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mortgage workouts

When to Consult a Florida Foreclosure Attorney

Will you know when to consult a Florida foreclosure attorney? When you face any financial or legal concerns regarding your property, it is advisable to schedule a consultation with a Florida foreclosure attorney. A legal consultation gives an attorney the necessary background to adequately guide or recommend appropriate legal steps to protect you, your assets and your property.

Many homeowners assume the large lenders are always right but unfortunately, that is not always the case. It is wise to have an attorney review any paperwork you receive from your mortgage lender – especially if you do not understand the content of the documents.

Eric Lanigan of Lanigan and Lanigan, P.L., tells clients not to wait when they are facing situations that may ultimately result in foreclosure.

In addition to a known foreclosure, there are other situations when consulting a qualified foreclosure attorney makes sense. Understanding your options and preparing in advance for what is to come will help reduce your stress and may present legal options you may never have considered.

How Will You Know When to Consult a Foreclosure Attorney?

When Your Mortgage is Underwater

An underwater mortgage is one in which the value of the home falls below what is owed on the property. This leaves homeowners unable to sell their property and realize enough money to pay off the mortgage.

If you need to sell your home, but know your home is underwater, consult an attorney. Underwater homeowners may have options to prevent a foreclosure.

Non-payment of HOA Fees or Assessments

Unpaid HOA dues can multiply quickly. When you do not pay your HOA dues or assessments, the HOA has legal standing to put a lien on your property. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that the HOA can foreclose on their property.

If you receive a notice from your HOA demanding payment of past-due assessments, it is time to pay those fees. If you cannot pay them, then it may be time to consult an attorney because the next step can be a lien against your property or foreclosure by the HOA.

Some homeowners think that the HOA cannot foreclose on their property if they are current on the mortgage payment. This is a misconception. If you receive any paperwork from your HOA that you do not understand – especially if it concerns a demand for payment or language referring to liens or foreclosure – it is time to consult an attorney.

Behind on Mortgage but Want to Keep Your Home

If you are behind on your mortgage payments but want to pay your mortgage and keep your home, there may be options that will allow you to do so.

Mortgage modification, forbearance or repayment of your mortgage may be viable options for you. Scheduling a consultation with an attorney is the best way to discuss legal options for meeting your mortgage obligations.

Receipt of a Lis Pendens

A lis pendens is filed with the county recorder’s office when someone makes a legal claim against your property. A lis pendens means a lawsuit is pending. Filing of a lis pendens happens when the lender starts the foreclosure process on your property. This can be a red flag for anyone who might be interested in purchasing your property and could potentially scare away interested buyers.

Mortgage in Default and Unable to Keep Your Home

If you are unable to pay your mortgage and realize there is no financial way for you to keep your home, consulting an attorney to discuss options such as a short sale, a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, foreclosure or bankruptcy. Every financial situation is different and every lender is different, therefore it is advisable to consult an attorney on the benefits and disadvantages of each. 

Lender Illegally Foreclosed

If your lender foreclosed against you illegally, you need to consult with an attorney knowledgeable in foreclosure defense. In 2010, many large lenders admitted to irregularities in the foreclosure process that resulted in illegal foreclosures.

These lenders also used robo-signers to sign the paperwork. Robo-signers were not in the legal position to sign those papers, or signed papers without being verified or notarized.

If you have reason to believe your lender may be foreclosing illegally, consult with an attorney. An attorney can review all the documentation associated with your foreclosure to determine what your options may be. 

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