One of the most common concerns for Pittsburgh residents who are experiencing financial trouble is losing their home. Being informed that a mortgage foreclosure is imminent or is already in progress can be a frightening experience. Fortunately, there are options for people who are confronted by this difficult reality. Before overreacting or panicking, it is wise to think about the legal remedies that are available to retain one's home. Calling for advice immediately is key to taking advantage of those alternatives.
The law in Pennsylvania says that people who fall behind on a mortgage can face foreclosure in as little as 60 days following a delinquency. The lender is also required to send two notices to the debtor about having missed mortgage payments. In those letters, there are listed ways to avoid foreclosure. In general, there will be between two and four months to pay what is owed to keep the property out of foreclosure. For those who do not pay what is owed, the lender will then seek a mortgage foreclosure. A complaint will be served that this is underway.
A debtor will be given one month to respond. If there is no response or the payment is not made, the property can be sold. For debtors who are unable to prevent the sale, the highest bidder can then get the property and will legally own it. To keep this from happening, one of the main strategies that many debtors will use is a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Through Chapter 13, the property can be protected as the debtor will come to an agreement to repay what he or she owed over a certain time-period - usually three or five years. Since the person who has fallen behind on a mortgage will also have other debts, these too will be part of the Chapter 13. The payment agreement will be an amount that the debtor can manage. Then the home can be retained.
When a person is struggling financially and sees no way to get back into a better situation, it is imperative to have legal advice. This is true before and after the mortgage foreclosure has begun. Calling a law firm with experience in helping clients determine the best way out of their financial circumstances and get back on strong ground is a key decision. Calling for a consultation with a specialist in preventing or stopping mortgage foreclosure should be the first step.