Judge speaking to lawyersFear is the biggest emotional anchor that can immobilize even the most diligent client. That fear comes from not knowing what the future holds. Although you may have evaluated your options, chose an outcome and have been defending against the action, the outcome you want may not be a possibility.  Control in these situations is not an absolute. Its not an absolute for the Bank and its not an absolute for you. That is because you cannot predict that the judge determining your case is using a legal standard or a moral standard. To be honest, Judges are people, people who have personal beliefs which may coincide with those outsiders who pass judgment that if you don’t pay your mortgage you’re a deadbeat. This doesn’t make the judge dishonest, just human.  You need to prepare for all possibilities, including this one.

So, what is the worst that can happen? Well, you could lose, the Court will have your house sold and you will have to move. Now, if you remove the emotional connection to the house and the situation, think about what remains. You will have to move. OK, is that the worst thing that can happen to you? Will you still wake up in the morning? Will you still love your kids? Will you still see the sunshine of a new day? The answer is YES. The worst case is that you will have to move, that although you make a choice and chose an option/outcome and defended against the foreclosure the Bank did not agree to a settlement and the Court ruled against you.

If this is the absolute worst that can happen in a foreclosure action, is there anything you can do to prepare for it. YES!! Now I know there will be those reading this that will disagree or think I’m advising people to be immoral. However, that is far from the truth. I offer this advise to help those who find themselves in situations not of their choosing and to prepare.  As of the writing of this article it can take up to 24 months for a challenged foreclosure litigation to go from start to finish. After that, it could take up to 6 months for a homeowner to have to move without being removed (that being the sheriff helping you move). So, if you know the timetable, prepare by putting money away. Do not view this time as a freebee. Why? Because if the ultimate outcome happens you will find yourself even more stressed because you will have no home and no money to move. My experience has shown that with emotional connection being the first anxiety in foreclosure, the lack of money to relocate is a strong second. To avoid this anxiety, it is highly suggested that you start setting money aside. Determine a set amount that you will put away each month as if you were paying a mortgage. My recommendation is not to put away only what you are comfortable with.  Put away what is realistic. In the area where my office is located, the rental amount for a three-bedroom house could be $2200. A two-bedroom apartment may go for $1800. So, I recommend to my clients that they set aside $2000.00 each month.  If that isn’t possible, then put away as close to that amount as possible while setting a budget that will reduce your expenses. The point is, take responsibility and control. This way, if the worst-case scenario occurs, you have the money. For example, if the average timeline is only 24 months total and you put 2,000.00 away per month, you would have $48,000 saved by the time all is said and done.  I would hypothesize that $48,000 would be enough funds to relocate.

So, when facing financial difficulties and foreclosure litigation, the key is to not ignore the situation, take control as much as possible and prepare for an outcome that may be unavoidable.

If you or someone you know is currently experiencing financial difficulties or is facing a foreclosure litigation you need a reliable, experienced team on your side. The Long Island attorneys at the Law Office of Maggio & Meyer take pride in our ability to defend homeowners in foreclosure cases. We believe in helping our clients before during and after foreclosure.

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Please note that this series was created with New York State and its legal system in mind. The material found in this series may be applicable to other judicial and non-judicial states. However, consultation with experts in your state is recommended.

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