Foreclosure Defense and Your Rights - Florida Forclosure Law
When a homeowner has been unable to pay their mortgage payments and foreclosure proceedings have begun on their home, they often forget that they have certain rights as a homeowner, and that these rights may assist in them avoiding the foreclosure or mitigating their losses. Every homeowner has the right to negotiate with their bank or lender following a notice of default on their mortgage. The individual may discuss payment options with their lender or negotiate a modification to their loan that enables them to make their monthly payments. They may also discuss the possibility of a private sale, which can often yield a higher selling price than would occur in a foreclosure. It is also the right of a homeowner to remain in their home during the foreclosure process.
You have 20 days' to respond so get up off your ass and let's get Florida Forclosure Law
fighting DON'T give up use that 20 day's and do the following ;
After a process server or sheriff serves the foreclosure summons and complaint on the borrower, a notice of service of process is filed with the Clerk of Courts. Once the homeowner is served, they have only 20 days to file a response. If the homeowner does not respond to the complaint within 20 days after being served, the attorneys representing the lender can move for a default to be entered.
However, in our experience, the law firms that represent banks in foreclosure actions often fail to move for entry of a default. Therefore, even if it has been more than 20 days since you were served with a foreclosure lawsuit, you may still be able to defend the case and fight the foreclosure. In some cases, the lender’s attorneys fail to move for a default for months. It is therefore very important to consult with an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer even if you did not respond within the 20 day time frame. There may still be time to defend your case and assert your legal rights.
Often after people have learned that they are facing foreclosure, they immediately jump to the conclusion that they will lose their homes. Being served with a foreclosure lawsuit or notice of foreclosure is never easy and can evoke a vast array of complicated feelings, especially if they are unaware of their rights or uninformed when it comes to their legal options. Even after you have been served with a notice of foreclosure or foreclosure lawsuit, you still have options. There are many alternatives to foreclosure. Below, a few of these alternatives are highlighted:
1.Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure. In a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the borrower and the lender enter into an agreement where the property owner voluntarily transfers ownership of the property to the lender. In our opinion, in most cases a property owner should only agree to a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure if the lender is willing to release the borrower from all obligations under the mortgage and note. Some lenders try to convince borrowers to sign a promissory note for some or all of any amount that the borrower is "underwater" on the loan. Other lenders will only agree if they retain the right to sue the borrower for any losses the bank incurs. You should retain an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer to negotiate a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure to protect your legal rights.
2.Short Sale. In a short sale, the borrower and lender reach an agreement where the property is sold for less than the outstanding loan balance. In our opinion, in most cases a property owner should only agree to a short sale if the lender agrees not to pursue the borrower for any further financial obligations relating to the note and mortgage. This is often referred to as "waiving the deficiency." Banks often file foreclosure lawsuits even if the borrower is actively trying to complete a short sale of the property. If the bank obtains a final judgment of foreclosure before the short sale is completed, the property owner risks being sued for a deficiency judgment. For that reason, even if the property owner is attempting to short sell the property, a foreclosure lawsuit cannot be ignored. We have personally witnessed many cases where a borrower lost their property because they failed to respond to a foreclosure lawsuit – the borrowers mistakenly believed that the bank would not move forward with the foreclosure case while a short sale was pending. Even if you are trying to short sell your property, it is very important to hire a foreclosure defense attorney Aggressively defending the foreclosure will increase the amount of time you have to sell the property and will increase the chances that the bank will accept a reasonable short sale offer on the property.
