Foreclosure Law in Florida
In Lake County, Florida, foreclosure is a legal process through which an entity which has issued a mortgage takes possession and/or ownership of the property that secured the mortgage, because the individual who took out the mortgage has consistently failed to make payments on it. The property in question is usually a house.
When individuals are facing foreclosure, it usually involves a house. The bank will acquire the house with the intent of selling it at an auction, hoping to cover whatever's left on the mortgage, giving them at least a chance to break even on the loan.
In Florida, and every other state, foreclosed homeowners can go through a "foreclosure by judicial sale." In this form of foreclosure sale, a court supervises the sale, ensuring that the bank makes every reasonable effort to get the highest price possible for the house. The purpose of this is to maximize the chances that the bank gets, at the very least, the remaining balance of the mortgage. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, it is intended to safeguard the borrower: it helps prevent them from still owing money after the house is sold at auction.
In some states, original mortgages are regarded "non-recourse" loans. This means that once the house or other property that secured the mortgage is sold, and if it sells for less than the balance of the mortgage, the lender has to absorb the loss, and cannot sue the borrower for the remainder. This usually does not apply to second mortgages or refinanced loans.
How to Possibly Avoid Foreclosure in Lake County, Florida
To prevent foreclosure, communicating with your lender is key. Let's face it - if you're in a case where foreclosure looks like a possibility, your life is not going to be easy for some time. While it's challenging to step up and acknowledge unpleasant facts, doing so will make your life much easier in the long run. If your lender is aware of your situation, it's far more likely that you'll be able to work something out with them.
You must keep in mind that banks are in the business of lending funds, not flipping property: the bank doesn't really want your house. To that end, they'll occasionally go to great lengths to accommodate your financial situation, whatever it may be. For banks, foreclosure is a last resort.
If you experience a sudden change in your financial situation, your lender, in an effort to keep you from defaulting, might be willing to accept lower monthly payments, at least temporarily.
As a last resort, you might consider a "short sale," which results in loss of the home, but it usually leads to a great deal of the debt on the mortgage being forgiven. Essentially, a short sale in Florida involves selling the house for whatever price it can fetch. The proceeds from the sale go to the lender, and if it sells for less than what's left on the mortgage, the balance of the debt is forgiven.
Can a Lake County, Florida real estate attorney help?
If you feel that your home is close to being foreclosed in Lake County, Florida, and want to try to prevent this, the advice and assistance of an experienced real estate lawyer can mean the difference between keeping or losing your home.