Most families in foreclosure simply surrender to the unknown.  They do not understand and do not question: they simply give up.  Even people who would fight a school system for the sake of their children or stand up to an employer for unfair treatment deal with a foreclosure with total abandon.  Why?  You might.  I think there are two main reasons:

Fear, Guilt and Shame

Ignorance of their Rights

The first principle is that you need a PLAN.  If you are going to “walk away”, know why.  If you are going to contest it, know why.  If you are going to do whatever you choose to do, KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

You cannot plan by yourself; you need help from a lawyer who knows what s/he is talking about.  You do not need to listen to a realtor who wants a commission– or a neighbor who knows little – or a “housing counselor” who wants to apply for some government program.  You need a lawyer who knows what to do and how to do it.  This is not a time for a conversation; it is time for a plan with definite steps and outcomes.  It is not a time to depend on the kindness and understanding of your bank or lender; it is time to act to protect your family.

The second principle is that you need to ACT – and I mean positive action.  If you do nothing, you are acting, just by doing nothing.  You need to take affirmative steps to get where you want to be.  Do not “freeze-in-the-headlights” because you are frightened.  This is a threatening situation, and your fear is justified; however, it should not paralyze you.  And do not think that there are magical solutions that make everything the way it was before your house lost huge value or you lost income. This is a new reality, and your alternatives are not ideal; in fact they are challenging you to choose best of limited options.  This does not mean to deny your circumstance.  It calls you to ask, understand and act.

The third principle is to GET A LAWYER – and I mean an attorney who knows this area of law.  I will not do your patent.  I may not even want to do your estate plan; I do not know those subjects, and they are complicated and need expertise.  Foreclosure law is the same: it has become complex. There are Notices of Default, Mediations, Trustee Sales, Judicial Foreclosures and Evictions with sophisticated challenges to titles, Deeds of Trust and Note Endorsements.  There are federal income tax consequences.  There are practical considerations and lender practices that vary and evolve.  Without a lawyer – me or someone else qualified – you are talking to the wrong person.

This is especially true in the coming year. There has been significant state legislation and new case law from the Nevada Supreme Court which have altered the environment:

Banks may be forced into “judicial foreclosures”.

There may still be “mediations” under the Supreme Court’s Foreclosure Mediation Program

The cases may be in state or federal court

New decisions from other states will have impact on the Nevada homeowner

This is a year of change – most of it to your benefit.

This is not a “self-help” proposition. You need help – the right help.