Foreclosure is a process by which a mortgage company can ask a court to take back your home after you have defaulted on your loan. The process can take a while, but it’s best to deal with the situation sooner rather than later, as fees and costs accrue rapidly when you wait.
If you have received a letter from your mortgage company stating that you are in default, and that you have 30 days to dispute the amount they claim you are behind or cure the arrears, then you can most likely expect a foreclosure complaint to be served on you after those 30 days expire. Typically a sheriff will deliver the summons and complaint, and will tell you how many days you have to answer that complaint. Answering the complaint means that you admit or deny all of the allegations contained in the complaint, and assert any defenses you might have. Foreclosure defenses are often not available, but when they exist, they can prevent the foreclosure.
Vermont law provides some qualifying homeowners in foreclosure with the right to meet with a representative of the mortgage company to try to work out a solution. This is accomplished by you requesting that the Court appoint a mediator to facilitate your meeting with the mortgage company.
If you fail to answer the complaint, or there is no valid defense, the court will enter a judgment in favor of the mortgage company. Vermont law provides homeowners with 6 months after the judgement is entered to redeem the property (pay the full amount due and retain the home). In some cases, this can be accomplished through the Chapter 13 process.
If you are having trouble making your mortgage payments, the Obama Administration has implemented several options for you to avoid foreclosure. Click here to find out more about the various programs available to you.
Be aware of scams offering to help you avoid foreclosure. There are many predatory institutions out there that do not offer legitimate help. You do not have to pay for the government’s modification program, known as HAMP. And you should NEVER sign any documents that you do not understand, or that transfer title to your property to another.
Click here for some things to look for and assistance in avoiding foreclosure scams.
Click here for more information about Vermont’s foreclosure laws and help.