Foreclosure Cases in Wisconsin
Despite their best efforts and intentions, a homeowner may fall behind in making their mortgage payments in Wisconsin –maybe they lost their job or are facing a major illness. When this happens, their mortgage lender may take steps to foreclose on the property and sell it to regain the money they are owed.
At DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, we understand the worries and frustrations many homeowners face when there is a foreclosure looming. We will work with your interests in mind and use our resources strategically. Contact us today at 414-377-0515 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey. You can also schedule online as well.
What Happens Now that I'm in Foreclosure?
Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey has been handling foreclosure defense cases for Wisconsin homeowners since 2008. He has handled cases against major mortgage companies, guiding his clients through the legal system to save their homes. A review of the foreclosure process is helpful to understand the process and why having an attorney is an essential part of the foreclosure defense process.
Foreclosure is an action a lender goes through to gain title to a home on which they currently have a mortgage. This action is taken when the mortgagor has failed for a few months to make their payments. In some states, the process is a judicial one and the lender must go through the court system to foreclose. This is how foreclosures work in Wisconsin. In other states, the process is administrative, and a lender may be able to foreclose without involving the courts. In most cases, the foreclosure process does not start until you are 120 days delinquent in order for a lender to initiate foreclosure proceedings. This is why it is imperative you contact a foreclosure defense attorney in Wisconsin to understand your rights and to gain insight into what you may encounter throughout the foreclosure process.
In a Wisconsin foreclosure, the lender (sometimes called the mortgage company) will file a suit against the homeowner in the appropriate civil court. The homeowner has 20 days from when they are "served" with the lawsuit to respond. This deadline is VERY important, as the law only gives you the 20 days to respond. If the homeowner fails to file an "answer" to the lawsuit, the lender will proceed to ask the court for a "default judgment." A default judgment occurs when a party fails to answer a lawsuit and the court awards a "win" to the mortgage company. Filing a valid, complete, and solid answer to the lawsuit is essential - this is where hiring an experienced foreclosure defense attorney is essential. Part of filing an appropriate answer to a lawsuit is making sure all your legal defenses - called "affirmative defenses" in the law - are properly before the court. There are often many defenses that homeowners have to a foreclosure case - and they don't even know it!
Common Defenses to Foreclosure in Wisconsin
There are some defenses to foreclosure that are specific to certain areas and regions, but there are others that are more universally applicable. Some of the more universal defenses are listed below.
- Fraud: When fraud or undue influence is used to induce a party to sign a mortgage, it can usually be used as a defense in the foreclosure action.
- Violations of Law: Most jurisdictions, especially those that have a judicial foreclosure process, have requirements on the type and amount of notice that must be given to mortgagors in the foreclosure process. If they fail to abide by those laws, it can be a defense to foreclosure.
- Scams: When the mortgagor is the victim of a scam, such as predatory lending, they may be able to use the scam as a defense to the foreclosure action.
If you are facing a foreclosure, it is in your best interest to seek a foreclosure defense attorney in your area. They may know other defenses that are available to you, as well as other options to avoid foreclosure. For example, your jurisdiction and lender may allow you to execute a deed-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure. A DIL allows you to deed your property back to the lender in order to avoid the foreclosure process. DILs typically have less of an impact on your credit score, which is why many people choose to go this route. Other options include loan modifications, reinstatements, and other ways to stop the foreclosure and protect your home.
What Are Your Rights in a Foreclosure Proceeding in Wisconsin?
Before initiating foreclosure, your lender should send you a letter listing the amount you need to pay, by a certain date, to avoid foreclosure. Your lender, or the company that services the loan for your lender, should also try to contact you to explain your options for loss mitigation, which is a process where you work out an agreement with your lender to avoid foreclosure.
In judicial foreclosure proceedings, you will receive a summons and complaint which initiates the actual foreclosure. Some states also provide mortgagors with a Right to Foreclosure Mediation, which allows you to discuss different options with the lender to avoid foreclosure. Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey has been working on loan modifications for many years, receiving awards for his efforts in Wisconsin to assist homeowners in keeping their homes.
Do You Need a Foreclosure Lawyer in Wisconsin?
Because you are facing the possible loss of your home, it is a good idea to seek counsel from a foreclosure attorney that understands the process. They can help you navigate the foreclosure while minimizing your losses.
Other instances where a foreclosure defense lawyer is most beneficial include situations where:
- You have a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which may qualify you for additional aid to help you keep your home
- You are an active or former military service member, which may qualify you for protection under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- You want to keep your home but your legal options are limited, in which case a lawyer may be able to negotiate with the lender a positive outcome for you
- You think you have a valid defense, in which case a lawyer may be able to identify, support, and successfully argue on your behalf
Navigating the foreclosure process can be overwhelming in an already stressful situation. A foreclosure defense attorney can alleviate some of that stress and help find options you may not have thought you had.
Contact a Foreclosure Defense Attorney in Wisconsin Today
At DeLadurantey Law Office, LLC, we understand that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and we know that facing a foreclosure can be extremely stressful and frustrating. Contact us at 414-377-0515 or by filling out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you navigate a foreclosure.
We provide representation in foreclosure cases in Wisconsin, including Racine, Kenosha, Green Bay, Appleton, the Fox Valley, Milwaukee, West Allis, Waukesha, Walworth County, Dane County, Madison, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Superior, Ashland, and anywhere in-between.