Foreclosure is the legal process by which the lender in a mortgage arrangement takes possession of the property (usually a house) that secured the loan. This is done when the Key West, Florida debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure usually results in the property being sold in an auction. Banks usually want to get rid of the property as soon as possible, even if it means taking a financial hit, and an auction is the easiest 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 conducted 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 debtor owes, the bank cannot go after the debtor for the remainder. You should consult with an attorney in Key West, Florida to see if this is the case. However, this usually doesn't apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.

How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?

First and foremost, you should not ignore the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this might seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be honest with them. You should keep in mind that banks usually don't want to take your Key West home. They aren't in the real estate business, and expect to make money through interest on the loan, not by selling your house. If you are up-front with them early on, they will probably make a reasonable effort to accommodate your financial system if it will keep you from defaulting.

If no deal can be worked out, or the mortgage payments have become prohibitive, you might 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 generally 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 might be forgiven. There is also the option of a "short refinance," which forgives a significant portion of your mortgage debt, and refinances the rest.

How Can A Key West, Florida Attorney Help?

If you are facing the possibility of foreclosure, a good Key West, Florida real estate attorney can help. At the very least, they will be able to inform you of your legal options.