When you bought your home, you hoped to set sail into a bright future. Instead, you find yourself navigating rough waters and fear eminent shipwreck. Perhaps you lost your job or perhaps with changes in the housing market you find yourself underwater, owing far more than market value; in any case, you are drowning and need a lifeline.
Confronting Overwhelming Housing Debt
In the State of Florida, there are many ways to deal with overwhelming housing debt. Foreclosures, where the lender takes possession of the home and attempts to sell it at auction, have been among the highest in the nation. Rather than having your home taken from you, there are alternatives to being forced out of your home. Some of your options include:
- Short sale: The lender agrees to accept a sale price of less than the amount of the existing loan on the home.
- Loan modification: The lender modifies the terms of the original mortgage to decrease interest rate, principle owed, or the amount of your payment.
- Deed in lieu: The lender agrees to take the home back and terminate the mortgage.
- Bankruptcy: The lender agrees to a repayment plan for any past-due mortgage payments or fees on the house as part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan. The bankruptcy does not lower the interest, principle, or amount of the payments unless you have also obtained a loan modification. However, second or third mortgages on a property can be washed away through a process known as lien stripping in Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
Do You Want To Keep Your Home?
What you choose depends on whether you want to keep the house or whether you want to move on. According to Florida law, residents who’ve lived here more than two years are eligible for a homestead exemption, which means that your residence is exempt, even in Chapter 7 bankruptcies. During the bankruptcy process, the court will place a stay that prohibits your lender from foreclosing the property during that time. If you want to keep your home, you must keep your payments current and reaffirm your intention of repaying your loan.
Even if you want to stay in your home, you need to determine if you can afford to stay there even with a loan modification, bankruptcy reorganization, or other plan. If your financial picture has changed, you may have to accept the reality that your home is no longer affordable to you. While this is a grim realization, home is where the heart is, not a building. By working with an experienced St. Petersburg foreclosure attorney, you can walk away from burdensome debt and prepare yourself for owning a home at a later date.
Don't Let Housing Debt Sink Your Ship
No matter what remedy you choose, it is important that you have a savvy Clearwater foreclosure attorney looking out for your interests. In the State of Florida, when you obtain mortgage relief through foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu, your mortgage lender can legally request a deficiency judgment to compensate for the lower payoff they received. This means that you are liable for the difference unless your attorney adds a waiver to your foreclosure, short sale, or deed in lieu documents. Even then, you may need to file bankruptcy in order to prevent the lender from filing suit to collect .You may also be liable for taxes on the difference that are best resolved through bankruptcy.
Don’t let housing debt sink your ship. Blanchard Law can help you develop the best financial plan for you and your family, even if foreclosure and bankruptcy are part of it.
Put Your Trust In Blanchard Law, P.A.
When you need a lifeline to rescue you from housing debt, it’s time to explore your options with a Clearwater foreclosure attorney who specializes in bankruptcy, foreclosure and other financial matters. With years of experience in the industry, Jake C. Blanchard and the team of specialists at Blanchard Law can guide you to safer waters. Call us today at (727) 531-7068 or click here to make an appointment for a free consultation via our website form.