Individuals facing the Florida foreclosure process often feel that they have lost all rights to their home. Our goal is to advise homeowners that this is not the case and a Florida foreclosure attorney can assist in making sure that the mortgagee is rightfully represented. A foreclosure defense client will begin by deciding whether they should retain or surrender their home.
Some clients know right away what they wish to do with the property, but it’s not always black and white. Things to consider are how much is owed on the mortgage versus the value of the property, if it is the homestead or an investment property, and if a modification will help the property owner make payments. The foreclosure defense attorney can assist the client by guiding them towards making the best decision.
Keep or Surrender the Property
- Modification – If the client decides that they would like to keep the property, the usual method would be through a modification. Most banks currently have programs that assist mortgagees in lowering monthly payments to an affordable amount. The modification application process can take a few months and requires plenty of follow-ups. If possible, it is best to allow the foreclosure defense attorney’s office to handle the application process since they are familiar with the banks’ processes. The client can help in making the process more efficient by providing updated financial documents monthly until the modification application is processed by the bank.
- Short sale – If the a client feels that letting go of the property is the best option for them, then they along with their attorney should decide which method would be in their best interest. With a short sale, a realtor would be involved to take care of the transaction.
- Deed-in-lieu – In some instances, the suggested course of action may be a deed-in-lieu. This is when the bank agrees to convey the property in exchange for the clearing the amount owed on the mortgage, in which the attorney handles the necessary negotiations.
It all Takes Time
One of the advantages of having a defense attorney involved in a foreclosure suit is it slows down the entire process to allow the client to work towards the desired outcome. Any one of the options discussed would take a few months at best, and up to a couple of years. In that time, the client should focus on getting back on their feet.