Making Mortgage Payments

Just because you hit the jackpot does not mean you can restart making your house payments.  After being behind for three months or more, your lender is not going to accept them. Maybe you were between income sources or just had not won the lottery yet, but once you fall behind on mortgage payments for a certain period, the bank is not going to allow you to start making payments (or even partial payments) because it is not in the bank’s best interest.  Unless you have made arrangements with your lender for a forbearance plan, the bank will not accept a restart of payments because that restarts their clock towards foreclosure. Even if you can now afford your monthly mortgage, you cannot necessarily avoid a foreclosure lawsuit. Talk to your lender to see if you can work something out, and bankroll those mortgage payments until you have a resolution you can put them towards.   Read More

Choice Point in Home Foreclosure: Answer to the Foreclosure Summons

So you have not made a mortgage payment in months and get served a foreclosure lawsuit—what now?  You have 20 days from your receipt of that court summons to file an Answer…or do nothing. If you DO NOT file a valid Answer with the court within those 20 days, a Summary Judgment Request may be filed against you, and you give up your right to contest the foreclosure.  Once a Final Summary Judgment is entered, a foreclosure sale date is set, then your house is sold on the courthouse steps, a Certificate of Title is issued to the new owner, and you will be served an eviction notice. If you DO file a valid Answer with the court within those 20 days, you have a chance at a better outcome. (Note:  If you have not made your mortgage payments just to live in a free house, the judge probably will not be inclined to rule in your favor.  Getting a free house from a foreclosure proceeding happens about as often as popsicle sightings on the sun.) With the help of a HUD-certified counselor or an attorney, you can file a valid Answer with the court, and pursue a strategy with […] Read More

Foreclosure & Guilt Can Be A Bad Combination

Foreclosure is typically a self-inflicted fate.  It is predictable, and in Florida, you can usually watch it coming for a long time before you have to move out of its way. The number one foreclosure prevention is to make all your mortgage payments in a timely manner.  Beyond that, you may want to explore your legal options. Yes, there are legal options.  Even if foreclosure is totally your fault—you signed the note and you did not make the payments—you have the choice to seek the best benefit given your circumstances. Erma Bombeck referred to guilt as “the gift that keeps on giving.”  How you manage your guilt in foreclosure could influence the speed of your financial recovery. Read More

Smart Move in Home Foreclosure

Are you smarter than a cardboard box?  Can you think your way out of a paper stack?  If you have a pile of foreclosure paperwork, the smartest answer may be to ask an attorney for some advice. Nobody wants to talk to an attorney.  Nobody wants a home foreclosure either, but an attorney can review your case with you and let you know what legal options are available so you can make informed decisions. Home foreclosure is a problem that lives with you.  There is no sense of separation when you are surrounded by four walls you cannot pay for.  You live under a roof of debt with negative equity up to the eaves.  It can be difficult to deal with the problem objectively.  Furthermore, home foreclosure is a complex legal problem.  Your brightest idea may be to seek legal counsel. No plan is a plan—it is called “strategic default.”  You need to know where you are going if you have to move.  Will you live in a cardboard box if you can no longer live in your house?  Probably you are smarter than that.  Think about it, and let competent legal counsel help you make good decisions in a […] Read More