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Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Did Your Hurricane Irma Forbearance Cause Foreclosure?

2017's hurricanes are long gone, but some homeowners affected by Irma, Harvey, and Maria are trying to avoid foreclosure after their bank-approved forbearance caused them to end up in foreclosure.

How could that be?

Hurricane Hardships

When hurricane Irma tore through Florida, it knocked out power and damaged property. A lot of people missed work and had to spend extra money on things like home repairs, replacement groceries, fuel for a generator, or a hotel. All the extra expenses made it hard or impossible to pay the mortgage.

Fortunately, many banks offered some assistance to homeowners going through a hurricane-related hardship. Unfortunately, after that temporary assistance ended, some homeowners are finding themselves worse off than before.

We Helped Our Suntrust Client Get More Than $12k After Foreclosure!

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services recently helped a client get $12,842.42 in surplus funds after his property was sold in a foreclosure auction. To protect his privacy I'll call this client Mr. Sebben.

Mr. Sebben's mortgage problems came about because he wasn't able to sell his Broward County, Florida home before moving out of state for work. Unable to pay for housing in two states, he stopped paying the mortgage on his vacant Florida home and his lender, Suntrust, started foreclosure on it.

Mr. Sebben realized that he needed professional help, and so he retained our firm in 2016 to help him stay a bit longer in the property and deal with the foreclosure case.

Georgia Couple Avoids HOA Foreclosure on Inherited Florida Condo

A recent client of our law firm, who I'll call Mrs. McMillan to protect her privacy, hired us to help her elderly mother save her Florida condo from foreclosure.

Mrs. McMillan had power of attorney for her mother, who owned a beautiful condominium, worth more than $800,000, located on the water on the northern gulf coast of Florida. It has almost a half a million dollars in equity.

Usually our clients are being foreclosed on by the bank because they've missed mortgage payments, but our client's mother was facing foreclosure due to missed homeowner's association (HOA) payments.

Mrs. McMillan hired us in January of 2017, and shortly thereafter her mother passed away. Now she had to deal with the property for herself since she was the sole heir to her mother's estate.

Though she and her husband lived in Georgia, they did not want to lose the property. Their goal was to avoid foreclosure and keep the condo in the family if at all possible. 

Mrs. McMillan and her husband, a doctor, were doing pretty well financially, and were able to pay the mortgage on the property. That kept the bank from trying to foreclose. But they didn't have full rights to the property and weren't able to pay all the past-due HOA fees to get out of foreclosure. It was going to take some work to fix that.

Foreclosure Moratorium Available for FHA Homeowners Hit by Hurricane Irma

If your home or your ability to pay your mortgage was damaged by a presidentially-declared disaster, such as hurricanes Harvey, Irma, or Maria, you may qualify for a foreclosure moratorium.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website says:

“If you are at risk of losing your home because of the disaster, your lender may stop or delay initiation of foreclosure for 90 days. Lenders may also waive late fees for borrowers who may become delinquent on their loans as a result of the disaster.”

This help is much needed for many people affected by the recent hurricanes. Forced evacuations, missed work, damaged homes and property, injuries, and all kinds of extra expenses are contributing to people's financial hardships, which can leave them unable to make mortgage payments.

90 days delay on foreclosure initiation or a waiver on late fees is a big help in easing the burden caused by a disaster and could be the difference between keeping your home and losing it.

Foreclosures Lowest Since 2005, Repeats High In New York City And Miami

ATTOM Data Solutions has released its April 2017 U.S. Foreclosure Market Data report, which shows that April's foreclosure activity is the lowest since November 2005.

In April 2017 there were 77,049 foreclosure filings, which is a drop of 7% from the month before and a decline of 23% from a year ago. A foreclosure filing includes default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.

The good performance of mortgages originated over the last seven years is a big part of the reason for foreclosure filings continuing to drop, ATTOM says. They do, however point to an issue with repeat foreclosures “on homeowners who often fell into default several years ago but have not been able to avoid foreclosure despite the housing recovery.”

Wells Fargo's Negligence Leads to Wrongful Foreclosure Auction

Some homeowners do everything right, but mistakes by their bank cause them serious problems with their home. That's the case for a recent client of our firm who was approved for a trial loan modification, but her home was still sold at a foreclosure auction by Wells Fargo!

In August of 2016 a homeowner in Miami-Dade County, that I'll call Mrs. Thompson to protect her privacy, was approved for a HAMP trial loan modification by her lender, Wells Fargo. She had previously fallen behind on her payments, and being approved for a trial loan modification was exactly what she needed in order to avoid foreclosure and keep her home.

Normally being approved for a trial modification is the hard part about avoiding foreclosure because loan modification applications take a lot of work to complete and are frequently denied. But Mrs. Thompson was approved for a trial modification, so all she had to do was make her trial payments on time and move on with life, right? Not so fast.

Florida Supreme Court Ruling Could Increase Foreclosures In State

The Florida Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could increase the number of foreclosure actions brought against homeowners in the state.

According to the Florida Bar News, as a result of the state Supreme Court's November 3 ruling,“Lenders who have had a foreclosure suit dismissed can bring new action if the borrower continues to default after the dismissal and the case is brought within five years of nonpayment.”

The ruling had to do with the statute of limitations provision in Florida that says foreclosure on a mortgage has to be brought within five years of the borrower defaulting on payments.

When to Hold and Fold When You're in Foreclosure

Most people facing foreclosure first experience a hardship that leaves them unable to pay their mortgage. The hardship is usually caused by loss of income, medical problems, divorce, or a family issue.

Whatever the cause, it's only a matter of time after you stop paying your mortgage before you lose your home through foreclosure. It could be many months or years, but it's eventually going to happen unless you reach a resolution with your bank.

And there are ways you to keep your home and solutions that allow you to exit your property under circumstances that are preferable to foreclosure.

Does Your State Require Judicial or Nonjudicial Foreclosure?

When you do not pay your home loan payments, your lender is required to follow the laws and procedures of your state to take ownership of your home and sell it. Some states require lenders to file a lawsuit in court in order to foreclose, which is known as judicial foreclosure. Other states allow lenders to foreclose without filing a lawsuit in court, which is known as nonjudicial foreclosure. Roughly half of the states have judicial foreclosure rules and half have nonjudicial. 

Case Dismissed Using the Florida Fair Foreclosure Act

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 5,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

In March 2015, we were retained to represent a Florida homeowner who was being sued by Dyck-O'neal to collect a post-foreclosure deficiency in the amount of $34,078.93 plus interest, costs, and attorney's fees. We won his case, and he owed nothing.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

Click to Read Our Super Loan Mod Success Stories

Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

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