Real Estate / Foreclosure / Modification
Frequently Asked Questions
We work closely with clients to provide exceptional legal services that are catered specifically to their needs. Below are some frequently asked questions.
* How much do you charge?
Since every case is unique, we can discuss charges in person or via phone consultation. While some fees are standard, like Real Estate closing fees, and drafting Estate Documents, others are fluid such as litigation costs. For personal injury cases, there is NO CHARGE unless we make a recovery for you. For modifications and foreclosure defense, all depends on the complexity of your case, and where you are in the process. Either way,we will do our best to tailor an affordable payment schedule for you
* Will the fee structure be explained in full?
We always want you understand the scope of services that you have retained our Firm for. We want to make sure that you understand that no one that you spoke to at this Firm, nor anyone else can promise you a specific result, a specific outcome or timeframe for completion of services. We also make sure that you understand the breakdown of fees that you are agreeing to pay the Firm as part of your retainer agreement.
* Do you represent home buyers and sellers?
A significant portion of your practice is dedicated to Real Estate transaction from purchases to sales to foreclosure defense and loan modifications. We are equipped to handle any situation presented to us. Feel free to contact us regarding your home sale or purchase so that we can walk you through the process.
* Will you represent me in Court if you are doing my modification?
While we would be happy to represent you in your Court foreclosure defense, as we are very experienced in doing so, this is a separate service offered by our firm. You would need to retain us for any Court representation in addition to your modification services. We are happy to discuss this with you during your consultation.
* How long do I have before my home gets sold at foreclosure?
Every case is different and your time is contingent on where you are in the process and whether you have fought any of the issues brought by the bank in their Summons and Complaint. The earlier in the case you retain counsel, the longer it is that we can keep you in the house, and the better they chances are of you keeping the house, if that is your goal. Let us look over your case and we can provide more insight to your specific case.
* If retaining MK Law for Foreclosure Defense, who should I contact if I have any questions or receive notices from my lender?
You will be assigned a primary contact who is assigned to your case. That will be the person you should communicate with regarding any questions or concerns that you may have. We have additional support staff that assists us so you may hear from them as well. Updates are provided regularly, depending upon the specifics of your case. We make sure you are always informed of the status of your case.
* Why do you keep asking for new documents on my loan modification application?
During the modification process, it is not uncommon for your lender to require additional or updated documentation as they review the submission. The most common requests include updated pay stubs, bank statements and an updated utility bill. These documents must be complete (all pages - even if some pages are blank) and they must be clear, legible and not cut off. Sometimes we are only given a 48 hour deadline to comply with lender requests for additional or updated information. We in turn request this information from you asap so that we have time to review the information prior to sending it out. For that reason it is strongly recommended that you keep such documents in a folder (as you receive them). Please note that our goal is to keep your file moving toward a decision. It is important to remit document requests quickly, as a failure to meet documentation requirements will likely result in a denial or a cancellation of the review by your lender - in which case, the process must be started over again.
* How long does a loan modification take?
There are two main inputs to how long this process will take. One is within your control and the other is not. The first input is how cooperative you are with responding to our requests for information. Our goal is to always push the lender to move your case forward to a decision. The second is dependent upon the cooperation and turn-around time of your lender. Unfortunately, this is outside of our control. Each lender operates differently. Some may be understaffed which causes the duration of the process to be extended from one to several months. Another factor that can extend the timeframe to completion is how complicated a borrower's financial situation is, how many sources of income there are, what kinds of income need to be documented, how many co-borrowers, etc.
* During my modification application process, will I still receive phone calls from your my lender?
Phone calls from your lender will not cease during the modification process until your loan has returned to normal servicing. It is important for you to understand that typically these calls are from people hired by your lender to try to collect past due amounts from you. They are in a division of the bank that is not in contact with - or privy to the work that is being done by the department handling your loan modification application. While it is important that you answer or return these calls, it is critical that you let them know that you hired our law office to represent you and do not allow them to harass you. PLEASE defer any questions regarding your budget/financial information to me.
* Should I take calls from the lender or bill collectors?
