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What does a Mortgage Lawyer do?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 16, 2024
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A mortgage lawyer specializes in protecting his client's interests in a mortgage transaction. When a mortgage lawyer represents a client who wishes to take out a mortgage, he reviews its terms and advises his client on the nature of the mortgage. He may also represent a client's interest if there is a problem with the mortgage or it appears that the client might not be able to make her mortgage payments. On the other hand, this type of lawyer may represent lenders, working with them to set mortgage terms and representing the lender in cases of default or foreclosure. In either case, the mortgage lawyer is familiar with mortgage and real estate law and is able to assist in ensuring that a mortgage transaction is legitimate.

Most home buyers are familiar neither with mortgage terms nor their legal obligations during and after taking out a mortgage. Real estate lawyers specialize in providing real estate and mortgage legal advice to home buyers so that they are better able to make good decisions about the homes they buy and the mortgage terms to which they agree. Mortgage contracts are typically drawn up by a mortgage lawyer representing the interest of a mortgage lender. As such, a prospective home buyer benefits from hiring a mortgage lawyer to review the contract in order to discern how it will affect the home buyer's interests. While it is possible for a home buyer to complete a mortgage transaction without the advice of a lawyer, doing so presents great risks to the buyer.

In some instances, homeowners may find that they are unable to meet the terms of their mortgage. This can happen in situations where the homeowner has experienced a significant loss of income, his interest rates have risen precipitously, or the value of the home has decreased dramatically. A good mortgage lawyer can advise the homeowner on her options and whether it is in her best interest to attempt to save the home or to find a way to end her commitment to paying her mortgage. If the homeowner wishes to save his home, the mortgage lawyer may be able to negotiate changes to the mortgage terms. If it is not in the homeowner's best interest to continue paying the mortgage, the mortgage lawyer may be able to arrange for a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure as alternatives to the more financially damaging option of foreclosure.

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Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By myharley — On Oct 10, 2011

It seems like the mortgage lawyers have been really busy in recent years. There are so many people who have lost their jobs and have had a hard time finding a new job that pays equivalent to what they had been making before. This means they have a hard time making their mortgage payments.

It seems like there are still a lot of foreclosures in our area. The mortgage lawyers are so busy that many of them are putting in hours of overtime every week.

We have a friend who is a mortgage lawyer and he thought this was just a wave that he would be riding for a short time. It has gone on much longer than he thought.

When you are faced with a situation like that, it is nice to have someone who understands all the laws and regulations and can give you good advice.

By bagley79 — On Oct 10, 2011

Our son had to end up doing a short sale on his house because he was in way over his head. This was his first house and he was qualified for more money than he could really afford for a house.

He also had a big truck payment on top of his mortgage payment and had a seasonal job that didn't bring in money consistently throughout the year.

This was a hard lesson learned for him, and he spent many months working with a mortgage lawyer and real estate people before finally completing the short sale.

After 3-4 years of rebuilding his credit and getting a better job, he was qualified to buy a house again. This time he was much more conservative with what he could actually afford and did not want to go through that process again.

By MrSmirnov — On Oct 09, 2011

@letshearit - I am sorry to hear about your foreclosure. My cousin recently went through one and I know it can be a really trying process, as well as financially exhausting.

As far as the foreclosure lawyer goes, the free legal aide office in your city should be able to help you out. They will offer you help going over your documents and might even put a word in for you if something seems a bit fishy with the whole foreclosure process. I think just heading into your legal aide office and telling them your concerns should be enough to get the ball rolling.

By letshearit — On Oct 09, 2011

Has anyone ever worked with a foreclosure attorney before? Did you find that they helped smooth the transaction over with the bank?

A few months back I lost my job and am now going through a foreclosure. I was told by a friend that a lawyer could help, and that I may be able to find one for free at the public law office.

I tried my best to get mortgage refinancing but it just didn't work out in the end. I think that all those mortgage calculators that show you what you can and can't afford really need some work. I was positive we could have kept the house on just one income, but I was wrong.

By Bhutan — On Oct 09, 2011

@Oasis-You can also look at a mortgage modification and try to get a mortgage modification lawyer to help you out. The only problem is that I hear that these loan modifications don’t happen too often, so if you cannot look at refinancing your mortgage a short sale might be the best option.

It will hurt your credit, but it does not hurt it as much as a foreclosure does. The other complication with many of these short sales is that the sellers owe money to several mortgage companies.

A seller can have a first mortgage at 80% and a second mortgage for the remaining balance. The problem is that the mortgage company in the first position will get paid, but the second mortgage holder might not and that also holds up a lot of these short sales. A great real estate lawyer is definitely worth their weight in gold in these situations.

By oasis11 — On Oct 08, 2011

I just wanted to say that I tried to purchase a short sale and it was a nightmare. The seller was not working with an attorney which made it almost impossible to get a response from the bank.

Banks listen more to lawyers so if anyone is considering either buying or selling a short sale it is a good idea to get a mortgage attorney to help you because these banks are swamped with short sales and foreclosures.

Also, a lot of times the real estate agents set the sale price of the home at a very low price and it is something that the banks usually reject. This will also cut down on the wait time and you don’t have to go back and forth with the bank if a lawyer is involved.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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