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Defending Yourself From a Florida Foreclosure Part 2

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Keep the faith and educate yourself so you can keep fighting

Your home is so much more than a building with walls and a roof that houses your belongings. It is full of memories and warmth. It houses the ones you love and protects your family. A home means security, comfort, belonging, providing and holding close the people and things you care most about. Not to mention that for most people it’s their single greatest financial investment.

While we will offer as much practical legal advice as possible, it’s also important to recognize the significant mental and emotional toll that fighting a foreclosure can take out of a person and a family. So, for this blog we want to encourage you to keep your faith, do everything in your power to avoid bitterness and despair, and keep your head up to fight the good fight.

You can get through this. We hope to help with as much education as we can provide and any services you might need.

Empowerment through education

Back in Part 1 we promised we’d go deeper on knowing your rights. Well, here it is. In addition, in the next installments of our 9-part blog series you’ll get an enormous amount of information.

COVID-19 and foreclosure

Let’s start with the current Executive Orders and how they may apply to you if you’ve been directly affected by the COVID pandemic. There is some specific language in the Executive Orders that Governor DeSantis made that needs to be examined.

Most important is the terms which specifically describe what it means to be affected by COVID- 19. “For purposes of this section, adversely affected by the COVlD-19 emergency means loss of employment, diminished wages or business income, or other monetary loss realized during the Florida State of Emergency directly impacting the ability of a residential tenant to make rent payments.”

All of these EOs were made explicitly for those who were impacted by the pandemic. Next, it’s important to note that there are no laws or EOs in place that relieve you from making your mortgage payment. The EOs state:

“Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed as relieving an individual from their obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments.”

“All payments. including tolled payments, are due when an individual is no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

But you do have other options, and tools available to you which we will discuss below.

Educate yourself and learn your rights

We are passionate about defending you from foreclosure and so we have tons of resources available to you. Dedicate some time to educating yourself. Knowledge is the best defense. There is a ton of information below, in addition to links to blogs that dive deeper into each subject. Get ready for a potential information overload…

– Let’s begin with what to do if you think foreclosure is a possibility.

Be aware that:

  • You can continue to live in your home throughout proceedings.
  • Very important! A loan modification offer could be negotiated bringing the principal balance down to the market value of your home.
  • You may avoid a deficiency judgment on an underwater property.
  • You could develop facts that will force the bank to settle on better terms.

– Another piece of the foreclosure process that it’s important to understand  are some key terms in the foreclosure case: complaint, summons and lis pendens. Here’s a blog (https://www.jakelegal.com/the-difference-between-a-complaint-summons-and-lis-pendens-in-a-foreclosure-lawsuit/)detailing these terms.

– Next, timing is everything. So it’s incredibly important to respond to a complaint or petition for foreclosure within 20 days of being served these documents.
– If a battle is looking unavoidable, here are 4 options you can take to avoid foreclosure, each of which are detailed further in another blog.

  • Fight the foreclosure with a solid foreclosure defense attorney
  • Seek a loan modification
  • Refinance the loan
  • Seek forbearance

– If foreclosure is unavoidable and you do not want to keep your home, here are 3 defensive strategies you can employ.

  • Short sale the property
  • Consider a Deed-In-Lieu
  • Evaluate eligibility under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007

– And finally, to better understand the entire foreclosure process, check out this blog.

We hope that we haven’t overwhelmed you too much in this blog, but we just have to reiterate how important it is that you know your rights and are well-versed in the foreclosure process. Too many banks and mortgage companies win by bowling homeowners over with bullying tactics. The more you know, the harder you can fight!

Keep the faith and keep educating yourself!

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