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Get Help with Your Home Foreclosure

By Larraine McNamara-McGraw

Tell us a little bit about your experience, firm history and the areas of law that you practice.

Larraine McNamara-McGraw practices foreclosure defense using her 32 years of litigation experience in a cutting edge area of law. She also handles employment law cases as well as general and civil litigation. Larraine was an Assistant State Public Defender until she ran for and was elected to the Milwaukee Common Council, in 1989. After serving two terms, she began her own law practice in 1997, specializing in Employment and Civil Rights for Plaintiffs. During this time she successfully litigated hundreds of cases in Wisconsin state and Federal courts, including state and Federal Administrative forums, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Larraine is also admitted and has practiced in the Federal Northern District of Illinois. She has represented high profile clients and everyday people with the same passion for justice that has been her trademark for thirty years.

Larraine was a long standing member of the State Bar of Wisconsin's WisLAP committee, which provides confidential assistance to impaired or potentially impaired attorneys.While she retired from that committee's board in 2013, she is still volunteers to assist when needed. Larraine has been named one of Wisconsin Law Journal's "Women in the Law" for 2014. Her bio and the presentation are features on the Wisconsin Law Journal website.

Larraine and her husband, William, have three adult married daughters one grandson, Liam, and they are looking forward to their second grandchild in 2014.

What is a foreclosure in Wisconsin and how can it be initiated?

Wisconsin is a judicial foreclosure state ? which means for the lender to take away your property rights, they must file a lawsuit against you and personally serve you with the lawsuit.

Once the process server comes to your door and hands you the foreclosure lawsuit, you will have only 20 DAYS to respond. That is a very short window in Wisconsin, so you must take immediate action to protect your rights.

If you do not file an answer to the suit or the answer you attempt to give to the court does not create a genuine dispute with the lender, then the lender will ask the court for a judgment of foreclosure. Usually, the lender will file a Motion for Default Judgment if you do not file an answer or if you do file an answer then the lender will file a Motion for Summary Judgment or Judgment on the Pleadings.

If your home is ultimately foreclosed upon, you will have six months to redeem your property, if you are living there. (the law is different if you are landlords or have abandoned the property.) During this redemption period, you have the opportunity to redeem the property by paying off the judgment in full either through sale of the property or refinance of the property. During this time period, you can also attempt to work out an agreement with the lender to bring the mortgage current and dismiss the foreclosure action.

If at the end of the six month period, you are unable to redeem the property or work out a new agreement with the lender, the lender will schedule with the local sheriff's department a foreclosure sale of your property. The lender has to advertise this sale for a certain period of time before the sheriff's sale can be held.

Once the sheriff's sale is completed, the winning bidder (who is often times your lender) will then go back before the court to ask that the winning bid be confirmed as the sale.

If the court confirms the winning bid, it will enter an order transferring your property to the winning bidder. If you have not already vacated the home by this point, the sheriff's department will come and order you to leave and can even forcibly remove you if necessary.

The MOST IMPORTANT part of the foreclosure lawsuit process is the twenty day deadline to respond to the complaint. If that deadline is missed, then your options to defend yourself can be very limited.

Larraine McNamara-McGraw at Horizons Law Group, is one of the few attorneys practicing foreclosure defense litigation. She has helped scores of people to stay in their homes. And, if that option is ultimately not available, she will help you make the best plan for moving past your foreclosure issues. Call her at: 262-432-2600.

What should homeowners know about their rights during a foreclosure?

Above all- DON'T LAY DOWN AND LET THE FORECLOSURE HAPPEN TO YOU. You have a RIGHT to defend yourself and, YOU SHOULD DEFEND YOURSELF. Often, you have VERY GOOD DEFENSES. You should find a foreclosure defense attorney quickly, because you only have 20 DAYS TO FILE AN ANSWER. Be aware: Bankruptcy is not a true "defense" to foreclosure. It is true that some people can save their homes in bankruptcy. This is not true for many others who should seek to file an Answer to the Summons and Complaint and work with a defense attorney in the Circuit Courts of Wisconsin.

There are very good Foreclosure Mediation Options in most Wisconsin counties. Attorney McNamara-McGraw has had significant success in keeping families in their homes when she has represented her clients in the Foreclosure Mediation Process.

What are the benefits of working with an attorney when your home is being foreclosed and do homeowners need to hire one?

Very few people hire attorneys, and that is probably because most people are already intimidated by what is happening to them and, also, they probably believe they cannot afford to hire an attorney. This can be a tragic mistake!

Larraine McNamara-McGraw knows who her clients are-they are middle class people like most of us-and she charges a very affordable FLAT FEE per month of representation. In most cases, these fees are paid while the case is being defended and/or being considered for a loan modification. Once the case is resolved, there will be no due "hourly fees." Attorney McNamara-McGraw does not use an "hourly fee" (which are typically kept in 6 minute increments) because these are too high. The contract between Larraine and her clients is based on mutual respect and understanding. She has wide discretion to charge a client a monthly flat fee based upon what they can actually afford.

If you are being foreclosed on in Wisconsin, and you want to stay in your home, you should call Attorney Larraine McNamara-McGraw at: 414-899-0883.

How else can Larraine McNamara-McGraw be contacted?

Please visit our website: http://www.horizonslaw.com

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