Foreclosure is the legal process 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 Leon County, 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 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 Leon County, 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 of all, you shouldn't ignore the problem. You should stay in contact with your bank, and be forthright with them. Ignoring the issue will not make it go away. One should remember that banks usually don't want to take your house in Leon County. 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 prevent 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 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 might be forgiven. You might also consider a "short refinance" which allows a portion of the debt to be forgiven, while refinancing the rest, hopefully under better terms.
How Can A Leon County, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Leon County, Florida, an attorney might be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.