In July, nearly 3,000 households in the Tampa Bay area received an initial foreclosure filing, notice of sale or a notice of repossession. One year ago, that number was doubled, at slightly over 6,000. Nationwide, foreclosure filings have also declined, by about 35 percent from July 2010 to July 2011.
But, those numbers may be misleading, as families throughout Florida continue to struggle in this economy and housing market. The numbers may be a sign that more lenders are willing to work with struggling homeowners to modify loans or agree to other foreclosure alternatives. But, the numbers may also indicate that the paperwork mess related to mortgage ownership has finally caught up to the big banks, who are now taking more time to establish ownership of a mortgage prior to foreclosing.
Regardless of why Florida foreclosure filings have slowed, now is the time to understand your options if you think your home may be at risk.
So, What If You are a Florida Homeowner Struggling to Stay in Your Home?
There are options available to Tampa Bay area residents who may be just staying afloat on their mortgages, who are in fear of falling behind or are just waiting for a loan modification application to be processed by their lender. Tampa Bay foreclosure defense attorneys are working with homeowners through these tough times, explaining foreclosure alternatives and defense as well as bankruptcy options based on your individual circumstances.
Possible options in the fight to save your home may include:
- Pursuing a loan modification or mortgage modification through your lender
- Negotiating a settlement with your lender
- Short selling your home to a qualified buyer
- Offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure
- Considering a strategic abandonment of the home
- Filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy
Facing foreclosure, or even the constant worry of being able to make the mortgage payment and stay out of foreclosure for one more month, can be both devastating and exhausting. If you’ve received a foreclosure notice, do not do nothing. Generally, you have 20 days to respond to a notice of foreclosure. Call a Bay area foreclosure attorney to discuss what steps you can take to fight the foreclosure and stay in your home as long as possible.
As foreclosure rates rise and fall throughout the Tampa Bay area, arm yourself early with knowledge of all your options. Being prepared to face or fight foreclosure may give you the time you need to save your home or at least maximize the time you can remain in it.