Many banks interpret a failure to do so as an indication that you are not interested in saving your home. So just let them know that the law office has been retained to resolve the issues concerning your home mortgage and give them our contact information. It is always important to be aware that although the bank representatives may be nice and helpful, that their goal is to collect a debt. One misspoken word can jeopardize your case and that is why all questions regarding your finances should be deferred to our office.
* I received a FORECLOSURE Summons and complaint. Does that mean I will lose my home?
A Summons is the start of the legal process of selling your home. Although this is not included in the scope of services for a loan modification, we advise that the summons be answered in order to prevent your case from being fast tracked into the foreclosure process. We will have an attorney contact you to discuss this further with you and if desired by you, make arrangements for the filing of the response if you choose to respond. As with all correspondence this should be forwarded to us as soon as possible as there is a deadline that must be met. Make sure you let us know when you have received the summons, how you received it (mail, FedEx, etc.) and if you signed for it or were served it. This is critical information so that the attorney knows the time period in which response is required.
* My FORECLOSURE case has started and I already have a Foreclosure conference / Court Appearance. Can you help?
Similar to a Summons we strongly recommend that this conference not be ignored. If possible, I can have our office arrange for an attorney to appear in court for you so that your interests are represented. From experience, I found this to be successful for our clients in keeping the loss mitigation process on track to a decision. The fee for a court appearance is dependent upon the specifics of the appearance and location.
* Can you promise me that I will receive a rate reduction or lower payments on my modification?
There is no way that I, or anyone at the Firm can promise you any specific result. It is important to note, and I want to reemphasize it here, that a loan modification is a hardship program. These programs are tailored to make your payments affordable based upon your unique set of economic circumstances and your hardship. Although your lender is typically a bank, your note may be held by a private investor. In either case, the bank or the private investor will have the final say as to what modification or other type of workout, if any, you will receive. Therefore it is impossible for me or anyone else to guarantee any specific rate, rate reduction, extension of mortgage term, etc. With that being said, we continue to obtain favorable terms for many of our clients who are one or more months behind on their mortgage payments.
* Do I need to pay the whole legal fee up front?
While most Law Firms require their fees upfront before working on a client’s file, we do offer payment plans as a courtesy to some of our clients who are experiencing hardship. If this applies to you, please note that you have agreed to a legally binding agreement that must be adhered to or we will be forced to place your file on hold, revoke your payment plan privileges (and require the fee to be paid in full), or permanently close your file. Should you fail to pay your legal fees, your file will automatically be removed from our active files. All work on your file will stop.
* I received a sale date saying my home is being auctioned off. What options do I have?
When a sale date is set for a property, one option is to have us reach out to your lender's foreclosure attorney to see if we can possibly have that sale date postponed. As part of this we escalate your file to comply with any last minute requests made by your lender's foreclosure attorney. We work with you to make sure that these requests are fully met so that we can have the best opportunity to have that postponement granted. We do our best to verify that both your lender and their foreclosure attorney are communicating with each other and are on the same page. Please be aware that our Firm cannot guarantee that we will be successful in obtaining a postponement of your sale date. This is because we do not make that decision. We have had success in obtaining postponements on behalf of our clients. It is also important that you understand that it is not uncommon to have several sale dates set throughout this process once your home was already scheduled for auction. So we may go through this process with you more than once and there is no guarantee that each postponement request will be granted. While this is a very stressful time, if this situation applies to you, it is critical that you cooperate as quickly as possible with requests for information so we can work toward a decision point. If the Firm is unable to obtain a postponement of the sale from your lender, the attorney will speak to you regarding other options that may be available to you.
Results Oriented Approach
Each client is treated as an individual by the team at MK Law. There is no cookie cutter approach to your issue. A victory is determined by the desired outcome, and not some amorphous expectation.
Our team will provide you with realistic expectations as to what you can expect as an outcome to your case. We do not inflate expectations, as we believe that you should know where your case stands at all times. Our results and reputations speak for themselves.
You can have confidence that by going with MK Law, you will always be in good hands.