A foreclosure happens when one stops paying the mortgage payments, usually for a period of months. At that point, the mortgage company has a right to foreclosure, and legally follows a standard process similar to an eviction. Here are some potential remedies if your property becomes subject to foreclosure:
Short Sale – To avoid foreclosure, you may also be able to sell your home for less money than owed. A short sale can be completed by finding a buyer to purchase the home and is willing to pay current market value, and having the mortgage provider agree to the sale. Any shortage after the sale will then either be written off by the lender and a IRS 1099 be issued to the seller, or a deficiency remains which the lender may pursue to collect against the seller.
Mortgage Modification – The lender may be willing to modify the terms of the mortgage. Modification of the agreement may involve adding payments to the end of the mortgage and simply extend the term of the loan. Modification of the mortgage agreement may also be made by reducing the interest rate of the original Mortgage Agreement, and it could include partial forgiveness of the amount of money you owe.
Forbearance Plan – As a borrower you may be able to file a forbearance plan with your mortgage provider. Under this arrangement, the lender will agree not to pursue the foreclosure action; but, the lender will likely require proof of adequate means to satisfy the repayment on the loan. This is generally a viable option if you have encountered a temporary setback such as poor health or loss of employment.
Reinstatement – To avoid the completion of the foreclosure process, you may be able to reinstate the loan by making payments on the past due amount. Generally, the lender will be cooperative if you bring your account up to date, or demonstrate that you now have the means to catch up on the past due payments.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure – You may also deed the home back to the mortgage provider if the lender agrees to accept a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. The lender will take back the property and cancel the remaining debt. You will be unable to keep your home, but avoid foreclosure and minimize the detriment to your credit score.
Foreclosure continues to be a growing problem in Florida, and if it happens to you, the worst thing to do is ignore it.