Difference between revisions of "The Bank Is Threatening Foreclosure on My Home"

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{{Template:Legal Help Guide TOC}}When a bank or other institution lends you money to buy a home, they take a '''mortgage''' on it. A mortgage is registered against the title of your home, and if you don’t make the promised payments, the bank may be able to '''foreclose''' on your home, which means you may have to pay them the entire amount owing on the mortgage or your house will be sold and the bank will be paid out of the proceeds of the sale. The usual first step in a foreclosure is a '''demand letter''' from the lender or its lawyer, saying that you are “'''in arrears'''” (behind) in your payments and demanding that you bring them up to date.
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{{Template:Legal Help Guide TOC}}When a bank or other institution lends you money to buy a home, they take a ''mortgage'' to secure payment. A mortgage is registered against the title of your home, and if you don’t make the required payments, the bank may be able to ''foreclose''.  This <span class="noglossary">will</span> usually mean you have to pay them the entire amount owing on the mortgage, though sometimes you can arrange to catch up your payments.  If you cannot make some kind of arrangement, you risk your house being sold to pay the mortgage. The usual first step in a foreclosure is a ''demand letter'' from the lender or its lawyer, saying that you are ''in <span class="noglossary">arrears</span>'' (behind) in your payments and demanding that you bring them up to date.
  
 
== First steps ==
 
== First steps ==
# Do '''not''' ignore the demand letter. You should either get legal advice right away or meet with the lender to see if you can arrange manageable payment terms.
 
# If you can’t work things out with the lender, the lender will probably send you a copy of a BC Supreme Court '''Petition''' asking for an '''Order Nisi''' of foreclosure. An Order Nisi will state the amount still owing on the mortgage and establish a time period — usually 6 months, but sometimes shorter — during which you can '''redeem''', or pay off the mortgage. The lender may also ask for an order that your home be sold, and for an order that the lender will have '''conduct''' (control) of the sale.
 
# If you receive a Petition of foreclosure, you must file an '''Appearance''' within 7 days, (indicating that you want to be given all court documents and may want to attend any court hearings), and deliver a '''Response''' to the Petitioner within 8 days of filing the Appearance, together with '''affidavits''' (sworn written statements) telling your side of the story.
 
  
<nowiki>[</nowiki>You can get a blank Appearance, Response and Affidavit at any Supreme Court Registry or most Service BC (Government Agent) Offices. Call Enquiry BC at 1-800-663-7867 for information on the one nearest you. Supreme Court forms are also available online at the [http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca Courts of BC website]. Click on Supreme Court, then Practice and Procedures, then Act, Rules and Forms. For information on what should go into an affidavit, see [[Legal Services Society]] Publications in Part 2 of this Guide, for a copy of the publication, “Can’t Pay Your Mortgage? What you can do if you’re facing foreclosure”.<nowiki>]</nowiki>
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#Do ''not'' ignore the demand letter. If at all possible, you should get legal advice right away.  Then, try to negotiate with the lender to see if you can arrange manageable repayment terms.
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#If you can’t work things out with the lender, the lender <span class="noglossary">will</span> probably start a court action to foreclose on your mortgage. This usually happens after you’ve missed three months of payments. But it can happen sooner. They will ''serve'' on you (give you in person) a BC Supreme Court ''petition''. The petition will ask the court to confirm the amount you owe and set a time period — usually six months, but sometimes shorter — during which you can ''redeem'', or pay off the mortgage. At some point in the foreclosure process, the lender may also ask for an order that your home be sold, and for an order that the lender <span class="noglossary">will</span> have ''conduct'' (control) of the sale.
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#If you are served with a  foreclosure petition, it is important to get legal help. If you are self-representing, you must file a ''response'' document within 21 days after the date the petition was served on you, ''and'' deliver it to all parties along with any ''affidavits'' (sworn written statements) telling your side of the story.
  
