The Sarasota Herald-Tribune interviewed Roy Oppenheim, among other Florida foreclosure attorneys, for his opinion on what to do during the foreclosure process. The article advises homeowners to fight foreclosure and never just give-in to a foreclosure notice. Read on for the full article.
Attorneys advise clients to stay in their homes
By Todd Ruger
Monday, June 29, 2009
SARASOTA COUNTY – Phil Agnes and other lawyers have two words for homeowners facing foreclosure: Stay put.
The flood of foreclosures has clogged the courts, allowing homeowners to stay in their homes while the paperwork goes through the system. Many homeowners are unaware that they can remain at home for months while the foreclosure is in court, attorneys say.
And homeowners willing to challenge the foreclosure sometimes can remain in their homes for more than a year, sometimes more than two years, just by filing a few basic legal documents.
“It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay in the home,” said Agnes, an attorney who volunteers at Gulf Coast Legal Services Inc.
A legal fight lets homeowners save money for post-foreclosure life, when a ruined credit score makes it harder to find a new place to live.
And there are more advantages, attorneys say: Making the legal process costly and time-consuming may push the lender to find alternatives to foreclosure like a loan modification or short sale, the attorneys say.
Staying in the house does not disrupt family life, and the owner takes care of the home, protecting its value for the bank and the neighborhood’s appearance.
Agnes said he sent letters to homeowners immediately after foreclosure filings, and about a third of them were returned because the homeowners had already left.