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Owe more than your home is worth? Struggling with rising payments? Facing unforeseen circumstances? Need to move on to a new chapter? You are not alone.
Thousands of Tampa homeowners are facing the same tough challenges every day. Now more than ever, there are steps you can take to avoid foreclosure. The wrong decision might make it impossible for you to repair your credit or purchase another home for 5-10 years. Foreclosures, short sales, mortgage modifications and other options can have vastly different impacts upon your future.
Over 45% of Florida mortgage holders are underwater according a report by Moody’s Analytics. The economy and housing market have brought many homeowners from security to uncertainty. With distressed homeowners unable to refinance due to appraisals, and most unable to modify their loans, Tampa residents are wondering where to turn. Mounting pressure in the mortgage industry is causing lenders to work with homeowners to find solutions to their financial situations. If you or someone you know is struggling to pay the mortgage, it is vital to understand all the options.
Up to 70% of homeowners proceed to foreclosure without seeking assistance and without having all the facts. Foreclosure is a long process. There is time to make decisions that might result in a better outcome. The Washington Post reported, “Troubled homeowners who receive housing counseling are 60% more likely to avoid foreclosure and have their mortgage payments lowered significantly than borrowers who navigate the process themselves.”
A foreclosure is the process by which the lender claims ownership of the property. The process begins when the homeowner fails to make mortgage payments on time. Florida is a Judicial Foreclosure state that requires lenders to issues a formal demand for payment, called a Lis Pendens when a borrower has been delinquent by at least three months. Even though the lawsuit is filed, the homeowner still has possession and the right to sell or refinance the property. There are several steps that you can take to delay the process and avoid foreclosure.
We recomend that homeowners meet with an attorney to evaluate all the options and explore the legal ramifications of foreclosure. If you do not take action to prevent foreclosure, the consequences can remain permanently on the public record and linger on your credit history. While the criteria for qualifying for a loan can change over time, having a foreclosure on your record can make you ineligible for a Fannie Mae-backed loan for up to 5 years. Even after foreclosure, lenders retain the right to file a deficiency judgment for the unpaid balance. Having a foreclosure may also may pose some challenges with current or future employers, especially those who require security clearances.
- Remain as public record on your credit history for years
- Lower credit scores
- Make you ineligible for a Fannie Mae-backed loan for up to 5 years
- Challenge current and future employment
- Put homeowners at risk of high deficiency judgments
- Become an issue against security clearance if applicable
Foreclosure Deficiency Judgment
When borrowers sign mortgage documents, they give lenders the right to file for deficiency judgment. The lender has the right to pursue the difference of what was owed and the eventual sale price of a foreclosed property. Creditors can wait up to five years to file for a deficiency judgment in the State of Florida. The dollar amount of the judgment can be much greater with a prolonged foreclosure than with other alternatives. We rely on a team of real estate attorneys to evaluate your personal situation and explain the options.
What mortgage foreclosure defenses have been successful? If the loan was resold, can the chain of title be challenged? Were the assignment documents properly executed? Were the loan docs involved in the robo-signing scandal? Are transfer signatures from people who were actually alive, had legitimate authorization, and still worked for the bank on the execution date? What impact will the Ibanez decision have? Will the investigation by the Attorney General’s office of the State of Florida into foreclosure fraud impact you? For an overview, see the Attorney General’s Presentation to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee or the AG’s slides on: Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases. We rely on key real estate attorneys with foreclosure experience as valued members of our 13 person short sale team.
As Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPEs), Annette, Doug and Dale Bohannon have implemented a system to coordinate and communicate short sale documents with your lender. We have worked with lenders, attorneys and title agencies on over 100 short sale approvals. We have also referred sellers to local CPAs to confirm eligibility for HR 3648, The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation, that allows qualified homeowners to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. See ShortSaleMoves.com for more information.
As Sir Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is power”. Deciding on which route will be best for you and your family’s future is the most important decision you can make. Get started today. Enjoy the feeling of having made a decision and taking positive steps toward a better tomorrow. If anyone you know might benefit from more information, contact the Bohannons for a confidential review.
FTC DISCLAIMER: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender [or servicer]. If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us. If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us [per the listing agreement] for our services. Team Bohannon is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.
FURTHERMORE: The listing agent will not provide Sellers with legal or tax advice. Sellers should consult a certified public accountant in the matters of state and federal taxes. Sellers should seek independent Counsel such as a real estate attorney to understand the legal implications and questions about selling the property. The listing agent may only perform clerical functions relating to the “short sale” part of the transaction.