Homeowners in Florida who are behind on their mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure need to know their options. Although there have been countless news stories about banks who have engaged in “robo-signing” tactics and other dirty tricks, homeowners need to be realistic about their expectations. Most judges in Florida are wary to dismiss foreclosure lawsuits when the homeowner hasn’t paid their mortgage for months. Judges often feel that this would be inequitable no matter how egregious the tactics of the banks are. Courts are often letting banks substitute plaintiffs if the wrong party filed, or to submit assignments of notes after the case has been filed. Therefore most homeowners will never “win” a foreclosure lawsuit and can only hope to delay the proceedings for as long as possible.
A good foreclosure defense attorney in Florida can often delay a pending foreclosure for well over 24 months. Most mortgage violations will only allow for the defendant to avoid a summary judgment and delay the case. But ultimately if a borrower doesn’t actively work to modify or sell their home they will lose it to the bank.
Borrowers must be active participants in the process and not bury their heads in the sand. In almost all cases a homeowner who cannot pay their mortgage will either need to obtain a modification that works for them, or consider a negotiated way out of their property which includes a short sale or deed-in-lieu. Only very small percentages of borrowers who are looking for a loan modification actually receive a permanent modification that meets their needs. Therefore a short sale may be a better option for most borrowers. The advantage of a short sale is that it often allows a borrower to leave the home on their timeline, and in many cases to avoid owing any deficiency amount to the bank. Once a short sale has been completed, credit repair can often help homeowners get back on their feet and obtain new lines of credit in a reasonable period of time.