3.Mortgage Modifications. With the assistance of an experienced foreclosure defense attorney, borrowers may be able to obtain a loan modification adjusting the terms of their loan. For example, successful mortgage modifications often lower the interest rate, extend the term of the loan and waive or reduce outstanding late fees and charges. The goal of a mortgage or loan modification is to reduce the mortgage payment to an amount that is affordable for the borrower to keep the property. Experianced attorneys are often able to obtain mortgage modifications that include a waiver by the bank of all late fees and a reduction of the interest rate to as low as 2%. For interest-only or adjustable rate mortgages, a successful modification will convert the loan to a standard fixed-rate loan. In a successful mortgage modification, in most cases you will not be required to make
a lump sum payment for past due amounts – you will simply start making new payments at the new reduced payment amount.Negotiated Settlement
4.Negotiated Settlements. Often, we can use our experience to negotiate a favorable settlement. Whether you want to keep your home, surrender the home but buy more time before you have to leave, or escape from a deficiency judgment claim, we may be able to negotiate a solution that works for you
Mortgage Modification in Florida
What are Mortgage Modifications
If you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments or are already facing foreclosure, a mortgage modification may enable you to save your home. You need an attorney to handle mortgage modifications under the Obama administration's Making Homes Affordable Program and with most lenders and loan servicers. You may be eligible for a loan modification even if you have bad credit or are already in default on your loan.
With a mortgage modification, you may be able to: Click HERE for a list of reputable Attorneys -
1. Lower your monthly payments;
2. Reduce your interest rate to as low as 2%;
3. Get rid of late fees; and
4. Reduce the principal amount on your loa
n (in some circumstances).
The Forrest Law Firm
If you are facing forclosure or have already been served your notice it's alway's best that you have an attorney aggressively fight against the foreclosure lawsuit and seek solutions including mortgage modifications and negotiated settlements. We also assist our clients with short sales, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, and consent judgments. For clients who do not wish to keep their properties, The Forrest Law Firm utilizes strategies designed to protect them from deficiency judgments and other adverse financial consequences. We can also use techniques that maximize the amount of time our clients can keep possession of their properties before turning them over to the lender. These techniques give our clients much needed additional time.
For clients with investment or rental properties, The Forrest Law Firm has developed legal techniques to maximize their rights as property owners and landlords and, if the client wishes to surrender the property at the end of the litigation, maximize the chances that the lender will release the client from any deficiency judgment claims or other financial obligations on the mortgage loan. When a foreclosure case is properly defended, it often takes a year to 18 months to reach a final resolution.
The Forrest Law Firm Website contributed to this page - A Florida Attorney Firm we recomend they have many locations around Florida.
Call The Forrest Law Firm today at 1-800-915-3923 for an informative and comprehensive consultation on how The Forrest Law Firm Foreclosure Defense Plan® can help you.
Banks repossessed 1 million homes
last year — and 2011 will be worse
NEW YORK — The bleakest year in foreclosure crisis has only just begun.
Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home's value, industry analysts forecast.
"2011 is going to be the peak," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. The firm predicts 1.2 million homes will be repossessed this year by lenders.
The outlook comes after banks repossessed more than 1 million homes in 2010, RealtyTrac said Thursday. That marked the highest annual tally of properties lost to foreclosure on records dating back to 2005.
One in 45 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last year, or a record high of 2.9 million homes. That's up 1.67 percent from 2009.
On Thursday, Freddie Mac reported that fixed mortgage rates dipped this week for the second straight time, extending a sliver of hope for some home owners.
The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.71 percent from 4.77 percent the previous week. The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular refinance choice, slipped to 4.08 percent from 4.13 percent. But both are a half-point higher than the lows they reached in November.
The dip has led more borrowers to apply for a refinance, but would-be buyers remain hesitant, according to Wednesday's mortgage indexes from the Mortgage Bankers Association. It will take more than low mortgage rates to jumpstart a housing market plagued by high unemployment, falling prices, tighter credit standards.
The glut of foreclosures has compounded the problem and while the pace moderated in the final months of 2010, that isn't expected to last.
The number of homes that received at least one foreclosure-related filing in December was the lowest monthly total in 30 months. Total notices fell 1.8 percent from November and 26.3 percent from December 2009, RealtyTrac said.
The pace slowed in the final two months of 2010 as banks reviewed their foreclosure processes after allegations surfaced in September that evictions were handled improperly. Under increased scrutiny by the government, lenders temporarily halted taking actions against borrowers severely behind on their payments.
