Florida is amongst one of the states with the highest percentage of underwater mortgages. As a matter of fact, we’re second only trailing slightly behind Nevada. The good news is that the real estate market is strengthening, Florida’s year-over-year analysis of homes with negative equity have actually decreased. A strengthened housing market means limits to qualify for a loan modification.
As the market continues to improve, certain foreclosure alternatives are taken off the table. Homes with equity don’t qualify for foreclosure modifications. Of course, as some alternatives become less common, others become more viable, such as refinancing.
The difference between a modification and a mortgage refinance is that one is used to assist homeowners with underwater mortgages and the other is used when there is equity on the home. A loan modification is a foreclosure alternative available to homeowners that can show financial duress and owe more on their mortgage than it can be sold for. Loan modifications allow the bank to offer the homeowner a mortgage with new terms, which may include a lowered percentage rate and/or a principal reduction. Mortgage refinancing can only be done on homes that have equity because the bank is basically offering you a new mortgage, which means that they will do a credit check, extend the term of the mortgage, and use the average percentage rate that you qualify for.
Thus if you’re one of the 31 percent of Florida homeowners that have an underwater mortgage and you can show that your financial situation has changed due to some sort of income loss, this is the time to consider applying for a loan modification.
Loan modifications are not a guarantee, even if you meet all the qualifying criteria and banks can be difficult to work with. If you find yourself with a lack of time or patience to file for a loan modification, we offer assistance with the loan modification application. To assess if you’re a good candidate for a modification, arrange a no-cost consultation with one of our foreclosure experts.