When the country reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic in the upcoming months, millions of families are at risk of losing their homes. Last spring, over 7 million homeowners took advantage of the foreclosure moratorium that was passed by the US government. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided a forbearance for all federally backed home mortgages that is set to expire in 2021. According to a new Harvard University housing report, more than 2 million homeowners are behind on their mortgages and may be forced out of their homes when the moratorium ends.
Three federal agencies back mortgages:
On July 31, 2021, all three of these programs are set to expire. What will happen to you if you own a house and can’t pay your mortgage? This article will give you all of the information you need to know as to what happens during a foreclosure and how you can take matters into your own hands to fight for your home and family. When the foreclosure moratorium is over, it is best to know exactly what will happen between you and your lender in the event that a foreclosure lawsuit is filed against you.
What happens in the foreclosure process in Florida?
Usually when you miss a payment on your mortgage, you will be charged a late fee. Late fees are applied after the grace period which is usually 15 days. If you aren’t sure what late fee you will be charged, take a look at your monthly billing statement.
Federal mortgage servicing laws in Florida require the servicer to contact you no later than 36 days. They will call you to discuss foreclosure alternatives called “loss mitigation” options. If 45 days pass without payment, the lender must notify you in writing about loss mitigation options.
The lender will typically provide you with four options when you default on your mortgage:
Refinancing is basically getting a new loan to replace the original one. The interest rate, duration, and total debt of the loan will change as a result.
Repayment is an option that spreads out your past due amount by adding it to your existing mortgage over several months until it is paid off.
Forbearance is a when your lender allows you to pay your current mortgage at a lower amount or they can pause your mortgage payments altogether for a period of time. But the difference has to be paid back. This gives you a chance to catch-up.
Loan Modification changes the existing loan by reducing interest rates, monthly payments, principal balances or extending the term of your mortgage out up to an extra 10 years.
All of these options are designed to help you avoid foreclosure. But how can you be so sure that the lender has your best interests in mind?
Don’t try to fight foreclosure alone
Trying to navigate this by yourself could cost you thousands of dollars in taxes and mortgage payments. You could try to strike a deal with your lender on your own, but you can be sure that they are not looking out for your best interests.
The best way to fight a foreclosure is with a foreclosure defense attorney. The main objective of a foreclosure defense attorney is to force the bank to prove they have the right to foreclose on you. Bottom line, the attorney’s job is to find any questionable links to nullify a lender’s ability to make a valid claim on your home.
If you go 120 days without making a mortgage payment, your lender can file a lawsuit against you. Federal law requires the lender to wait 120 days before legally starting a foreclosure. We strongly urge you to seek a foreclosure defense attorney early in the foreclosure process and not wait until a lawsuit has been filed against you.
Keep in mind that if a homeowner doesn’t have a genuine defense, Florida law has a procedure to speed up the foreclosure process.
After the 120 days pass, your lender will file the lawsuit in court. In many cases, your lender will ask the court to grant a summary judgement. A Motion for Summary Judgement asks the court to grant a judgment in their favor because you have no real dispute or defense that will hold up in court. If the court grants a summary judgement in favor of your lender, the judge will order your home sold at auction within 30 days. This is why it is very important for you to have a foreclosure defense attorney.
If the judge rules in favor of your lender, the lender then must publish a notice in the local newspaper once a week for two weeks. The second publication of the foreclosure will happen 5 days before the sale.
The foreclosure sale must take place within 20 to 35 days after the judge enters final judgement. The auction is open to the public and the lender can bid on the house as well. In the event that a bidder pays higher than the amount that you owe, the sale results in what is called “excess proceeds.” As the homeowner, you will receive any excess funds realized from the auction once all of the bank’s costs and expenses of foreclosure have been paid.
This whole process is truly a nightmare. But now that you know what happens during a foreclosure, you can prepare for it if it ever happens to you. But do not try and take on your lender alone.
The benefits of hiring a foreclosure defense attorney
Remember, the only way a lender can start the foreclosure process is by filing a lawsuit against you. If you do get sued, you only have 20 days to file a response.
Hiring a foreclosure defense attorney early in the process has many benefits:
- You can remain in your home during the litigation process (which can last a year or two)
- Get back on track with payments
- Help you get a loan modification
Candidly, banks and lenders do not care about you or your family’s rights. There are many things that can go wrong during a foreclosure that make the situation even worse than you could have imagined. Klein Law Group has highly rated and experienced foreclosure defense attorneys. Even if the foreclosure lawsuit is completely valid and there is no way to stop the process, the lawyers at Klein Law Group make sure that every step is followed and they also slow the foreclosure process down which gives you more time to stay in your home. Foreclosure on your house is a scary process, but it doesn’t have to be. With highly experienced professional help, you can be sure that all of your options are on the table.
Things to know before you consult with your foreclosure defense attorney:
- We recommend that you act fast. There is a time limit that you may be unaware of that will expire and hurt your case if you wait or delay.
- Get all of your bank statements, pay stubs, and other financial documentation in chronological order. This will help set a timeline for your case. Get your bank statements in order so we can help build your case to show that you had financial hardship leading up to the foreclosure process. Also be sure to have your lawsuit paper work and court documents. This includes notice of foreclosure, summons, legal paperwork or anything you have received from the lender. Klein Law Group has a complete digital system that allows you to upload all your documents right from your home.
When the foreclosure moratorium is over it can potentially cause millions to lose their homes. Banks will continue their foreclosure proceedings on those who have defaulted on their mortgage payments. Even though the moratorium has been extended several times, it may feel like the rug was pulled out from under you if it isn’t extended again. It is best to be ready and know your options. There is no scarier time in your life than a bank threatening to take your home from you and your family. Knowing what to do before a foreclosure happens can prepare you to deal with your lender and keep you in your home.
If you have received your first formal notice of foreclosure, don’t wait. Act immediately. Trying to navigate a foreclosure yourself can limit the time in your home, cost thousands of extra dollars, may even cause you to go into bankruptcy and completely ruin your credit. Even if you do have to file bankruptcy, Klein Law Group also has a skilled bankruptcy lawyer to help you explore all of your options and start fresh. Once you retain one lawyer at Klein Law Group, you have access to all of them. This is one of the many benefits of working with us.
Klein Law Group offers a free 30-minute consultation to help understand your case and they provide the peace of mind you deserve. They are a compassionate group of attorneys that puts your best interests first. After the initial consultation, you will know all of your options and a strategy and timeline will be created that can make all the difference in keeping your home. Need a foreclosure defense attorney? Don’t make the mistake of waiting. Call now: 1-561-353-2800