However, most banks have since resumed their eviction processes, and the first quarter will likely show a rebound in foreclosure activity, RealtyTrac's Sharga said.
Foreclosures are expected to remain elevated through the year as homeowners contend with stubbornly high unemployment, tougher credit standards for refinancing and falling home values. Sharga said he expects prices to dip another 5 percent nationally before finally bottoming out. The decline will push more borrowers underwater on their mortgages. Already, about one in five homeowners with a mortgage owe more than their home is worth.
The pain likely will be the most acute in states that have already been hit hard. That includes former housing boom states Nevada, Arizona, Florida and California, along with states that are suffering most from the economic downturn, including Michigan and Illinois.
Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate in 2010 for the fourth straight year, despite a 5 percent decline in activity from the year before. One in every 11 households received a foreclosure filing last year in the state. In December, foreclosure activity increased 18 percent from November with a 71 percent spike in bank repossessions.
Arizona and California also showed sharp December increases in the number of homes banks took back, at 52 percent and 47 percent, respectively. Arizona, along with Florida, finished the year at No. 2 and No. 3 for the highest foreclosure rates.
One in every 17 Arizona households got a foreclosure filing last year, while one in 18 received a notice in Florida.
California, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Idaho, Illinois and Colorado rounded out the top ten states with the highest foreclosure rates.
More than half of the country's foreclosure activity came out of five states in 2010: California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and Michigan. Together, these states recorded almost 1.5 million households receiving a filing, despite year-over-year decreases in California, Florida and Arizona.
RealtyTrac tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions — warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.
Banks Hit Hurdle to Foreclosure's
Banks trying to foreclose on homeowners are hitting another roadblock, as some delinquent borrowers are successfully arguing that their mortgage companies can't prove they own the loans and therefore don't have the right to foreclose.
These "show me the paper" cases have been winding through the courts for several years. But in recent months, some judges have been siding with borrowers and stopping foreclosures after concluding that banks' paperwork problems are more serious than previously thought and raise broader ethical questions.
This year, cases in California, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts and others have raised questions about whether banks properly demonstrated ownership.
.During the fall, banks temporarily suspended foreclosures to address so-called robo-signing problems, where employees were approving legal documents without properly reviewing them.
They said that in weeks they could fix what they considered to be simple clerical errors. But borrowers are uncovering new types of document problems, further delaying banks' efforts to get foreclosures back on track.
In some cases, borrowers are showing courts that banks failed to properly assign ownership of mortgages after they were pooled into mortgage-backed securities. In other cases, borrowers say that lenders backdated or fabricated documents to fix those errors.
"Flawed mortgage-banking processes have potentially infected millions of foreclosures, and the damages against these operations could be significant and take years to materialize," said Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in testimony to a Senate committee last month .
Last month, the Maine Supreme Court reversed the foreclosure of Dana and Robin Murphy of Auburn, Me., after concluding that the mortgage company, a unit of HSBC Holdings PLC, filed "inherently untrustworthy" documents. An HSBC spokesman declined to comment.
The case began in 2008 when HSBC filed to foreclose on the Murphys, who hadn't made a mortgage payment in two years. A trial judge initially rejected HSBC's foreclosure because the bank couldn't show it owned the promissory note—in effect, the borrower's IOU. The court later granted the foreclosure after HSBC submitted new paperwork.
However, the Murphys found discrepancies and alleged that the documents were backdated. The court voided the foreclosure and sent the case back to the lower court to determine potential penalties.
Attorneys for borrowers reject the view that they are using arcane legal rules to secure free houses for clients who aren't paying their bills. Efforts to gloss over incomplete or falsified evidence "can't be tolerated by a free society," says Thomas Ice, an attorney in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., who has a similar case before the Florida Supreme Court. "This is a huge assault on our legal system" that risks "turning us into a banana republic."