Most people buy and/or sell a home once, maybe twice in their lives.
Any piece of real estate, whether commercial or residential, is a valuable commodity and a considerable investment. Disputes over use, a title, or damage to real property can substantially impact its planned use or development, and as a result, the value of the investment.
If you find yourself facing the possibility of real estate litigation, you’ll need effective legal counsel as well.
Why You Need A Real Estate Lawyer
Maine is one of 22 States that requires a real estate lawyer for all transactions.
Even the simplest of transactions (like a cash sale) have the potential for problems that can stall the sale, or even stop it. Liens of any kind, mortgages, title defects, unpaid taxes and outright fraud are just some of the things that can stop a real estate transaction.
Surveys, title searches and examinations, and finding things like adverse possession and disputed boundaries are just some of the items that a lawyer handles. Due diligence on all manner of encumbrances is vital, so that you know what you’re facing. He or she can also ensure that the purchase and sale agreements, deeds, easements including right of way, and other important documents are prepared correctly, and that your closing goes smoothly.
If you’re buying a home, don’t use the seller’s lawyer or real estate agent—hire one of your own. You’ll know they are working for you specifically, without divided loyalties that may favor the seller.
If you’re interested in filing a Maine homestead exemption, your lawyer can also help you decide if this is right for you.
Every year, people in Maine find themselves in the position of foreclosure after a job loss, accident, or other life event that sees them fall behind on their mortgage payments.
Once you’ve fallen behind on payments, you’ll receive a “breach letter” after 120 days, notifying you of their intent to foreclose on your house. At this point, you’re on notice, and you’ll need to act quickly to find a Maine real estate lawyer if you can’t bring the mortgage current and want to keep your house. With a limited timeframe in which to act, you could miss an important deadline. Should the lender complete foreclosure before you have legal representation, or you attempt to defend yourself without understanding the process, you may lose your home and never get it back.
A real estate lawyer understands the foreclosure process, and can defend you against a lender. He or she can make sure that your responses are filed correctly and the deadlines are met. A lawyer can work with you and your lender to get a loan modification, or other loss mitigation options that can help bring your payments current. Lenders aren’t always forthcoming with possible options to help you keep your home, but a real estate lawyer can work to find the best option to help you keep your home. He or she can also represent you in mediation, and raise defenses to your foreclosure.
One option your lawyer may suggest is to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or “reorganization.” Similar to a business filing Chapter 11, your debts are reorganized and overseen by the court. If your lender refuses to work with you, this option will give you three to five years to catch it up.
Your Gorham, ME Real Estate Litigation Lawyer
For more than 25 years, Peter W. Evans has helped Mainers with their various real estate law issues, including buying, selling, and foreclosure. Mr. Evans gives each client and case personal attention to resolve nearly any kind of real estate litigation problem. Call (207) 747-5114 today or contact us online to make an appointment.