Before the financial crisis in 2008, many people hadn’t even heard of foreclosure, let alone understand what it meant. As more people have faced foreclosure over the past decade though, particularly in Florida, more and more people have become familiar with the term. As they do, unfortunately, more and more myths abound about foreclosures. It’s important to understand the truth about foreclosure, however, especially if you are currently facing it. Below are some of the most common myths surrounding foreclosure, and the truths behind them.
My Situation is Unique
It’s easy to feel alone when you’re facing foreclosure. It seems as though the bank is against you, and so is everyone else. For many, it’s embarrassing and they don’t want anyone to know about it. It’s not uncommon for individuals to feel as though they are being punished by their lender, or that they are being singled out. However, this is untrue. Millions of people face foreclosure every day, and pretending that the problem doesn’t exist isn’t going to help. If you’ve gotten a foreclosure notice, you must speak to your lender and a foreclosure defense attorney.
Getting Behind on Your Mortgage Means the Bank will Foreclose
Sometimes, people default on one mortgage payment and think foreclosure is inevitable. When they believe this is the case, they may stop future mortgage payments, thinking the bank is going to foreclose anyway. Missing one mortgage payment, though, doesn’t automatically mean the bank will foreclose. Typically it takes at least two or three months of default before a lender will start foreclosure proceedings.
After defaulting on one mortgage payment, it’s important you make up the payment, and future payments, as soon as you can. You should also contact your lender, explain the situation, and learn of the alternatives available to you. Sometimes there are many.
The Bank Just Wants to Take My House
Many people think that when a lender forecloses on a home, they are only doing so because they want the house back. Truthfully, the bank doesn’t want that to happen any more than you do. Banks don’t want to go through the hassle of reselling a home, and if you don’t repay the defaulted amount, they’re going to lose money on the home either way. It’s important to remain calm and remember that the bank wants to work out a solution to allow you to keep your home. Too many people become angry, and sometimes even hostile, with the bank, which can break down communication and make a solution impossible.
I Have No Options
Once foreclosure proceedings have started, it’s easy to think that losing your home is inevitable. However, it’s not. A foreclosure defense attorney can help prepare a defense that could allow you to keep your home. A lawyer can also speak to the lender on your behalf, and try to negotiate a loan modification or other solution that will allow you to remain in your home. If you are facing foreclosure due to extreme financial difficulties, an attorney can also advise on whether bankruptcy is a good option for you. This can help you manage your debt, and keep you in your home while you structure a repayment plan.
I Have to Vacate My Home After Receiving a Foreclosure Notice
Many people think that once they receive a foreclosure notice, they must vacate the home immediately. Most of the time, this is also untrue. In most cases, a homeowner has months between the time they are served the foreclosure notice and the time they must leave their home. You will have at least 20 days to respond to the foreclosure notice. You must file this response in the same circuit court the foreclosure was filed in. You must also send a copy of the response to your lender or legal representative. Once you have taken care of this, the foreclosure must still go through a judicial proceeding. The time this takes, and the outcome of the foreclosure proceedings, will depend on the merits of your case and any legal defenses raised.
My Lender Doesn’t Realize I’ve Missed Payments
Sometimes, a homeowner misses many mortgage payments and yet, still doesn’t hear from their lender. In Florida particularly, where foreclosures are still extremely common, some homeowners believe they’ve gotten lost in the shuffle and that their lender hasn’t even realized they are behind. This, however, is also untrue. It can take months for a lender to send out official notification you are behind on the balance of your loan. You can be sure, though, that they will discover your missed payments. When they do, foreclosure proceedings will likely begin, so it’s best to act proactively. Contact your lender before they contact you when you are behind on payments so you can try to come to a solution.
After the Foreclosure Proceedings Are Done, It’s All Over
Going through a foreclosure is extremely difficult. Once proceedings have wrapped up, many people are relieved, thinking the entire ordeal is behind them. This too, though, is a myth. When lenders foreclose on a home, they have to sell it. Once they do, if they cannot recover the full amount of debt you owe, they will issue a deficiency judgment against you. This judgment seeks to recoup the amount you still owe on the mortgage. In addition to this judgment, it’s common for the lender to tack on additional interest fees, too.
The fact that you will feel the effects of foreclosure long after the proceedings are over is another reason why it’s crucial to hire a foreclosure defense attorney. An attorney can help prepare a defense and negotiate with the lender. However, this must be done before the actual foreclosure hearing.
Facing Foreclosure? Call a Florida Foreclosure Defense Attorney Today
If you are worried about foreclosure, or you’ve already received a notice, it’s important you speak with a Fort Lauderdale foreclosure defense lawyer who can help. At Loan Lawyers, we will answer all the questions you have and help you understand the process, what is going to happen next, and the many options you have. Call us today at (954) 523-HELP (4357) or contact us online for your free consultation.
Loan Lawyers has helped over 5,000 South Florida homeowners and consumers with their debt problems, we have saved over 2,000 homes from foreclosure, eliminated more than $100,000,000 in mortgage principal and consumer debt, and have recovered over $10,000,000 on behalf of our clients due to bank, loan servicer, and debt collector violations. Contact us for a free consultation to see how we may be able to help you.