== What happens next? ==
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Supreme Court forms can be accessed through the "[http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/content/lawscases Laws, Cases & Rules]" page on Clicklaw; click on "BC Supreme Court Civil Forms." For information on what should go into an affidavit, see the publication "[http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/resource/1037 Can't Pay Your Mortgage? What You Can Do If You're Facing Foreclosure]."
The court will set a date for a hearing of the Petition. The judge will read the affidavits and other
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materials and listen to the lender’s lawyer and to you. Generally, if you are in default of the mortgage,
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== What happens next ==
the best you can hope for is a longer period of time to arrange for other financing to pay out the lender,
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The court <span class="noglossary">will</span> set a date for a hearing of the petition. The judge <span class="noglossary">will</span> read the affidavits and other materials and listen to the lender’s lawyer and to you. Generally, if you are in default, the best you can hope for is enough time to arrange for other financing to pay out the lender or at least to come up with enough to catch up your payments. You can also use that time to try to sell the house, up to the time the lender gets an order for them to have conduct of sale.
and, if it is necessary to sell the house, an order that you have conduct of the sale instead of the bank.
 
  
 
== Where to get help ==
 
== Where to get help ==
See Part 2- Resources, starting on page 43, for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
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See the [[Resource List for Legal Help for British Columbians|Resource List]] for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:
 
*[[Credit Counselling Society of BC]].
 
*[[Credit Counselling Society of BC]].
*[[PovNet]].
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*[[Access Pro Bono]], [[Lawyer Referral Service]], and [[Private Bar Lawyers|private bar lawyers]].
*[[Access Justice]], [[Lawyer Referral Service]], [[Salvation Army Pro Bono Lawyer Consultation Program]], *[[Private Bar Lawyers]].
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*The Legal Services Society publication "[http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/resource/1037 Can't Pay Your Mortgage? What You Can Do If You're Facing Foreclosure]."
*Legal Services Society Publications: “Can’t Pay Your Mortgage? What you can do if you’re facing foreclosure”.
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*The Clicklaw common question "[http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/question/commonquestion/1015 I've missed a few mortgage payments and am facing foreclosure]" for a few more resources on foreclosure.
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Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form [[Preparing for Your Interview]] included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.
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{{REVIEWED | reviewer = [[Drew Jackson]], March 2017}}
  
Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form [[Preparing for Your Interview]] in Part 3 of this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.
 
 
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{{Template:Legal Help Guide Navbox|type=problems}}
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{{Creative Commons for Legal Help Guide}}

Latest revision as of 21:16, 1 May 2017

When a bank or other institution lends you money to buy a home, they take a mortgage to secure payment. A mortgage is registered against the title of your home, and if you don’t make the required payments, the bank may be able to foreclose. This will usually mean you have to pay them the entire amount owing on the mortgage, though sometimes you can arrange to catch up your payments. If you cannot make some kind of arrangement, you risk your house being sold to pay the mortgage. The usual first step in a foreclosure is a demand letter from the lender or its lawyer, saying that you are in arrears (behind) in your payments and demanding that you bring them up to date.

First steps[edit]

  1. Do not ignore the demand letter. If at all possible, you should get legal advice right away. Then, try to negotiate with the lender to see if you can arrange manageable repayment terms.
  2. If you can’t work things out with the lender, the lender will probably start a court action to foreclose on your mortgage. This usually happens after you’ve missed three months of payments. But it can happen sooner. They will serve on you (give you in person) a BC Supreme Court petition. The petition will ask the court to confirm the amount you owe and set a time period — usually six months, but sometimes shorter — during which you can redeem, or pay off the mortgage. At some point in the foreclosure process, the lender may also ask for an order that your home be sold, and for an order that the lender will have conduct (control) of the sale.
  3. If you are served with a foreclosure petition, it is important to get legal help. If you are self-representing, you must file a response document within 21 days after the date the petition was served on you, and deliver it to all parties along with any affidavits (sworn written statements) telling your side of the story.

Supreme Court forms can be accessed through the "Laws, Cases & Rules" page on Clicklaw; click on "BC Supreme Court Civil Forms." For information on what should go into an affidavit, see the publication "Can't Pay Your Mortgage? What You Can Do If You're Facing Foreclosure."

What happens next[edit]

The court will set a date for a hearing of the petition. The judge will read the affidavits and other materials and listen to the lender’s lawyer and to you. Generally, if you are in default, the best you can hope for is enough time to arrange for other financing to pay out the lender or at least to come up with enough to catch up your payments. You can also use that time to try to sell the house, up to the time the lender gets an order for them to have conduct of sale.

Where to get help[edit]

See the Resource List for a list of helpful resources. Your best bets are:

Before meeting with a lawyer or advocate, complete the form Preparing for Your Interview included in this Guide. Make sure you bring copies of all documents relating to your case.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Drew Jackson, March 2017.


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