Archive for the ‘Mortgage Foreclosures’ Category

The Mortgage Foreclosure Process in Luzerne County and Northeastern Pennsylvania

Friday, November 25th, 2011

In Luzerne County and other parts of Pennsylvania, including neighboring Lackawanna, Columbia, Monroe, Wayne and Pike Counties, banks will not take formal mortgage foreclosure action against a homeowner until he or she is several months behind with his or her mortgage payments.

If the homeowner fails to respond to the bank’s initial informal notice, the bank will issue Act 6 and Act 91 letters as required by Pennsylvania law, to notify the homeowner of: (A) his or her right to bring the mortgage arrearage current within 30 days to avoid attorney’s fees and costs; and  (B)  the availability of assistance from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority.

If the arrearage is not then cured or Act 91 assistance is not applied for within the 30-day period, or the Act 91 application is rejected, the bank will file and serve a mortgage foreclosure complaint upon the homeowner.

The homeowner will then have 20 days to answer the complaint to raise any defenses he or she may have.

If the complaint is not answered, the bank will issue another ten day notice of its intention to file a judgment.

If the complaint is then not answered, a judgment is entered. If the complaint is answered, a hearing or trial on the issues raised will be held several months later.

If the complaint is not answered or the homeowner is not successful at the hearing or trial, a judgment in mortgage foreclosure will be entered of record, after which the bank will file a series of documents with the court to notify other mortgage or judgment holders of its judgment and to set a sheriff’s sale date for the auction of the homeowner’s property.

The homeowner must get at least 30 days advanced notice of the actual date for the sheriff’s sale.

As a practical matter, it takes at least 6 months or more from the date that the homeowner stops paying his or her mortgage until the date of the sheriff’s sale in Luzerne County.

In my next post, I will describe how a sheriff’s sale is conducted in Luzerne County and its neighboring counties. Until then, please feel free to call me at (570) 823-9400 or send an e-mail at davidharrisesq@epix.net with any questions regarding the mortgage foreclosure process in Luzerne County and neighboring Lackawanna, Columbia, Monroe, Wayne and Pike Counties and whether a Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing may be a solution to resolving your foreclosure problem.

Please also visit MY HOME PAGE to learn more about my law practice and me.

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The Push For Mortgage Modification Legislation Is Alive and Kicking

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Mortgage foreclosures continue to rise in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Stroudsburg, and in all other parts of Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Monroe County and Pike County, in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Many who have visited my web site and my blog in the past know that I, with a group of 60 attorneys from coast to coast, lobbied members of Congress in February 2008 to enact mortgage modification legislation that would empower judges to modify the terms of mortgages based on the appraised values of the mortgaged properties so that the escalation of mortgage foreclosures would cease.

Based on our day-to-day experiences in the trenches, we believed that the effect of the enactment of the legislation would result in people being able to stay in their homes and resume affordable mortgage payments, while enabling banks to get at least, if not more, than what they would have gotten had they foreclosed instead.

Real estate values would then become more predictable than they are today and banks could then make loans with less fear of risk, knowing the value of their security was more predictable.

Guess what? Our convictions about the enactment of mortgage modification legislation are stronger than ever, particularly in light of the banks’ failed efforts to engage in “self modification,” the failure of the HAMP program, and the exposure of the bogus mortgage assignment debacle. Thus, we are going back to lobby Congress in April of this year and, in the interim, I thought that you might like to read a good article to bring you up to date on the status of the mortgage modification legislation issue. Please click the link here: http://tinyurl.com/4edk2j8

Please let me know your thoughts or, if you wish to discuss this issue or learn more, you may call me or send an e-mail. Also, please feel free to log onto my blog from time-to-time, as I will be sending out regular posts to keep you apprised of our efforts.

Stopping Mortgage Foreclosures in Pennsylvania With The Help Of A Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

If you are confronted with a mortgage foreclosure in Wilkes-Barre, Scranton or Stroudsburg, or in Luzerne, Lackawanna or Monroe Counties or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, a filing under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code may provide you with relief by allowing you to formulate a plan to “cure” the past due amounts owed on your mortgage over a 3-5 year period, while at the same time allowing you to make your regular monthly mortgage payments directly to your bank or mortgage lender.

The filing of a Chapter 13 petition will immediately cause the foreclosure proceeding to stop and the successful implementation of a plan will enable you to catch up on your mortgage obligation and may even enable you to discharge credit card and other debts, including some types of tax debts.

If you are interested in learning more about whether Chapter 13 will afford you benefits, please feel free to call me to discuss your options or to schedule a free consultation. At your request, I will also provide you with my biography, with a listing of my credentials as well as some free informational materials about Chapter 13 and the bankruptcy process.

Please note that the Chapter 13 option will be effective to stop a sheriff’s sale only if a bankruptcy petition is filed prior to the date of the foreclosure sale. As the law requires the gathering of a significant amount of paperwork, it is best not to address the Chapter 13 option at the last minute. Time is also of the essence as the bank’s costs in pursuing the foreclosure increase as each day passes.

If you and your spouse are on the mortgage that is being foreclosed, you may also have the option of having only one spouse file a petition under Chapter 13 to stop the sheriff’s sale and cure the mortgage arrearages.

Please visit MY HOME PAGE to learn more about my law practice and me.

The Truth About Foreclosures and Loan Modifications

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Here is a must-view seven minute video from the one person who truly can claim paramount knowledge on this topic: Elizabeth Warren.   Please cut and paste:  http://ow.ly/tEI4

Please call me to discuss your questions at (570) 823-9400 or send an e-mail to me at davidharrisesq@epix.net. You may also write to me at 15 Public Square, Suite 310, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.