March 14th, 2010 Categories: Foreclosures
Homeowners facing foreclosure are becoming increasingly frustrated with the nation’s foreclosure prevention programs. This frustration is causing many to just give up and walk away from their homes.
Others have been known to vent their frustration in more extreme ways.
See the Pensacola Real Estate News article about Terry Hoskins who bulldozed his home before the bank could take it.
If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, here are a couple of helpful things you should know.
1. Florida has a free hotline that people facing foreclosure can call for help. If you are already in foreclosure, they cannot help you. But if you are not yet in foreclosure, they will work to get you help from an attorney at no cost to you. More information can be found here: Free Legal Advice For Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
The phone number to call is (866) 607-2187
2. Walking away from your home is not without consequences
As Boca Raton real estate attorney Marlyn Wiener says there’s no “right way” to walk away from a home. If you know the consequences, you can at least make an informed decision. If a homeowner decides to just walk away from a home, the lender has the option to try and seize that person’s assets to pay for losses. This is called a deficiency judgement, and the lender has up to 20 years to collect on a deficiency judgement in Florida.
Banks are far more likely to go after a deficiency judgement on someone who walks away from a home even though they can afford the mortgage, but decides to stop paying because the home is no longer a good investment. If a person cannot afford the payments and has no assets, banks generally are not going to waste the legal expenses to go after this person, since the person has no way of compensating the bank for real estate losses.
There are now also rules in place to prevent the “Buy and Bail” tactic, described in this Pensacola Real Estate News article. In this situation, a person with money and decent credit buys a home at current market value, and then walks away from their previous home where the mortgage is much higher than the current market value of the home.
Most importantly, talk to an attorney if you are facing foreclosure. Call the free hotline listed above and see if you can get help. Foreclosure is a very sad business. It is depressing to walk into a home that has been foreclosed upon and see it littered with children’s toys and furniture. You just wonder, hope and pray that the children and homeowners are doing OK, and that the children can end up in a comfortable stable environment.
This old house of ours was built on dreams
And a business man don’t know what that means
There’s a yard outside the kids play in every day
And tomorrow morning the man from the bank
Is gonna come and take it all away
– Neil Young