New York is one of several states that uses the "judicial foreclosure" system, which means that all foreclosures must be handled through a lawsuit.
So what does that mean for you? It means that if you are facing a foreclosure, then you are in a lawsuit, and would be wise to proceed with appropriate caution and determination.
By the very nature of how the law is written, your lender will be lawyering up to proceed through the foreclosure process, and it would be very wise for you to do the same. It is not generally seen as prudent in any field of the law for litigants on one side of a lawsuit to have representation while the other side does not.
It is understandable that you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of foreclosure, which is all the more reason to reach out for the help that you need to take the actions necessary to turn the tide in your favor.
A foreclosure notice is not game over
Here's the good news - even if you have received a foreclosure notice, you still have options. The important thing to to realize is that there is help out there to enable you to act quickly to fight back against the proceedings.
While it may seem like a fight of David-versus-Goliath proportions, the same law that requires foreclosures be handled through litigation also provides some protections of sorts for homeowners.
Once you have been served the foreclosure complaint, you will have either 20 or 30 days to respond, depending on how you were served (20 days if served in person, 30 days if served through other means, like the U.S. Postal Service). You should also have been given a notice of your rights, and the prospective steps you may take to get back on track.
If you were not given this notice, it is wise to document this.
Foreclosures on an owner-occupied property also require the lender and borrower to attempt to find a way to avoid foreclosure through a settlement conference. This is one of the primary moments in the process where proper, professional representation for a homeowner can change the course of the whole process, and potentially net you a tenable solution.
The settlement conference is required to take place within 60 days of whenever the court clerk received the filing of proof of service for the foreclosure complaint.
Whatever you do, do not be paralyzed by inaction
Now is certainly not the time to hope this whole thing will blow over. If you do not respond to the foreclosure complaint in the appropriate time or participate in the settlement conference, then you will likely face a summary judgement, which means you automatically lose your case.
There is no reason to simply take a loss. There are many ways that you may be able to turn the ship around, and all of them involve getting in the game and fighting back.
There is no good reason why you have to be the only one fighting on your side. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can take control of this whole mess and get it back on track. You deserve to have your rights protected by an experienced attorney who understands what a person's home means to them.