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Protecting Your Rights Against Abusive Debt Collectors
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Read the transcript of this video from Attorney Forbes:

When somebody falls behind on their mortgage payments, after anywhere between 1-2 months the bank will send a notice that they intend to foreclose. In Pennsylvania, the notice comes under a law called Act 91, and it gives the homeowner a right to try to cure what the bank is alleging is a default on the payment. When the homeowner gets the Act 91 notice, they can call a consumer credit counseling agency which is listed on the notice, and see if they can apply for money from the state of Pennsylvania to basically cure the default. Unfortunately, most of the time homeowners are rejected for that money, so the next step is for the mortgage company to sue the homeowner and try to take their home away. At that point, if the homeowner does nothing, after about 30-40 days, the mortgage company will get a default judgment, and in 3 months usually they'll go to sheriff's sale. And now these people have lost their house. When a homeowner calls us in that situation, we file papers with the court contesting the foreclosure, which you have every right in the world to do. We then challenge their paperwork; we challenge the authenticity of documents that they have. A lot of times these mortgages have been sold, and the promissory notes have been passed from one company to the other, and they haven't been done correctly. We look at the account histories, the transactions that were supposedly posted in an accurate manner by the mortgage company, and we see if the numbers add up, if the escrow has been accounted for, if the taxes have been accounted for properly, or if they overcharged.

Also, I have clients who say they are not in default. So it becomes their word or their record against the mortgage company records. Unfortunately, I've had a lot of calls from people over the years after-the-fact. They did nothing, and because they did nothing, now they're going to sheriff's sale and they want to know what to do to stop it. It's really critical that if you get served with papers from the sheriff (the one who usually brings out the papers from the court, the foreclosure papers) it is critical that you call a lawyer right away. A lot of people are either embarrassed, humiliated, or they don't think they can afford a lawyer. We are not some huge law firm charging $600 or $700 an hour. We try everything we can to make this affordable, because we do understand people's situations; that's what we deal with all the time. My advice is not to be afraid to call. We're very easy to deal with, we have a friendly office, and we try to be reasonable in terms of how we're compensated and what we do for the clients.

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The Law Office of Michael P. Forbes, PC - Philadelphia Debt Collection Defense Attorney
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