Tampa Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
Seasoned Litigators Working for You to Save Your Home
Falling into a situation of insurmountable debt can have disastrous consequences. For homeowners, this can mean struggling to pay your mortgage each month or falling so far behind that your lender is threatening you with foreclosure. Your home is likely your biggest asset and one of your most meaningful purchases. Losing it can be a frightening and depressing proposition.
Whether you have just begun to fall behind on your payments or have already been served an official foreclosure notification, reach out to our team right away. The sooner you act, the better your chances will be of saving your home. Our legal team in Tampa, Fl offers our over 25 years of combined experience to help you defend against foreclosure.
We have helped clients throughout Florida save their homes. Call (813) 644-3730 or contact us to set up a free consultation with a foreclosure defense attorney at Bankruptcy Defense Group.
What is the Foreclosure Process in Florida?
Florida has judicial foreclosures and it starts when the lender files a lawsuit asking for a court order to allow a foreclosure sale. However, foreclosure cannot start until you are more than 120 days past due on payments (though there are a few exceptions).
Below is an overview of how foreclosure works in Florida:
- Pre-foreclosure period - this is when you have fallen behind on payments and before the foreclosure actually begins. You may be charged late fees by the lender and you must be sent a pre-foreclosure notice, also known as a “breach letter”. The breach letter gives you a chance to settle the late payments with the lender and avoid foreclosure.
- If you are past due on payments by more than 120 days, the lender may file a lawsuit for a foreclosure sale. You have 20 days to file an answer to the court. If you do not respond, the court will most likely give a “default judgment” which allows them to hold a foreclosure sale.
- The lender must publish a notice of sale in a newspaper for 2 weeks.
- The property goes up for sale in a public auction and goes to the highest bidder. If it is sold, you must leave the property. If you do not move, a sheriff will evict you.
How We Can Help You Fight Foreclosure
Various options may exist that you can take based on your circumstances and your objectives.
Foreclosure defense options we can employ include:
- Filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- Negotiating a modification of your loan terms with your lender, such as reduced interest rate or extended life of the loan that can lower payments
- Sending a request to your lender to give you time to catch up on your arrears through a designated plan
- Proceeding with a deed in lieu of foreclosure, where you voluntarily turn your home back over to the lender and may be forgiven the remainder of what you owe in return (called a deficiency waiver)
- Completing a short sale, where your lender allows you to sell you home for less than what is owed in exchange for a deficiency waiver
How a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Protect Your Home
Filing a bankruptcy petition can pause a foreclosure. This is done through the “automatic stay” that the bankruptcy court will issue as soon as you file. This stay immediately stops creditors from attempting to collect on your debt, which includes lenders.
While both Chapter 7 and 13 can pause foreclosure, Chapter 13 is generally the better form of bankruptcy to file to save your home in the long term. Once you file under Chapter 13, you will then have the time to come up with a viable payment plan over three to five years. Your repayment plan can include paying your mortgage arrears while continuing with your regular monthly mortgage payments.
Furthermore, the value of your home may have fallen below what you owe the lender on your mortgage. In such cases, it is sometimes possible to remove a second or third mortgage and have it discharged through the Chapter 13 process. This is generally only done when you have the protection of the bankruptcy court.
Call Grayson & Monroe, PLLC at (813) 644-3730
If you are facing potential foreclosure, you can turn to Grayson & Monroe, PLLC for experienced and trusted legal counsel. Our mission is to help clients and their families throughout the Tampa area with debt relief solutions designed to put you back in charge of your finances. These solutions may save your home or car and can stop creditors from harassing you with irritating and often aggressive collection tactics.
Design a Plan that Best Fits Your Needs & Goals
To learn more about the options you may have for saving your home from foreclosure, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable and reputable attorney. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of each option and, with our help, take action that will best fit your unique situation. Grayson & Monroe, PLLC has a thorough understanding of the Bankruptcy Code as well as other paths that can be used on your behalf. Once your decision has been made, we can help to ensure that it adheres to pertinent regulations and laws and safeguard the process as it moves forward. Our firm is dedicated to preserving your best interests throughout the course of your foreclosure relief plan.
Call our offices at (813) 644-3730 to arrange to speak with one of our legal team about your needs today.
Many of our clients have come across the same initial questions as they begin their journey to financial freedom. Visit our FAQ page to get some quick answers.