The threat of losing your home to the bank becomes a real problem when financial hardship strikes. For many people, successfully defending a Florida foreclosure won’t be a possibility. Why? Because they lack the adequate research and representation needed to adequately protect their home.
With the right representation and advice, you can become more educated about the options and what can be done to help you avoid foreclosure. While many people have lost their homes throughout the years, you may be quite surprised to find that there are foreclosure defense options that work.
There are several ways in which you can defend your home against a foreclosure. If you cannot afford to keep your home, you can enter the short sale process instead of foreclosure. When you sell your home in a short sale, you can trade the liability of the mortgage debt payment for the proceeds of the sale. Giving the bank the money obtained from the sale alleviates you from responsibility of the mortgage debt.
Another option is a deed in lieu of foreclosure, in which you simply hand over the title or deed to the home to the bank. The bank becomes the legal owner of the property in exchange for releasing you from liability of the mortgage debt. While both of these options can prevent a foreclosure from marking up your credit report, most people are looking for a solution that allows them to keep the home.
Keeping your home, while halting a foreclosure, boils down to one thing: continued payments. There is no magic solution that will allow you to keep your home and also stop making payments on the mortgage loan. However, you can reduce a part of your debt or other debt accounts to free up money for the mortgage.
In a mortgage loan modification, lenders may agree to lower your monthly payment by extending the life of your loan, lowering the interest rate, or temporarily suspending payment requirements. Mortgage modifications can help you resolve mortgage debt by lowering payments, but may not be effective if you are already under an active foreclosure.
Filing for Florida bankruptcy is one alternative that can freeze an active foreclosure while you work to resolve your mortgage debt issues. In bankruptcy, you can eliminate other sources of debt that are saturating your disposable income, wipe away second mortgages or liens on the home, and even roll your missed mortgage payments into a Chapter 13 plan.
Using Bankruptcy to Stop Foreclosure
The key to using bankruptcy to stop foreclosure is to take full advantage of the automatic stay. When the bankruptcy petition is filed with the court, no creditors can attempt to collect on any of your debts. A foreclosure lawyer in Florida who also practices bankruptcy law can help you in creating a plan that works for you. Because the automatic stay frees up some income, it is the ideal time to catch up on your mortgage payments.
Keep in mind, however, that the bankruptcy may only be pending for three to four months. The only exceptions to the stay not working for you in this way are the following:
- A motion to lift the stay – The lender may be able to obtain permission from the bankruptcy court to proceed with the foreclosure sale. This is going to limit the amount of time you can prevent foreclosure by approximately two months.
- The foreclosure notice is already filed – An automatic stay doesn’t stop the clock when a foreclosure notice is already filed. The owner does receive notice that the bank will be doing a foreclosure sale, but sometimes bankruptcy proceedings don’t start until after that notice has been filed. That means the amount of time to catch up the payments may be much shorter. This is when a lender may ask the court’s permission to schedule the sale.
When you are faced with foreclosure and you want to stop it so you can keep your home, foreclosure defense takes due diligence. Be sure to consult with a Florida bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions about your mortgage debt. You may be surprised what the proper guidance can do to help you during one of the most difficult and confusing times of your life.
Work With a Skilled Foreclosure Lawyer in Florida
Our law firm has the knowledge and experience to help you pursue debt relief and stop foreclosure efforts. Contact our attorneys at Debt Relief Legal Group to schedule a free initial consultation. Call us at (813) 940-5120 or send us an e-mail to get started today.