Foreclosure is the legal process by which the lender in a mortgage arrangement takes possession of the property (normally a house) that secured the loan. This is done when the Sanibel, Florida debtor has repeatedly failed to make their payments. Foreclosure normally results in the property being sold in an auction. Banks normally 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 some states, original mortgages are treated as "non-recourse" loans, meaning that, at most, the lender can take ownership of the house in the event of foreclosure, even if it is worth less than the amount due. The bank cannot go after the debtor for the remaining balance once it sells the house. You should consult a lawyer in Sanibel, Florida to find out if this is the case here. This normally does not apply if the mortgage has been refinanced.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
Most importantly, you must not ignore the problem. Doing so will not make it go away, and will probably make it worse. You should stay in close contact with your bank, and be straightforward with them. You should keep in mind that banks normally don't want to take your Sanibel 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 you believe that foreclosure is imminent, there are some other options. For example, you might be able to engage in a "short sale," which sometimes allows you to sell your house for whatever amount you can get, give the proceeds to the lender, and walk away free of your mortgage debt, even if the sale netted less than the balance of the mortgage. There is also the option of a "short refinance," which forgives a considerable portion of your mortgage debt, and refinances the rest.
How Can A Sanibel, Florida Attorney Help?
If you think foreclosure is imminent, a good Sanibel, Florida attorney might be your best hope for staving it off. Even if keeping the house proves impossible, a good lawyer can minimize the financial effects.