Foreclosure Woes? How to Fight For Your Home in South Florida, Part I
Although “the final action” of foreclosures and evictions in Florida has been delayed by Governor DeSantis’ one-month long extension, a foreclosure “tidal wave” is likely to happen once the moratorium is lifted on September 1st.
In fact, the language of the new moratorium can be interpreted as allowing the foreclosure process to begin immediately as long as the final action takes place after September 1st. There have already been sporadic foreclosure cases within Florida that have set trial dates for August, making the threat of eviction a reality for the tens of thousands of Floridians who have lost their jobs in the current economic climate.
If you or someone in your circle of family or friends have been struggling to pay the mortgage during this uncertain time, it is important to know that there are options. However, before we explore those options, let’s take a look at the numbers involved in order to understand the scale of the issue.
“You are not alone”
Florida’s foreclosure rate is artificially at a historical low due to the moratorium. New foreclosures have reduced by 96% when compared to last year’s figures. However, beneath the surface, the unemployment rate is more than double that of last year and thousands are behind or struggling to pay their monthly mortgage obligations. Many people receiving unemployment are now likely to lose their additional $600 per week making it harder to pay the basic obligations such as rent and mortgage.
The impending tidal wave of foreclosure cases is likely to hit the banking industry and the court system very hard. The sheer scale of the problem means that there may be scope for negotiation with your lender to keep your case from going to court by retaining an experienced Florida foreclosure defense attorney.
Legal options Available
Once you hire an attorney, you now have a number of options to save your home, your finances, and/or your credit. Among other options you can, through your legal counsel, negotiate a reinstatement, ask for forbearance, or conduct a short sale of your property. Finally, in special cases, you may even be able to seek a full recision of your loan based on predatory lending practices.
1. Ask for Reinstatement.
Negotiating a reinstatement of your loan starts with proposing a payment arrangement that allows you to eliminate your mortgage arrears within three to six months. If agreed, the notice of default is canceled, your credit is slightly damaged although you will have saved your home from foreclosure.
To initiate a reinstatement of your loan, have you legal counsel call the lender to find out the full amount that you are behind, explain your hardship (you have been furloughed, laid off, received a pay cut, fallen ill, had a death in the family, etc) and negotiate the new payment plan.
“The impending tidal wave of foreclosure cases is likely to hit the banking industry and the court system very hard.”
2. Ask your lender for forbearance or to make an Loan Adjustment
Forbearance is the act of completely forgiving the arrears in one of three ways. Your lender may either add the amount you are behind to the back of the loan. Secondly, your lender can take a reduced amount now and forgive the rest of the arrears. A third way is to simply forgive the entire amount of the arrears. In the current economic environment, it is more likely that your lender will take an understanding stance and agree to forbearance especially if you are represented by an experienced lawyer in the process. Financial institutions prefer not to face a challenge in foreclosure court if it can at all be avoided, especially when the mortgage holder is represented by a lawyer.
South Florida Law, leaders in foreclosure defense
At South Florida Law, we are committed to helping people and protecting families from foreclosure that can impact their lives in a negative way. We help our clients avoid foreclosure, in many cases keeping their homes, protecting their finances and avoiding damage to their credit. In cases where it is appropriate, we have the big firm resources to go head-to-head with financial institutions that have victimized our clients with predatory lending practices. At the same time, we provide personalized service and attention to detail in your case at a price point that can only be achieved with a boutique firm of our size. Are you in danger of default on your mortgage? Are you in arrears with your payments and/or facing foreclosure? Call South Florida Law today on (954) 900-8885 or reach out to us via our contact form.