At Weidner Law, Florida foreclosure help is part of what we do. We want to do everything we can to keep you in your home, whether that means representing you in court, or assisting you with paperwork. Today we want to share a few tips that can help you to avoid foreclosure, though, so that you don’t have to face the headache that is court!
Florida Foreclosure Help: Tips to Avoiding Foreclosure
If you are like most people, you will do just about anything to stay in your home, but what options do you have when you face foreclosure? Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can avoid being foreclosed on…
Contact Your Lender
The first thing you should always do if you are facing trouble meeting your mortgage payment obligations is to talk to your lender yourself. Explain your situation and ask if they have any mortgage foreclosure prevention programs available or if they can recommend any solutions to your current predicament.
If you have trouble contacting your lender or if you are met with a frosty reception, talk to your attorney, they may be able to serve as an intermediary. There are also a number of organizations that routinely serve as a point of contact between troubled homeowners and lenders, you can find this list of organizations here.
If Your Lender Won’t Work With You…
If You Are an FHA Home Owner…
If you are an FHA homeowner, the National Servicing Center or NSC, has a number of programs designed to help FHA backed homeowners who find themselves unable to pay their mortgage due to unemployment or other financial hardship. You can find more information about the NSC loss mitigation programs here.
If You Have a VA-Insured Loan…
If you have a VA insured loan, the VA Foreclosure Alternatives page lists a number of options available to you.
If You Have a Traditional Loan…
If you have a traditional loan, but your lender is not willing to work with you, HUD-approved housing counselors may also be able to help you by contacting your lender for you.
HOPE NOW is also available to help, or you can call (888) 995-HOPE and speak to the Homeowners Hope Hotline.
The Best Solution
The best solution when facing foreclosure is to work directly with your lender to adjust the terms of your mortgage to make your payments more affordable by extending the life of your loan or redistributing your past due payments over a select period of time.
Unfortunately, not all lenders are willing or able to work with homeowners who are facing foreclosure. In this situation, the next best solution is to ask someone else to step in. These are the people we mentioned above – your attorney, HUD-approved housing counselors, etc.
Last Minute Foreclosure Help
In some instances when you are in the last minute of foreclosure, reaching out for intervention by a third party isn’t necessarily going to be helpful. If the foreclosure process has already begun, you do still have options, though.
Firstly, consider filing bankruptcy. No, this isn’t the perfect solution, but in some instances, it is your only solution. The moment that you file bankruptcy, the foreclosure process must come to a halt. Filing bankruptcy puts an “automatic stay” into effect. An automatic stay disallows the bank from foreclosing on your home as well as stopping the bank from collecting on debt.
Filing bankruptcy won’t end the foreclosure process, but it will buy you some time. If the bank files a motion with the court to be allowed to continue the foreclosure process and the court grants the motion, you will have bought yourself four to eight weeks to come up with funds or alternative options to foreclosure.
It’s important to know that to file bankruptcy, you must qualify to file. You should also understand that there are repercussions to filing bankruptcy, so discuss these with your attorney before filing.
Filing a lawsuit is another option to stop foreclosure in its tracks or at least postpone it.
If the bank is foreclosing on your home without using the court system, you can file a lawsuit to challenge the foreclosure. To challenge the foreclosure, you must have a valid reason for doing so. Valid reasons include:
- Being able to show that the bank cannot prove it owns the promissory note
- Being able to show that the bank did not act in compliance with state mediation requirements
- Being able to show that the bank violated a state law (for example the Homeowner-Bill-of-Rights law)
- Being able to show that the bank didn’t follow the state mandated steps in the foreclosure process
- Being able to show that the bank made some other grievous error
Filing a lawsuit against your bank is a considerable undertaking, though, and you need to consider it seriously. If you are unable to prove your case and you lose, you have only delayed your foreclosure process and you now face court costs and attorney costs.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t file a case against your bank, if they have made a mistake during the foreclosure process, you have every right to file a case. Just be sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you to navigate the court system and win your case.
Looking For Florida Foreclosure Help?
If you live in Florida and are in need of an attorney who can help you as you go through foreclosure proceedings, Weidner law can help. Too find out how we can help, call our office today at 727-954-8752!