2020 Best Invention

Free Foreclosure Lawyers: How To Deal With a Foreclosure Without Money

5 minute read Upsolve is a nonprofit tool that helps you file bankruptcy for free. Think TurboTax for bankruptcy. Get free education, customer support, and community. Featured in Forbes 4x and funded by institutions like Harvard University so we'll never ask you for a credit card. Explore our free tool

In a Nutshell

The majority of home mortgage foreclosures happen because homeowners don’t have enough money and stop making their mortgage payments. But many times borrowers have a legitimate defense against foreclosure. Or they’re willing to accept the foreclosure but could use some help in making sure their rights are protected during the foreclosure process. If you can't afford to pay for a foreclosure defense attorney, there are other options you can use to help you through a foreclosure proceeding. You can handle the foreclosure on your own, set up a free consultation with an attorney, contact a free legal aid society, or look for a pro bono lawyer.

Written by Attorney Curtis Lee
Updated December 31, 2021

The majority of home mortgage foreclosures happen because homeowners don’t have enough money. As a result, they stop making their mortgage payments. But many times borrowers have a legitimate defense against foreclosure. Or they’re willing to accept the foreclosure but could use some help in making sure their rights are protected during the foreclosure process. But because the homeowner has limited financial resources, they can’t afford to hire a foreclosure attorney.

In this case, there are other options you can use to help you through a foreclosure proceeding. You can handle the foreclosure on your own, set up a free consultation with an attorney, contact a free legal aid society, or look for a pro bono lawyer.

What To Do if You Can’t Afford To Hire a Foreclosure Attorney 

Generally speaking, it helps to have an attorney handle your foreclosure. This is true in many cases, such as when you want to fight the foreclosure and have at least one valid foreclosure defense. Valid defenses include:

  • Your lender doesn’t own the mortgage loan they’re trying to foreclose on.

  • Your lender has misapplied your mortgage payments.

  • Your lender is engaging in dual tracking. This is where the lender tries to foreclose on your home while also working with you to find a foreclosure alternative, like loss mitigation.

  • Your lender violated one or more rules during the foreclosure process.

You may also want to hire a foreclosure attorney if you’re a service member. Being in the United States armed forces doesn’t make you immune from foreclosure, but it does give you special legal rights. For example, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) limits when and how a mortgage company can foreclose on your home while you’re on active duty. 

Sometimes you may be better off not hiring a foreclosure attorney, though. Even if the lawyer can provide some assistance, it may not be worth the cost. This might be the case if you’re going to let the bank foreclose on your home. Sure, you may prefer that the bank doesn’t do this, but you know there’s nothing you can legally do to stop the lender from foreclosing. In this case, it’ll probably be best to save the money you’d spend on a foreclosure attorney and use it to help find a new place to live.

All this being said, one of the primary considerations in deciding whether to hire a foreclosure attorney or not is how much it’ll cost. You could have the most compelling reasons to fight the foreclosure with an attorney, but if you can’t afford one, you’ll need to find an alternative. 

Deal With the Foreclosure on Your Own 

Depending on what your goals are, dealing with a foreclosure on your own may be a reasonable option. If you don’t want to fight the foreclosure and are willing to let your lender proceed, then you probably don’t need to hire an attorney. For instance, if you want to use a loss mitigation option like a mortgage loan modification, short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure, you can usually handle those on your own.

If you decide to deal with the foreclosure without a lawyer, you should contact your loan servicer to discuss your options. It might be hard to believe, but most lenders want to avoid foreclosure, too, because it costs them time and money. So if they can find a way to let you stay in your home and resume your monthly payments, it’s a win-win situation.

If you decide to proceed without an attorney, you should still learn at least a little bit about state and federal foreclosure laws. This will give you an idea of what to expect when negotiating with your lender. And if they don’t follow the law as they should, you can point it out to them and prevent them from taking advantage of you. There’s also a chance that a lender’s misstep could delay or stop the foreclosure proceeding.

Consult With a Lawyer 

If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your foreclosure, you can often consult with one to get some free legal advice. Some foreclosure defense lawyers offer a free consultation. During this meeting, you can explain your situation and get a rough idea of your legal and financial options. The attorney can also tell you about any immediate action you need to take to protect your rights. After this consultation, you should have a sense of what your next steps should be.

If you want additional help after the consultation, you may want to consider paying for limited legal representation. This might include paying for a few hours of your lawyer’s time when you need some guidance during foreclosure. Or you might pay a flat fee to get help with your foreclosure until it reaches a certain stage, like the end of loss mitigation. Either way, don’t be afraid to ask an attorney you want to hire (but can’t afford to) if there’s some alternative arrangement that’s more affordable for you.

