How Much Does a Foreclosure Attorney Cost?
A foreclosure attorney is a lawyer who specializes in helping those who are foreclosing on their homes. Foreclosure is a legal process in which a homeowner is no longer able to make the monthly house payment. In this situation, the lender will try to get its money back by forcing the sale of the home. Once the house is sold, the residents will be forced out. Going into foreclosure can be a stressful and confusing time for any homeowner. There are millions of people who go into foreclosure, and many of them find themselves in a legal bind as well as a financial bind. To play it safe, a professional such as an attorney that specializes in foreclosures may need to be called in. The cost of this type of attorney will widely vary depending upon many factors such as location, the complexity of the case, the lawyer’s expertise, and more.
How much is it?
- Almost all attorneys will want an up-front retainer fee when you ask for their services. This retainer can cost anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $8,000 depending on your case. From there, they will charge by the hour. Like any lawyers, the cost can be anywhere from $150 to as much as $450 per hour. To get a detailed price on basic lawyer fees, see “How much do lawyers cost?“
- A lot of foreclosure attorneys will set a flat monthly fee that can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per month.
- Some foreclosure attorneys may even offer flat-fee packages that can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for the year.
- If you are just looking for a simple consultation that will get you on the right path, the consultation fees can cost anywhere from $150 to $400.
- On a Q&A section on Avvo.com, an attorney stated that the average fees should be around $2,500 for the complete process.
What is going to be included?
- With a foreclosure attorney, most individuals will hire one when the bank has either wrongfully foreclosed on a property or to consult on what the right path is to take for the future.
- A foreclosure attorney can help you stay in your home longer, negotiate a mortgage modification, find a simple resolution, sell your home fast, negotiate a short sale, refinance, or help file for bankruptcy.
What are the extra costs?
- Aside from the retainer and the hourly fees, a foreclosure attorney may also charge a filing fee, which can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000. Again, this will depend on the complexity of the situation.
- While rare, some lawyers may charge a monthly fee while the account is open. These fees may be charged since they have to answer calls, file paperwork or do other necessary things.
- If the lawyer wins the case, the may ask for a portion or a bonus.
Tips to know:
- Before hiring an attorney, think about whether you even need a foreclosure attorney. After the thousands of legal fees that you can potentially pay in the future, it may be best to consult with the bank personally if you are having a hard time paying the mortgage. TampaBay.com has a write up on what to look for when hiring a foreclosure attorney.
- Experts state that if you are paying more than $10,000 for legal fees, you are probably better off paying your mortgage. Try your best to find an attorney that works with these banks in bulk. What you may find is that the attorney will be more than happy to set a flat fee for the entire year.
- Foreclosure is a very common occurrence in today’s economy. When the process begins, the bank will send you paperwork giving you a deadline and requirements that need to be met. If these are not completed, you will receive more paperwork describing what the next steps are. If you pay attention to the instructions and information from the bank, you should be able to get through the process without having to worry about attorney fees.
- Check your local Bar website to find a reputable attorney. Try to find one that has no disciplines on his record.
- Before you even work with the attorney, make sure that you get all of their fees in writing. That way, there will not be any hidden charges.
- Most lawyers will want to know what you want from your house. Do you want to stay for as long as you can, or are you looking to complete a “cash for keys” type deal?
How can I save money?
- Many banks are more than happy to work with those that are facing foreclosure. Some banks may bring down the interest rate or even modify the entire loan. While the process may seem lengthy, it can be well worth it in the end.
- Talk with someone else you know that has gone through a foreclosure. He might be able to give you some advice regarding the procedure so that you can save the cost of hiring an attorney.
- Keep in mind that you have the right to defend yourself, but it can be extremely hard if you are not familiar with the law.