Foreclosure is the legal procedure 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 Tampa, 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 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 Tampa, Florida Lawyer to see if this state is one of them.
How Can I Avoid Foreclosure in Florida?
First and foremost, you should not dismiss the possibility of foreclosure. Failing to respond to collection calls from your lender will not make the problem go away. As unpleasant as this may seem, you should stay in contact with your creditor, and be honest with them. It is critical to remember that the bank does not really want your Tampa house - they expected to make a profit through the interest on your loan, and that's what they'd prefer to do. Accordingly, they will probably make reasonable accommodations to your financial situation if it means that you will be able to make some form of payment to them.
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 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 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 Tampa, Florida Attorney Help?
If you are faced with the possibility of foreclosure in Tampa, Florida, an Lawyer may be able to help. At the very least, he or she can advise you of your legal options.