Facing foreclosure can be a stressful and intimidating experience, and having the right foreclosure lawyer on your side can be a crucial resource. Here are key questions to ask a foreclosure lawyer to see if they are the right fit for you.
Facing foreclosure can be a stressful and intimidating experience. And though there are a number of ways a foreclosure could play out, it can be tough to know what options are even available to you, much less which one is best for your particular situation.
A foreclosure lawyer can help you navigate the process and help fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family. If you are considering hiring a foreclosure lawyer, here are some of the key questions to ask them when you first meet.
Many foreclosure lawyers specifically focus on handling foreclosure cases. While foreclosures do not necessarily need to be the foreclosure lawyer’s only practice area, you are hiring a foreclosure lawyer for their expertise, so it is important to understand how experienced they are with cases like yours.
Depending on where you are in the foreclosure process, you may have multiple options available to you that range from seeking forbearance to filing for bankruptcy. If you are early in the process, you don’t want to accidentally set yourself down a path (such as bankruptcy) just because you happened to hire a lawyer who specializes in one approach (like bankruptcy). Meanwhile, if your foreclosure is already on a particular path, you want to make sure the foreclosure lawyer has the skills and experience necessary to handle your particular case.
Many foreclosure lawyers charge hourly rates for their time, though flat fee and monthly fee arrangements are also possible. If the foreclosure lawyer charges an hourly rate or a monthly fee, they may also require an upfront retainer, which is essentially a down payment for legal fees and expenses.
There are pros and cons to each type of arrangement. The key is to understand how the foreclosure lawyer would charge you, both so you know what to expect and so you can evaluate if the fee structure works well for you. (For more info check out our article on how much a foreclosure lawyer costs).
Foreclosure lawyers, like you, have different communication preferences. Some will prefer email while others might prefer speaking over the phone or by video. There is no right answer, and you should consider your own preferences between email, phone and video. But whatever the answer may be, it is important to know how to contact your foreclosure lawyer if any issues or questions arise.
Again, there is no right or wrong answer here. Some people only want to hear from their foreclosure lawyer if there is a major update or deadline approaching, while others prefer periodic check-ins. The key here is to make sure you are comfortable with your foreclosure lawyer’s standard practices, and that at a minimum you know what to expect going into the representation.
If the conversation goes well and you hire the foreclosure lawyer, you will need to sign a retainer agreement and address other formalities. More broadly, though, your foreclosure lawyer will also need your help and your participation in your case to achieve the best possible outcome.
There are many factors to consider when hiring any foreclosure lawyer including pricing, fee structure, experience level, and your comfort level with the foreclosure lawyer. These questions should help you evaluate whether a foreclosure lawyer is the right fit for you, and what to expect if you choose to hire them.