Foreclosure Pre-Foreclosure

Facing Foreclosure, Don’t Keep Explaining

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“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

— Plato

Facing foreclosure? Are you getting calls every day from your mortgage company? Do you have a first and second mortgage in foreclosure, but the collectors are still asking you to “pay up and bring your account current”.

It should became clear to you that these are not really conversations. You are trying to explain your case and they are not listening. Their goal is only to get you to pay and pay now, not to help you deal with your mortgage or adjusting the terms. Notice that they won’t even transfer you to another department that might actually help you with your mortgage challenges. If they are calling you, it is for their benefit and not yours!

You should become familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This act gives you, the debtor, some rights and some restricts on the actions the debt collections company can do. For example, debt collectors may not:

  • use threats of violence or harm
  • publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau)
  • use obscene or profane language
  • repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone

Debt collectors may not use any false or misleading statements when collecting a debt. They can’t:

  • falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives
  • falsely imply that you have committed a crime
  • falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau
  • misrepresent the amount of your debt
  • indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not
  • indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are.

Debt collectors can’t state that:

  • you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt
  • they will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so, and it is legal to do so
  • actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, when such action legally may not be taken, or when they do not intend to take such action.

Debt collectors may not:

  • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit bureau
  • send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not
  • use a false name

Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices and can’t:

  • collect any amount greater than your debt, unless your state law permits such a charge
  • deposit a post dated check prematurely
  • use deception to make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams;
  • take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally
  • contact you by postcard

Even though these laws are in place to protect you, they don’t always do that. It is up to you to make sure your rights are protected.

Foreclosure is a process most lenders would like to avoid, but you need to have a strategy.

It’s important to know your options and understand all the potential solutions that may be available to help you avoid foreclosure. It’s also important to understand what can happen if you fail to take action and foreclosure becomes unavoidable. The process can be stressful, embarrassing, and it can have long-lasting consequences. Contact us for assistance.

By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".

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