Like most judicial proceedings, foreclosure actions are public record. The Summons, Complaint, Notice of Pendency (Lis Pendens) and loan documents are readily available the moment the foreclosure action is commenced. This means that shortly after the filing of these documents, you will begin receiving massive amounts of correspondences from people and businesses trying to “help you.”
You will hear from those offering to buy your house, sell your house, file for bankruptcy, modify your loan, assist you with applying for another loan (that you cannot afford), and everything else under the sun. People will make you promises that they cannot keep, others may use threats and scare tactics to try to lure your to their business.
I received a frantic call this past Saturday from a client demanding why his house was up for auction and asking if “people were bidding on [his] house.” My client’s time to respond to the Complaint hasn’t even expired yet, there is no way the bank could even think about scheduling a foreclosure sale. My client was alarmed because he had just received a non-attorney solicitation letter from a self-proclaimed “foreclosure specialist” insinuating that my client’s house was up for a public auction.
The “foreclosure specialist” enclosed a deceitful printout of my client’s home (with pictures) suggesting that the property was up for public bidding. Another client of mine had a similar experience where a “foreclosure specialist” left voicemails offering help to “stop the scheduled foreclosure sale” meanwhile no foreclosure action had even been commenced. Please do not be fooled by these tactics, especially by non-attorneys offering representation. Non-attorney “foreclosure specialists” cannot represent you in court. If they try to do so (which has happened before), they will be made a fool and thrown out of court (which has also happened before – I’ve seen it).
It’s unfortunate, but there are people out there that will prey on individuals experiencing hardships – a far too common approach in the foreclosure world. You should know that most court records, especially those cases filed in Suffolk and Nassau counties, are available online at New York State Courts Electronic Filing records, and the status of each action is available at Ecourts and Elaw. You can also confirm a New York State attorney’s good standing at the State’s Court website.
If you have any questions about a letter that you received, the status of an action, or any other legal inquiry, feel free to contact me to discuss at no cost to you.