Foreclosure is the legal procedure by which the lender in a mortgage arrangement takes possession of the property (typically a house) that secured the loan. This is done when the Fort Walton Beach, Florida debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure typically results in the property being sold in an auction. Banks typically want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means taking a financial hit, and an auction is the simplest way to do this.
In all states in the U.S., including Florida, there is an option to go through foreclosure via judicial sale, in which a court supervises the sale, and makes sure that the proceeds first go to the lender, and then to any other entities that may have a lien or other interest in the property (in order of priority), and, finally, to the borrower, if anything is left. In various states, mortgages which have not been refinanced are "non-recourse loans." This means that, in the event of default, the bank can take ownership of the house and sell it; but if the sale price happens to be less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. Because of this, some people have found that their best option is to simply walk away from the home if the mortgage is more than the house is worth. You should talk with a Fort Walton Beach, Florida lawyer to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
First, you should never dismiss the matter. As unpleasant as it seems, it is necessary to stay on top of the issue. Ignoring the problem will never make it go away. It is important to remember that the bank does not really want your Fort Walton Beach house - they expected to make a profit through the interest on your loan, and that's what they'd prefer to do. Accordingly, they will probably make reasonable accommodations to your financial situation if it means that you will be able to make some form of payment to them.
If no deal can be worked out, or the mortgage payments have become prohibitive, you may consider a "short sale". While the lender has to consent to it, many will take a moderate loss if it means avoiding foreclosure (which lenders usually treat as a last resort). This allows you to sell the house for whatever price it can fetch on the current market, and hand the proceeds over to the bank. If the sale nets less than the balance, some or all of the deficiency may be forgiven. You might also consider a "short refinance" which allows a part of the debt to be forgiven, and lets you refinance the rest.
How Can A Fort Walton Beach, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, an lawyer may be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.