors, but advocates dedicated to preserving our client’s dream of homeownership. We will thoroughly assess your financial situation and explain what options are available for avoiding foreclosure.
If you are afraid of losing your house, let the foreclosure attorneys at Chang & Diamond help. Contact us now to schedule your personalized consultation.
Understanding California Foreclosure Law
While the fear of losing your home can be stressful, trying to also understand the legal process can be even more overwhelming. You can rely on our foreclosure attorneys to explain the law, the terms of your mortgage and the options available to you.
What Is a Foreclosure?
When you received financing for your house or other real estate, the lender placed a mortgage on the property. The mortgage is the lien used to secure the debt. This means that if the borrower fails to pay the money owed on the house, the bank can take ownership of the house in order to recoup the debts.
In California, there are two foreclosure mechanisms: judicial and non-judicial foreclosures.
A non-judicial foreclosure allows lenders to sell your property without going to court. If your lender pursues this type of foreclosure the following will occur:
- Foreclosure avoidance assessment. After you default on your mortgage, and prior to starting the foreclosure process, your lender must contact you to conduct a foreclosure avoidance assessment. The assessment is used to determine your current financial situation and ways to avoid foreclosure.
- Notice of Default. If you do not work out a plan to avoid foreclosure in 30 days, the lender can then send a Notice of Default. This notice officially starts the clock on the foreclosure.
- Notice of Sale. If you do not cure the default within 90 days, your bank will send you a Notice of Sale advising you that your house will be sold at a public auction in 21 days.
- Sale. Your house will be sold at an auction. If there are no bidders, ownership will default to the bank. If the proceeds from the sale are greater than the amount owed, you are entitled to the surplus funds.
A non-judicial foreclosure can be completed in as little as 120 days. This is typically the more efficient and popular foreclosure option. However, California law does not allow lenders to pursue a deficiency judgment after a non-judicial foreclosure. Therefore, your bank may choose to seek a judicial foreclosure instead.
In a judicial foreclosure, lenders file a lawsuit in court asking a judge to order the sale of the property. If your bank pursues this method, the following will occur:
- Pre-foreclosure. This is the time between when you fell behind on your mortgage payments and when your lender takes foreclosure action. You will receive notices during this period advising you that you are in breach of your mortgage and that your lender can foreclose.
- Summons and complaint. If the lender pursues foreclosure, you will be served with a summons advising you that a foreclosure complaint has been filed. You will also receive a copy of the lawsuit.
- Answer. You have 30 days after the date you were served to file a written answer. You can use your answer to raise any defenses. If you fail to answer the complaint, the judge can enter a default judgment against you.
- Discovery and trial. After you file your answer, the suit will enter a period of discovery where both sides gather evidence for their case. During this time, parties usually negotiate and try to find a solution. If an agreement is not reached, the case may go to trial.
- Foreclosure and sale. If the judge enters judgment in favor of your lender, your house will be sold at public auction.
- Deficiency judgment. If your house sells for less than the debts owed, your lender can request the judge award them a deficiency judgment. This means that you will need to pay the bank the difference between the money it received in the foreclosure sale and the money owed on the loan.
Hiring an experienced attorney can help you through this process. They will explore possible foreclosure defenses, the possibility of a loan modification and ensure you are not a victim of foreclosure fraud.
Property owners have a number of defenses available to them in the event their property is foreclosed. Your San Diego foreclosure attorney will explore available options and advise you on the most appropriate action.
Common defenses to foreclosure include:
- Procedural errors. You may be able to stop or delay foreclosure if your lender did not comply with notice and timing requirements. In a judicial foreclosure, you may be able to dismiss the suit if there was an error of law.
- Unfair lending practices. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to argue that your lender acted in a dishonest, predatory or fraudulent manner to obtain your real estate loan.
- Filing for bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy places an automatic stay on the foreclosure, pausing the process while the bankruptcy case is pending.
- Reinstatement or Redemption. You may be able to cure the default by paying the amount past due prior to the foreclosure. Otherwise, you can redeem your property by paying the full loan amount prior to the foreclosure sale. In a judicial foreclosure, you can generally redeem your property for up to three months to a year after the sale.
Empowering You Through Legal Expertise
The San Diego foreclosure lawyers at Chang & Diamond, APC are here to assist you. With over 30 years of experience in bankruptcy law, we use our knowledge of loans, debt modification and foreclosure to help homeowners.
Our lawyers can help you with:
Foreclosure defense. We will explore your options and offer strategic challenges to foreclosure proceedings. We also negotiate with lenders to settle outstanding debts or find other adequate alternatives.
Loan modification assistance. Our loan modification attorneys guide clients through the process of modifying loan terms. We will negotiate for more favorable terms and a manageable payment plan.
Bankruptcy counsel. We provide support through Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy filings. We will explain the pros and cons of these options and work with you through the entire process.
Representation in court. We advocate for our clients’ rights and interests in court and with opposing counsel.
Contact Chang & Diamond, APC Today
If you are facing creditor harassment, foreclosure & repossession, a foreclosure defense attorney from Chang & Diamond is here to help. We offer a personal and caring approach to assist our clients struggling with real estate debt.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. Call us at today safeguard your home and secure your financial well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does the Foreclosure Process Take in San Diego?
The duration of a foreclosure varies, but it typically takes several months. Factors like foreclosure type, negotiations and legal proceedings can influence the timeline.
Is Bankruptcy the Sole Solution To Stopping Foreclosure?
No, bankruptcy is just one option. Your attorney can help you explore viable alternatives. This may include loan modifications, negotiations or raising defenses.
Can I Negotiate With My Lender Directly?
You can negotiate directly. However, a lawyer will knowledgably advocate for your interests and can use their skills to secure the best possible result.