Foreclosure Doesn't Always Have To Happen

If you are facing foreclosure, here is some good news: lenders don't actually want your home. Nowadays, home prices are falling and the real estate industry is changing. It is probably better for lenders and banks to avoid foreclosure as well.

Instead of foreclosure, they have options to help borrowers through difficult financial times. Here is some general guidance to get started.

The experienced foreclosure lawyers at The Law Offices of George Castrataro, P.A., can help you find alternatives to foreclosure and protect your best interests. Contact our Fort Lauderdale office at 954-573-2003 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.

First, Look Out For Scams

Unfortunately, there are many scams out there that claim they can help you stop foreclosure and recover. What they really do is take your money and steal the title of your home.

Some warning signs to look out for include:

  • If they claim they can stop the foreclosure right away and rescue your home
  • If they want you to sign a legal document that allows them to intervene on your behalf
  • If they request your financial information or fees in advance

The agencies, companies or counselors who offer real assistance to prevent foreclosure do not demand unreasonable fees or make promises. Generally, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It is important to contact a real estate attorney if you suspect a scam, and before you sign anything regarding the foreclosure of your home. We will validate the document and protect your rights.

Understand Your Rights When Dealing With Your Lender

If you cannot pay your mortgage or you receive an urgent notice from your lender about your payment, you must act quickly.

It is important that you do not ignore any notices from your lender. They often include critical information about:

  • Your rights on the mortgage and loan contracts
  • What your lender might do if you cannot pay
  • What options you have to prevent foreclosure
  • Notices of legal action

You can also contact the Florida government housing office to learn more about your options and Florida's foreclosure laws and regulations.

Common Offers Lenders Make

There are often options for you to negotiate an agreement with your lender. If you cannot pay your mortgage because of a temporary issue, you may be able to negotiate options such as:

  • A makeup payment in lump sum at a later date
  • Freezing your monthly payments
  • Creating a repayment plan
  • Modifying your loan agreement entirely

These options may still be available for long-term issues. However, for long-term issues, you may want to consider adjusting your spending and financial habits.

Rearranging Your Spending

You should make sure that any plan you agree to with your lender doesn't increase your monthly payment, but reduces it to one you can handle for the long term.

Of course, you and your family prioritize your health care and your home. And you should. However, there are some expenses you may be able to budget that allow you to pay your bills and mortgage, including:

  • Entertainment costs
  • Eating at restaurants
  • Travelling costs
  • Shopping expenses

It also may be helpful to consider some other ways to save money or bring in extra income, including:

  • Selling items like jewelry
  • Another family member getting a job
  • Borrowing money from family or friends

When you adjust your budget, you prove that you will make sacrifices to keep your home. This can have a large impact on lenders.

What If You Need To Sell Your Home?

Your lender will set a deadline for you to find a buyer and pay off your mortgage balance. Keep in mind that if you sell for less than you owe, you could owe income taxes on the difference.

A Foreclosure Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights

If you don't feel your lender is offering you the best arrangement, seek advice from a foreclosure attorney. Our firm offers a free 15-minute consultation and reasonable rates. Just call 954-573-2003 to arrange an appointment or send us a message from our Contact page.