If you meet certain eligibility criteria you could have an attorney from a legal aid office represent you for free. Legal aid offices provide legal assistance to those who can’t afford to pay for an attorney or are otherwise disadvantaged. To find a legal aid office in your area, check out the Legal Services Corporation. Just keep in mind that qualifying for free legal aid will depend largely on whether you qualify as low income.

Get Help From Volunteer Attorney Programs 

If you don’t qualify for help from a legal aid office or they don’t have the resources to help you, you can try to find an attorney who will take your case for free. Lawyers are strongly encouraged to volunteer some of their time providing free legal services to those in need. This volunteer work — also known as working pro bono — can take several forms.

For instance, an attorney could participate in a foreclosure assistance program. These programs can include clinics for those who need help with their foreclosures. There might also be attorneys in private practice who’re willing to take a foreclosure case at no charge.

To find out if you have a program or attorney in your area who might be able to take on your case for free, you can use the American Bar Association’s Free Legal Help search tool. But if you can’t find a pro bono or volunteer lawyer, there are other places to look, like your state and municipal bar associations. These are professional organizations that most attorneys join for professional development and volunteer opportunities. Depending on where you live, you should have a state bar association and maybe a city and/or county bar association. 

To find out what’s available, do an online search for your state, county, or city + “bar association.” If the bar association exists, it should be at the top of your search results. You can then contact these organizations and ask if they know of any pro bono attorneys who handle foreclosure cases. If they know of an attorney or two, they can send you a referral.

Upsolve User Experiences

1,892+ Members Online
bryant graham
Bryant Graham
★★★★ 5 days ago
Upsolve was very helpful i highly recommend there service.
Read more Google reviews ⇾
Keith Vincent
Keith Vincent
★★★★★ 5 days ago
Upsolve provides a invaluable service at no cost. The clerk of court told me all of my paperwork was in order. It was done by myself with the assistance of Upsolve staff. Great Service for the people of this country. Thank you Upsolve.
Read more Google reviews ⇾
Andrew Morales
Andrew Morales
★★★★★ 6 days ago
Exceptional Service and Support - A Lifeline During Bankruptcy I am delighted to share my heartfelt gratitude for Upsolve and the exceptional assistance they provided my wife and me during our bankruptcy filing. Their expertise, kindness, and user-friendly platform made an otherwise daunting process remarkably simple and accessible. From the moment we engaged with Upsolve, their team exhibited an unwavering commitment to helping us navigate the complexities of bankruptcy with ease. Their knowledge and professionalism were evident at every step, and they went above and beyond to ensure we felt supported and understood throughout the entire journey. Upsolve's user-friendly platform was a game-changer, simplifying the otherwise overwhelming paperwork involved in bankruptcy filings. Their intuitive interface guided us through each necessary form, reducing confusion and streamlining the process. Thanks to their comprehensive resources and guidance, we were able to complete the filing accurately and efficiently. What truly set Upsolve apart was their empathetic and caring approach. The Upsolve team was always available to address our questions and concerns promptly, providing clear and compassionate explanations that put our minds at ease. Their commitment to accessibility is commendable, particularly for individuals like us who couldn't afford the services of a lawyer. Upsolve made bankruptcy filing a viable option for those facing financial hardships, providing much-needed support to those who need it most. While we have just completed the filing process and await the final outcome, we are confident that Upsolve's expertise and meticulous assistance will yield positive results. However, regardless of the outcome, we are eternally grateful for their invaluable help. They have given us hope and a fresh start, empowering us to take control of our financial future. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I wholeheartedly recommend Upsolve. Their commitment to making the bankruptcy process more accessible, their exceptional support, and their user-friendly platform make them an unparalleled resource for anyone in need. Thank you, Upsolve, for being our guiding light during this challenging time.
Read more Google reviews ⇾

Let's Summarize...

In many foreclosures, it’s beneficial to have an attorney handle your case. But it can also be very expensive. The only real question is if the foreclosure attorney’s services are worth the cost. Many homeowners who are facing foreclosure don’t have the funds to hire an attorney to represent them. Luckily, there are several ways to get the legal services of a foreclosure lawyer for free. These include free consultations, legal aid offices, and pro bono work.

Written By:

Attorney Curtis Lee


Curtis Lee is a writer and co-owner at Marvel Hill Freelance. Curtis earned his Bachelor of Science in Business from Wake Forest University and his Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. After graduating law school, Curtis had the honor of clerking for a state cou... read more about Attorney Curtis Lee

It's easy to get help

Choose one of the options below to get assistance with your bankruptcy:

Free Web App

Take our screener to see if Upsolve is right for you.

Take Screener
11,416 families have filed with Upsolve! ☆

Private Attorney

Get a free bankruptcy evaluation from an independent law firm.

Find Attorney

Learning Center

Research and understand your options with our articles and guides.

Go to Learning Center →

Already an Upsolve user?

Read Support Articles →


    + Show Articles

    Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can't access their basic rights when they can't afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we're fighting this injustice.

    To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.