Foreclosure is the legal procedure 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 St. Augustine Beach, 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 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 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 St. Augustine Beach, Florida lawyer to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
First, and most importantly, you should not dismiss the issue. Failing to respond to foreclosure calls from your lender will not make an issue go away. You should stay in touch, and be straightforward with, your creditor as much as possible. One should remember that banks typically don't want to take your house in St. Augustine Beach. 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 straightforward with them about your financial situation, they are likely to make reasonable accommodations to keep you from defaulting.
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 typically 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 may 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 St. Augustine Beach, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are worried about foreclosure, a good St. Augustine Beach, Florida real estate attorney may be able to help. An attorney can increase your chances of keeping your home, and help minimize the financial impact if keeping it proves impossible.