Should I Hire A Foreclosure Defense Attorney Or Handle It Myself?

Should I Hire A Foreclosure Defense Attorney Or Handle It Myself?

About half of our consumer practice is representing Alabama homeowners who are suing their mortgage company to stop a foreclosure.

Or homeowners that are suing their mortgage company after a foreclosure.

Unfortunately, we see many Alabama homeowners who have tried to handle their foreclosure issues on their own.

They come to us after everything has fallen apart and they want us to help.

There are legal issues that you can handle.

Often  collection lawsuits in small claims court or district court may be appropriate for you to handle on your own.

You can discover more about how collection lawsuits work, read our article on an overview of being sued by a debt collector in small claims or district court.

You can also read about your five options when sued by a debt collector.

But trying to stop a foreclosure is not something we advise you doing on your own.

Suing a mortgage company after a foreclosure is not something we advise doing on your own.

It isn’t a good time to handle your lawsuit when you’re sued in an ejectment action or eviction action after a foreclosure.

The whole subject of foreclosure defense, stopping foreclosures, countersuing Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or any one of the big mortgage banks or servicing companies, is a complicated subject.

Often times there are aspects that are interrelated that you may not know about if this is not something that you do on a regular basis.

I’ll give you a typical example.

A homeowner is facing wrongdoing by Bank of America or Wells Fargo or Chase and sues to stop a foreclosure.

The consumer reads about court cases where the courts apparently ruled that Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, etc. may not have the right to collect on mortgage loans and does not have the right to foreclose.

Instead of gathering actual admissible evidence, the homeowner relies upon internet reports and news reports about what some judge in New York or Florida or Idaho has done.

The bank is represented by one of the top litigation firms in the state and the lawyer handling the case deals exclusively in this area of the law.

The bank files various motions, including motions for summary judgment.

In response, the Alabama consumer submits reports or newspaper articles about what judges have done in other cases across the country.

The Alabama homeowner is shocked when the judge rules that none of that information is admissible, will not considered, and the information is irrelevant.

The homeowner loses the lawsuit.

In addition to losing, they may be barred from ever litigating issues again with the bank.

This depends on what exactly occured, and at what particular time and what was alleged or could have been alleged in the lawsuit.

If you represent yourself, then you are held to have the exact same knowledge and understanding of the law that a lawyer is expected to have.

This may not seem fair but the judge cannot give you legal advice or help you in your case.

Many  self-professed experts will try to explain why no mortgage loan is valid in America, and how your loan definitely isn’t valid.

These companies and people will charge you thousands of dollars to give you a (worthless) “loan audit analysis,” which will detail scores of federal and state violations, etc.

This won’t do you any good in your lawsuit.

The only thing that a judge can consider is what is in the pleadings at the motion to dismiss stage.  

Your case is thrown out, or dismissed, if you lose.

Then, at the summary judgment stage, the judge needs to see admissible evidence and legitimate arguments based on Alabama (and Federal) law in order to deny a summary judgment motion.  If you lose this, you lose your case.


There are other lawyers that are handling these cases.

What we do suggest is that you at least get an opinion and advice from lawyers that are familiar with mortgage litigation.

If you decide to handle the case on your own,  you will have done so in a conscious deliberate manner.

Too many people are over confident and try to reason that everyone knows how crooked banks are, and that the judge will rule against them.

This is an ineffective strategy.

(Even though the banks have acted in a crooked manner — that’s not enough).

So find an attorney that shares useful information with you.  And an attorney who has handled these types of cases in the past.

Contact an Attorney.

You are welcome to speak with us.  

Or you can speak to a different Alabama licensed attorney.

We wanted to emphasize in this particular article the need to speak with somebody who is a lawyer.

Somene who knows what they’re doing.

Rather than trying to handle a very complicated litigation case, which may end up in federal court, on your own.

There is a difference between handling a paper cut and handling open heart surgery.

Remember, the point of this article is not to tell you whether or not you have a valid case.

No lawyer can do that until they know the details of your situation.

What we are simply trying to encourage you to do is to take the first step.

To gather your  information, and sit down with the lawyer.

The lawyer will help you understand at least what options that lawyer sees for you.

This way, you can make a sound decision on what you want to do moving forward.

Hope this is helpful to you.

Have a great day!

-John G. Watts

Final Thoughts and Resources for You

If you want to chat with us about any case in Alabama, you can call us at 205-879-2447.  

Or you can fill out our form and we’ll get right back to you.

Additional resources:

You can go to to watch 4 videos in addition to a workbook that follows the videos.

This can help you figure out where you are in this process and what you need to do next.  There is no charge for this. is a detailed video with sample forms that will help you understand how to use the power of RESPA letters.

These include Notice of Error letters and Request for Information letters, which  can be very valuable in dealing with an abusive mortgage company.

Best wishes!



  1. hiring a foreclosure attorney says:

    Great sharing..This post will help you in making a correct decision and choosing a correct attorney..

    • JohnGWatts says:

      Thanks — that’s our hope to get the message out to folks who need help. Thanks again for your comment.

      John Watts

  2. I have a mortgage that the mortgage company forged my signature on it. Also the preparer of the mortgage notorized the document which is probably how he thinks he got away with it. I notified (certified) this mortgage company prior to the foreclosure but they foreclosed on the property anyway. I also notified the forclosure attorney on this forgery issue and the fact that I contested the accerated amount they stated they owed and never ever recieved an answer – and they went ahead and foreclosed.

    • JohnGWatts says:


      This type of behavior from mortgage companies is amazing, common, and not acceptable.

      You provided your phone number and I’ll have our paralegal Randi call you — she is our foreclosure paralegal. You are wise to see what your options are.

      Be advised you will likely get a letter telling you that you have to move out — understand you still have options even after the foreclosure. Here is an article you might want to review —

      Take care,

      John Watts
      Birmingham, Alabama

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