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 Jacksonville, 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 United States, including Florida, foreclosure by judicial sale is an option. This allows the sale to be done under the supervision of a court, to ensure that the bank makes a good faith effort to get a fair price, and that the proceeds above and beyond the balance of the mortgage (if there are any) go back to the debtor. In many states, original mortgages are considered non-recourse loans, meaning that if the house is foreclosed and sold for less than the borrower owes, the bank cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. You should consult with an lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida to see if this is the case. However, this typically doesn't apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
First and foremost, you should not dismiss the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this may seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be forthright with them. One should remember that banks usually don't want to take your house in Jacksonville. They issued your mortgage expecting to earn a profit on the interest. Taking possession of, and selling, your house is a last resort for them. Therefore, if you are forthright with them about your financial situation, they are likely to make reasonable accommodations to keep you from defaulting.
If you can't work things out with your lender, there are other avenues. You can try a "short sale," which is when you sell your house for whatever amount you can get for it, and use the proceeds to pay your mortgage. If the house sells for less than you owe, the bank still receives those proceeds, but the remainder of the loan will be forgiven. A "short refinance" may also be an option in some cases. This allows you to have some part of the debt forgiven, while refinancing the rest.
How Can A Jacksonville, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are facing foreclosure, a good Jacksonville, Florida real estate lawyer can help. While keeping your home might not always be possible, an attorney can increase your odds of success, and help you minimize the negative impact if you do end up losing your home.