Foreclosure Lawyer Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

About this article
A foreclosure lawyer's average salary is around $133,000. Is the job worth the education, training and licensure requirements? See real job descriptions and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a foreclosure lawyer is right for you.
View available schools

Foreclosure Lawyer: Pros and Cons

Foreclosure lawyers represent people and businesses in court proceedings that involve borrowing and lending services. You can discover more pros and cons to being a foreclosure lawyer by reading below.

PROS of a Career as a Foreclosure Lawyer
Continual career openings are expected, since businesses, people and the government are often in need of legal services*
Average income is generally high (about $133,000 as of May 2014)*
Advancement opportunities available by becoming a partner with a firm*
Self-employment is an option (22% of lawyers were self-employed in 2012)*

CONS of a Career as a Foreclosure Lawyer
Requires graduate education (typically seven years of postsecondary schooling)*
In order to practice as a foreclosure lawyer, you need to be licensed by your state*
Continuing education is normally necessary to remain employed as a lawyer*
Long hours at work are common for lawyers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Essential Career Information

Job Description

Foreclosure is a lawsuit brought by a mortgage company, bank or other creditor against a property owner to satisfy a debt. Lawyers specializing in foreclosures help property owners understand their options and carry out any applicable options, if necessary. Depending on the firm, foreclosure lawyers may also represent banks who are taking legal action against a client with delinquent payments.

A foreclosure attorney must be familiar with bankruptcy and real estate laws in their practicing state, as well as possess the customer service skills needed to work well with clients. A foreclosure lawyer acting for the homeowner must endeavor to stop the foreclosure process so that the client can retain his or her home. A lawyer acting for a lender oversees the process until the foreclosure is completed.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that lawyers earned around $64 per hour on average as of May 2014, which resulted in a yearly annual income of about $133,000 (www.bls.gov). The top-paying states for lawyers included California, Connecticut, New York and Delaware. The District of Columbia was the location that paid lawyers the highest average salaries. Lawyers employed in this area earned about $168,000 on average annually.

Job Outlook

From 2012-2022, employment of lawyers was expected to grow about ten percent, according to the BLS. Compared to other careers, this was about as fast as average. Employment growth might be partially limited by the fact that paralegals and legal assistants now perform much of the work lawyers used to do in order to cut costs. Generally, the number of job openings each year is fewer than the number of law students graduating, which has led to great competition. If you possess previous work experience and you're willing to relocate, you could have better job opportunities available to you.

Occupational Requirements

Education and Training

In order to enter law school, you first need to obtain a bachelor's degree. Your undergraduate major can focus on a number of possible areas, although taking classes in public speaking, history, business, economics and English are preferred. From there, you can apply to a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association (www.americanbar.org). By completing three years of professional education in law school, you can obtain your Juris Doctor (J.D.). While you're in law school, you'll want to specialize in foreclosure law. After you've graduated, you must complete continuing education in order to stay current on new laws and regulations.

Licensing

You have to be licensed with the state you plan to work in as a foreclosure lawyer. The licensing process is referred to as being admitted to the bar. Exact requirements vary in each state, but you generally need to provide proof of your graduation from an accredited school of law, pass the bar examination and complete a formal interview. If you want to be employed in another state after you've already been licensed, you'll need to take the bar examination of the other state to work there.

What Do Employers Look for?

Speech and interpersonal skills are highly important to employers who are hiring foreclosure lawyers. It's also important to be confident and persuasive as a lawyer. Research and analytical skills are other important abilities, since you must understand all the facts of a case and recall any relevant laws associated with the matter at hand. To learn what real employers were seeking in foreclosure lawyers, here is some information taken from May 2012 job postings.

  • In New Jersey, a law firm sought foreclosure lawyers who were familiar with banking and foreclosure litigation and held experience representing borrowers and lenders.
  • A law firm in New York wanted a foreclosure lawyer with 3-5 years of experience in predatory lending claims.
  • A Florida law firm needed a foreclosure lawyer who could oversee and manage the practice in foreclosure manners.

How to Stand Out

Foreclosure lawyers can join professional organizations to receive many benefits that can help them stand out from other individuals in their field. For example, the American Bar Association (ABA) offers many free educational resources to members. You can perform your own ethics research or participate in monthly classes on current legal issues. You can also get in touch with colleagues and other professionals through the ABA. By becoming a member of a professional organization, you can demonstrate your commitment to the field you work in to clients, employers and co-workers.

Other Vocational Options

If you're intimidated by the educational process it takes to become a lawyer, but you still want to work in the legal field, you might want to become a paralegal. As a paralegal, you'll assist lawyers with case investigations, legal research and reports. A paralegal earned $50,000 or so on average as of May 2011, according to the BLS. Paralegals were also expected to see an 18% growth in employment from 2010-2020, which was average.

If you decide to become a lawyer, you may want to look into becoming a judge after working for several years. Judges oversee court cases and mediate the legal process to ensure that the law is being followed. As of May 2011, judges earned an average yearly income of about $111,000, reported the BLS. However, employment of judges was only expected to grow about nine percent from 2010-2020.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • Master: Criminal Justice
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
      • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
      • Bachelor: Auditing-Forensic Accountancy
    Associate's
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
    Certificate
      • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Post University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Legal Studies
    Associate's
      • A.S. in Legal Studies
      • A.S. in Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
      • Doctorate: Management - Homeland Security
    Master's
      • M.S. - Criminal Justice
      • Master: Management - Homeland Security
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Criminal Justice Intelligence & Crime Analysis
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Government - Law and Public Policy
      • Master of Arts in Law - General Legal Studies
      • Master of Arts in Law - Criminal Justice
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Government - Pre-Law
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Government
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Penn Foster

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Career Diploma - Legal Secretary
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA: Criminal Justice
      • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    Associate's
      • AA: Criminal Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Baker College Online

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Criminal Justice - Bachelor
  • Online Programs Available
    10. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Science
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Corrections and Case Management
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Generalist
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement
      • Bachelor or Science - Criminal Justice: Homeland Security and Crisis Management
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Bachelor: Tax Accountancy
  • AAS in Legal Support and Services
  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate - Pathway to Paralegal

Which subject are you interested in?

Post University

  • B.S. in Legal Studies
  • A.S. in Legal Studies
  • A.S. in Criminal Justice

Education Level:

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor - Management - Criminal Justice
  • M.S. - Criminal Justice
  • BS - Criminal Justice

Are you a US citizen?

Northcentral University

  • MS - Organizational Leadership: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS in Criminal Justice Intelligence & Crime Analysis

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Government - Law and Public Policy
  • Master of Arts in Law - General Legal Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Government - Pre-Law

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster

  • Career Diploma - Legal Secretary

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Leo University

  • BA: Criminal Justice
  • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
  • AA: Criminal Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?