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Real estate Q&A: Time to Face Reality as Foreclosure Trial Nears

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By Gary M. Singer

trial_scales_of_justice(MCT)—QUESTION: I have been in foreclosure for the past several years and have been unsuccessful in getting a loan modification because I don’t make enough money. My attorney just told me that the case is going to trial in two months. What can I do?

ANSWER: Foreclosure lawsuits can seem to last forever, but they, like all things, eventually come to an end. Many people have been able to work with the bank to keep their home, but in some circumstances, like yours, the numbers will never work out for a loan modification.

At your trial, the judge will make a final determination on the foreclosure, and the bank wins a large majority of the time. You should concern yourself with your future living arrangements and with trying to get the bank to waive any deficiency judgment — the difference between what you owe and what your house is worth. The reason that most lawsuits settle before trial is that neither side is positive of the outcome, no matter how strong the case may be. You can use this uncertainty to your advantage by negotiating with the bank to forgive your remaining debt and give you money for moving expenses.

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