States’ Rights – Florida v. Georgia

If you missed the game on Saturday, so did Georgia.  What Florida lacks in kudzu they made up for in score. The Florida-Georgia rivalry has historic roots, dating back to the colonial days.  When Florida was a Spanish colony, it used to scrimmage with its British neighbor to the north.  When Florida was a British colony, it dealt with raids from Georgia during the American Revolution.  Though these two neighboring states are now part of the same country, they still have their differences, and it goes beyond football. Georgia has non-judicial foreclosure, which means the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale).  For the homeowner who does not really care, […] Read More

Foreclosure on My Mind…In Georgia

Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, which means home foreclosure is on the fast track in the Peach State—the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. It has to do with how property is owned.  In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale). The up side of non-judicial foreclosure is that it speeds up the process.  It reduces the judges’ workload, and for the homeowner who does not really care, it ends the foreclosure quickly.  The problem is that there are people who do care, but who do not know any better. What Florida lacks in kudzu it makes up for in opportunity to defend a home foreclosure.   The Florida foreclosure process gives homeowners greater opportunity to review […] Read More

Lien State is a Homeowner Advantage

September data from RealtyTrac show that Georgia has a lot fewer home foreclosures than Florida.  Part of the reason is because Georgia is a Title Theory State where the mortgage lender holds the title and can complete a non-judicial foreclosure in as little as 60 days.  Florida is a Lien State, which means the homeowner holds title (even in the foreclosure process) and has greater opportunity to mount a foreclosure defense. The problem with Georgia is that non-judicial foreclosure is a shortcut of due process and gives the oversight to the lenders.   It is just the clerk and an attorney; there is no judge. Back when banks were writing mortgages for anyone who could breathe, the paperwork was not done correctly.  The sheer mass of business introduced mistakes which were inherited into the mortgage crisis marathon, inviting fraud at every complexity. Lenders have admitted to creating a whole bunch of bad documents, and then there were people signing documents who did not know what they were signing.  The right people need to be foreclosing.  A foreclosure defense asks the lender to prove their case—verify the information and show that they have the proper authority. Florida’s foreclosure process is more homeowner-friendly, […] Read More

Home Advantage of Florida

Florida and Georgia do have their differences…more than football.  Florida is a judicial foreclosure state; Georgia is not.  The home advantage is with the primary resident (and not the lender) in Florida in cases of foreclosure. In Florida, a homeowner owns their home even while they are paying off what they borrowed to buy the home.  If they miss a mortgage payment, they still own the home.  If they miss two mortgage payments, they still own the home.  If they have a foreclosure complaint filed against them, they still own their home.  A Florida homeowner owns his or her home all the way through the foreclosure process up until the Certificate of Title is issued (which typically happens about ten days after the foreclosure sale). Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state.  Homebuyers there do not own their homes until they have paid off their home loan.  Thus the bank can move quickly to foreclose on property it owns and without judicial oversight. The Florida foreclosure process gives homeowners greater opportunity to review their legal choices so they can pursue a strategy to their best benefit.  Seek competent legal counsel to help you review your personal situation and set your goals. Read More

Home Ownership in Florida Vs. Georgia

Yo Yo Ma does not own his cello.  He plays an instrument made by Stadivari and on loan to him from the Louis Vuitton Foundation.  In a similar arrangement, Georgia residents who hit a wrong note on their home loan can be relieved quickly of playing house.  Florida home-dwellers, however, get to play a different tune. In Florida, a homeowner owns their home even while they are paying off what they borrowed to buy the home.  If they miss a mortgage payment, they still own the home.  If they miss two mortgage payments, they still own the home.  If they have a foreclosure complaint filed against them, they still own their home.  A Florida homeowner owns his or her home all the way through the foreclosure process up until the Certificate of Title is issued (which typically happens about ten days after the foreclosure sale). Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state.  Homebuyers there do not own their homes until they have paid off their home loan.  Thus the bank can move quickly to foreclose on property it owns and without judicial oversight. The Florida foreclosure process gives homeowners greater opportunity to review their legal choices so they can pursue a […] Read More

North of the Border – Foreclosure in Georgia

The difference between Florida and Georgia is more than geography.  Looking at how each state handles home foreclosure is like comparing peanuts to oranges.  Georgia has non-judicial foreclosure, which goes a lot faster. It has to do with how property is owned.  In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale). Because of the judicial system of Florida’s home foreclosure, the process is longer than that of Georgia’s.  In Georgia, since the bank already owns the property, the process has fewer steps, giving the borrower less time to react. Florida homeowners have the advantage with more time on their side of the State Line.  They have greater opportunity to talk with their loan servicer to work out a deal, and even discuss their situation with an attorney to learn what legal defenses […] Read More

Judicial Foreclosure

Location, location, location—geography makes a difference, even when it comes to home foreclosures. There is more distinction between Florida and Georgia than simply comparing oranges to peaches.  Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. If the borrower stops paying, the lender can take action a lot faster to reclaim the property. The up side of non-judicial foreclosure is that it speeds up the process.  It reduces the judges’ workload, and for the homeowner who does not really care, it ends the foreclosure quickly.  The problem is that there are people who do care, but who do not know any better. What Florida lacks in kudzu it makes up for in opportunity to defend a home foreclosure.  You cannot put up a defense just to put off the inevitable, but with time as a side-effect of a foreclosure defense, you have the chance to pursue an alternative, such as mortgage modification or short sale. RealtyTrac is reporting January 2014 foreclosure statistics at one out of every 346 housing units statewide.  Flagler County is in the top five counties in Florida […] Read More

Foreclosure Days

The average Florida foreclosure takes more than 800 days to complete, over twice the national average of 348 days.  Many factors contribute to the time it takes to foreclose, including volume of foreclosure activity, the latest wave of regulations, and whether or not the homeowner contests the suit.  It goes a lot faster in Georgia, though. Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. If the borrower stops paying, the lender can take action a lot faster to reclaim the property. The pro side of this system is that it reduces the judges’ workload.  If a homeowner does not care about the property, non-judicial foreclosure speeds up the process.  The problem is, there are people who do care but who do not know any better.  Non-judicial foreclosure is a short-cut that can make the homeowner give up too quickly without proof that the foreclosure plaintiff is the lender who owns the loan. What Florida lacks in kudzu it makes up for in number of days to complete a foreclosure.  Homeowners can use this time to their advantage, especially with a foreclosure […] Read More