According to the U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, in 2018, there were nearly 624,753 properties with foreclosure filings in the United States, representing 0.47 percent of all U.S. housing units. Missing your loan payment is considered a breach of your mortgage agreement. Your lender may initiate a foreclosure proceeding once you've missed mortgage payments for three to six months.
If you're facing the possibility of losing your home to a foreclosure, it is crucial that you consult with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania foreclosure attorney for detailed guidance. Our attorneys at Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C., are committed to offering experienced legal guidance and comprehensive representation in foreclosure matters. We will help you understand your options and fight vigorously on your side to stop the foreclosure and help keep your property.
Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C. is proud to serve clients throughout Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
A foreclosure is a legal process through which a financial institution, such as a bank or mortgage lender, repossesses, or forces the sale of a home or property. The mortgage company can legally repossess or obtain ownership of a property through foreclosure. Some common reasons for foreclosure include:
Failure to make payments
Failure to pay property insurance
Failure to pay property taxes
Credit card debts
Critical illness and medical expenses
There are two types of foreclosures: judicial and non-judicial. Non-judicial foreclosure is a foreclosure that isn't supervised by the court. Conversely, judicial foreclosure is court-supervised and involves formal legal proceedings. Pennsylvania is a "judicial foreclosure" state. The foreclosure process in Pennsylvania involves the following steps:
Notice of Intent to Foreclose: Pennsylvania law requires that the foreclosing party (financial institution) give the homeowner a 30-day notice of intent to foreclose before officially starting the foreclosure process. This gives the property owner the chance to cure the default (41 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 403).
Publish Notice of Default: The foreclosing party is required to provide a property owner with adequate notice of default.
Notice of Homeowner's Rights: The mortgage lender must also provide a notice explaining the property owner's right to cure the default and their available options. This may also include the right to seek financial assistance from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (35 Pa. Stat. Ann. § 1680.403c).
Complaint Filed and Response: The foreclosing party initiates the foreclosure process by filing a complaint with the Pennsylvania court. The complaint will be served to the property owner, along with a summons.
Notice of Sale: If the homeowner fails to resolve the default, the foreclosing party records a notice of sale. The notice of sale will be posted on the property’s premises for a minimum of 30 days before the sale. The notice must be served to the homeowner 30 days before the proposed sale. Also, the notice must be published in a newspaper once a week for three weeks prior to the sale date.
Foreclosure Sale: The property will be sold to the highest bidder at the foreclosure sale.
Deficiency Judgment: A deficiency judgment is a court ruling against a homeowner in default on a mortgage loan, signifying that the mortgage foreclosure sale did not cover the outstanding debt in full. If the foreclosing party files a separate action within six months, a deficiency judgment will be allowed.
Leaving the Property: Once the house is sold during the foreclosure sale, the previous owner will have to vacate the property. If they don't, the new owner has the right to evict them.
The various options to stop or delay a foreclosure include:
Wrongful Foreclosure - This is a civil action brought against the foreclosing party based on allegations of fraud in the foreclosure process.
Request a Short Sale - With a short sale, the financial institution allows the homeowner to sell the home for less than the outstanding loan amount.
Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure - This is a document that transfers the property title from the homeowner to the lender in exchange for mortgage debt relief.
File for Bankruptcy - When a homeowner files for bankruptcy, an automatic "stay" goes into effect. This prevents all collection activities by creditors — including foreclosure thus, delaying the foreclosure and giving the homeowner time to consider their options.
The thought of losing your home to a foreclosure can be really frightening. Thankfully, homeowners in Pennsylvania have several options when it comes to mortgage foreclosure. Consulting with a knowledgeable foreclosure attorney is crucial for proper guidance.
At Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C., we are dedicated to providing outstanding legal services and defending clients in their foreclosure proceedings. As your legal counsel, we will help you understand your options and offer you the comprehensive guidance you need to navigate key decisions. We will work diligently with your mortgage lender to negotiate an alternative solution that may help you keep your home.
If you're facing the possibility of losing your home to foreclosure, call Richard L. Vanderslice, P.C. today to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. We will review your case and provide you with the experienced legal guidance you need to navigate key decisions. We proudly serve clients throughout Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, PA.