Florida Foreclosure Case Management Conferences
If you’re a homeowner who’s behind on your mortgage payments and in foreclosure in Florida, you may be scheduled for a case management conference. What is a case management conference and where does it come into play during foreclosure proceedings?
When Payments Fall Behind
The prospect of facing the foreclosure process in Florida can be a scary one. Most homeowners try to stall the foreclosure process by first seeking out loan modifications. A loan modification can reduce the interest on your loan to make your monthly payments more affordable, or restructure your loan so that any of your missed payments are added onto the loan term rather than required as a lump sum in order to catch up again.
If a homeowner truly cannot afford to make their mortgage payments, they soon fall behind. Yet, some loans aren’t eligible for modification, or the homeowners may not be approved for the financial restructuring for a variety of reasons. In many cases, negotiating a loan modification can take several months. In Florida, foreclosure proceedings can start as soon as 90 days after your first missed payment.
High unemployment rates have caused a housing crisis as more and more families struggle to meet their monthly payments after the loss of a job and are facing foreclosure. Foreclosure proceedings have fallen years behind, as the courts are unable to keep up with the surge of cases. As a result, there have been a number of alternatives presented to foreclosure in Florida.
- Mediation: During mediation, the lender and borrower can meet with a neutral third party to discuss goals and options for the home. They may agree on a foreclosure alternative such as loan modification or a Deed in Lieu of foreclosure, or both parties may agree to move forward with foreclosure. The goal of mediation is to hear both sides of the story.
- Loan Modification: A loan modification makes changes to the existing loan that brings the payment back into budget for the homeowner. There are many ways of accomplishing this, although some of them may extend the life of the mortgage.
- Repayment Plan: A repayment plan sets up a way for the homeowner to pay off their missed payments, without having to lose their home and continue with foreclosure proceedings.
- Short Sale: If your house is currently worth less than you owe on your loan because its value has decreased since your purchase, you can put it up for a short sale.
- Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: Under this agreement, the homeowner turns ownership of their property back to the bank, then rents it from them rather than making mortgage payments.
- Traditional Refinancing: You can also apply for a refinance on your home to lower your interest rate and principle. However, a homeowner must have their credit in good standing to be approved for a refinance.
In addition to so many alternatives to foreclosure, there are also new approaches taken toward the foreclosure process itself to help move things along and clear out the case backlog. Holding a case management conference is one of these.
Scheduling a Case Management Conference
During a case management conference, both parties meet to discuss a foreclosure case when no movement has been seen in quite a while, or if it’s gotten stuck in the judge’s docket. A case management conference can decide the next step, which may be a foreclosure alternative such as a deed in lieu or short sale, or mediation. A case management conference can sometimes expedite a foreclosure lawsuit. You should expect to be asked for documentation explaining why you’ve missed payments, and may need other documents as well.
There are plenty of ways to face a foreclosure crisis, but all of them have one thing in common: you should absolutely seek the guidance of a trained professional to walk you through the process. Whether looking at a scheduled case management conference, or just trying to find a way to hang onto your home before you’ve ever missed a payment, there’s no reason you should ever have to face foreclosure in Florida alone.