Legal Aid has a long history of helping clients find housing security. When a client with housing issues seeks Legal Aid’s help, typically, there are additional underlying legal issues that have led to the housing insecurity. When a client is unable to pay their rent or house payment, our attorneys explore why they are facing this crisis and seek legal remedies, if available, to resolve the housing issue long term. Often we find clients are behind in their rent because of employment or income issues. We then represent the client at an unemployment hearing, or help them obtain disability benefits. We explore what other resources may be available to them to supplement their income, and then either provide referrals to partnering agencies to secure this assistance, or pursue legal remedies as appropriate.
Cases we normally handle:
- Cases where eligibility for public housing or subsidized rent programs is threatened, or has been denied
- Cases where you have more than a month-to-month tenancy, are facing the possibility of eviction, and have a defense
- Unlawful evictions (lockouts, utility shutoffs by landlords, etc)
- Cases where landlords are trying to terminate a tenant’s lease and evict them due to criminal activity by the tenant or someone in the tenant’s household.
GETTING YOUR SECURITY DEPOSIT BACK
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A LEASE
RENTING AN APARTMENT
EVICTION HEARING: WHAT TO DO
SMALL CLAIMS COURT
FORECLOSURE IN NEBRASKA-
When you purchased your home, you signed a security agreement. This security agreement gives the mortgage company the right to foreclose on your home if you default on the payment of your mortgage loan. The security agreement you signed was a mortgage or a deed of trust. Most home loans in Nebraska use a deed of trust. The information below explains the deed of trust foreclosure process in Nebraska.
DEED OF TRUST FORECLOSURE IN NEBRASKA
Here are the legal steps to foreclose under a Deed of Trust. If your house is in foreclosure and you do not think these steps were followed you should contact a lawyer.
- A Notice of Default is filed with the Register of Deeds in the County where your home is located.
- A copy of the Notice of Default, stamped with the date it was filed with the Register of Deeds, is sent to you by registered or certified mail within ten days after it is filed.
- You have the right to reinstate the mortgage loan.
- To reinstate the mortgage loan, you must pay the amount you are behind in your loan payments (plus expenses the lender has paid to start foreclosure) within one month after the Notice of Default was filed with the Register of Deeds.
- A Notice of Sale is sent to you by registered or certified mail at least 20 days before your house is scheduled to be sold.
- The Notice of Sale is published in a newspaper at least once a week for five weeks.
- On the day of the foreclosure sale, the Trustee named in the Deed of Trust sells your home and gives the new owner a deed to your home.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does a deed of trust foreclosure take after you receive a Notice of Default?
It will take at least 75-95 days, and usually longer, before your home is sold at a foreclosure sale.
How do you stop a deed of trust foreclosure sale?
Filing a bankruptcy or a lawsuit could stop a foreclosure sale. Talk to a lawyer about your situation to see what is best for you.
The most common way to stop a foreclosure is to refinance or modify your mortgage loan to make it more affordable. There are government programs that help people make their mortgage loan more affordable. Contact a foreclosure counselor in your area for help. There is no charge for the foreclosure counseling. Look on our website for a referral to a foreclosure counselor in your area.
When do you have to leave your home?
After the foreclosure sale, you do not have to leave your home until there is a court order. If you do not leave, the new owner must go to court and get a court order to evict you. We do not recommend that you wait this long before leaving. An eviction on your record can make it harder to obtain housing in the future. If you are evicted, the sheriff can come out the next day and order you out of the house. You may have only a short time to move your belongings.
Ask your mortgage lender about “cash for keys”. This is a way for homeowners in foreclosure to receive cash from the lender in return for leaving the home in a good, clean condition by a specific date. The mortgage lender does not have to give you “cash for keys”. But, if you ask, many companies will give you some cash to help you with moving expenses.
Can the lender sue for money after they foreclose on my house?
At a foreclosure sale, your home may sell for less than what you owe on the mortgage. The difference between the amount of the mortgage and the amount recovered from the sale of your home is called a deficiency. The mortgage lender can sue you and get a judgment for the amount of the deficiency. The lender has three months to file a lawsuit for a mortgage deficiency from the foreclosure of a home under a deed of trust. If the lender gets a judgment against you they can garnish your wages or your bank account.
Are you behind in your mortgage payments? Or, are you concerned about making your payments in the future? If so, it is important for you to act now. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to find a solution. If you cannot make your monthly payments, you need to negotiate with your lender to lower them. Mortgage payments can be lowered in two ways. First, your mortgage lender can change or “modify” your mortgage payments. Or, you may qualify for a new mortgage loan to “refinance” or pay off your current loan. If your mortgage problem is a past interruption in your income, you may just need to negotiate to repay the payments you missed.
- Beware of anyone that wants you to pay a fee for help with your mortgage. Beware of anyone who says they can “save” your home if you sign over your house to them.
- Contact your mortgage lender to see if you can work out a plan to make your mortgage loan affordable.
- Ask for help from a foreclosure counselor. There is no charge for the foreclosure counseling.The foreclosure counselor will work with you to see if your mortgage payments can be lowered.
- Check out the website for Making Home Affordable at: www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
This is the federal program to help homeowners. One part of the program helps homeowners who are having trouble making their mortgage payments and need to change, or “modify” their mortgage loan. Another part of the program helps homeowners who want to take out a new mortgage loan, or “refinance” to take advantage of better mortgage terms.
- Gather the information you will need when you speak to your mortgage lender or a housing counselor. This information includes:
– information about your monthly gross income, including recent pay stubs
– financial account statements
– monthly mortgage statement
– outstanding balances on all of your debts
– minimum monthly payments on all of your debts
– if you have had an increase in expenses or a decrease in your income (job loss, divorce, illness), write a letter describing the changes that have occurred to make your mortgage unaffordable
Partner Resources and Other Helpful Links:
- Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties
- Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program
- Family Housing Advisory Center
- High Plains Community Development Corporation
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- National Housing Law Project
- Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission
- Nebraska Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- GreenPath Financial Wellness | Debt and Consumer Credit Counseling
- Nebraska Small Claims Court
- National Consumer Law Center
- Homeless Shelter Directory
- Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless