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Foreclosure Defense in Florida

When the housing market collapsed and we spiraled into recession, most of us didn’t realize the rampant damage that would be done. We didn’t know how many jobs would be lost to layoffs or homes would be lost to foreclosure. But most of us, even if we were miraculously untouched, learned more than we ever wanted to about the worst that could happen. And even today, people are struggling to come out of the recession with their assets intact. The good news if you live in Florida is that there is a defense against mortgage and property foreclosure. Here’s how it works.

In the state of Florida, a mortgage lender must file a civil lawsuit in order to foreclose on your property before it can be sold to pay off debt (i.e. what you owe the lender and/or amounts owed in liens and so on). This might not sound like good news, especially if you have no prior experience with lawsuits. But what it actually means is that you have the opportunity to mount a legal defense. And when you do this properly, you also have the opportunity to avoid foreclosure and retain ownership of your property. Now the situation is starting to look a little brighter.

If you want to mount a foreclosure defense in Florida, the first thing you need to do is speak with a qualified attorney, because you’re going to need help. There are several different defense strategies you can pursue to avoid losing your home, or alternately, to simply walk away without black marks on your credit. It’s possible you could even make a little money in the process. You could, for example, seek the opportunity to conduct a short sale, in which your debt will be considered repaid even if the property sells for less than the amount owed to lenders. Even though you won’t receive any of the equity you built in your home, this will at least leave you with a clean slate (no foreclosure marring your credit history).

Of course, a short sale might not be in the cards. In this case, you could opt to pursue a deed in lieu of foreclosure, also called a mortgage release. In this scenario, you legally transfer the deed of your home to the lender in exchange for the dropping of foreclosure proceedings. The lender then releases you from any further debt and takes on the burden of selling the property.

Again, you walk away with no money, but also with an unblemished credit report. You might even be able to swing a cash for keys defense if the lender is keen to get you off the property. In this instance, your debt is not only considered disbursed, but you will actually receive some money for “relocation” costs, provided you leave the property in a timely manner (as determined by the lender).

But naturally, most families want to pursue the defense strategy that keeps them in their homes, in which case seeking loan modification (refinancing, for example) could be the best option. The point is that you have the potential to fight foreclosure and remain in your home thanks to the laws in Florida concerning foreclosures. You just have to hire a qualified and experienced attorney to help you come up with the best foreclosure defense for your particular case.

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