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 St. Pete Beach, 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, 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 borrower 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. Pete Beach, Florida attorney to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
First, and most importantly, you should not ignore the issue. Failing to respond to foreclosure calls from your lender will not make a problem go away. You should stay in touch, and be forthright with, your creditor as much as possible. You should keep in mind that banks typically don't want to take your St. Pete Beach 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 can't reach a solution with your lender, there are other options. You could, for example, try a "short sale," which allows you to sell your house for whatever amount you can get, and use the proceeds to pay your mortgage. If the house sells for less than you owe, the bank will get the proceeds of the sale, and the rest of the debt will be forgiven. A "short refinance" might also be an option in some cases. This allows you to have some portion of the debt forgiven, while refinancing the rest.
How Can A St. Pete Beach, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are facing foreclosure, a good St. Pete Beach, Florida real estate attorney can help. While keeping your home might not always be possible, a lawyer can increase your odds of success, and help you minimize the negative impact if you do end up losing your home.