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Foreclosure may not mean automatic eviction

Countless families living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and other cities across the country have been deeply affected by the economic crisis and housing bubble of recent years. Many continue to struggle with serious financial challenges, and thousands of people everywhere are currently facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. And while measures like foreclosure can have a serious impact on people’s financial records, many may find hope in new evidence suggesting that many residents are spared eviction in cases where their homes are foreclosed upon.

Experts note that it is not always in the best interest of banks to force residents from foreclosed homes. First of all, occupied properties are less likely to be neglected and/or vandalized. Similarly, entire communities struggling with low home prices and sales can be affected when lenders enforce evictions. Such factors may contribute to recent findings that show that almost half of foreclosed homes around the country are still being occupied.

Previous homeowners and renters essentially have the opportunity to remain in their residences for free in some instances. It can take months for homeowners to leave on their own, and some renters are allowed to finish out the terms of their rental agreements. And even in cases where legal eviction is pursued, the process is not always a speedy one.

Some banks do offer residents a monetary incentive to leave foreclosed homes, but other homeowners benefit from grace periods intended to give them time to pay on their loans. The percentage of residents still in foreclosed properties was determined by comparing mail service records with a foreclosure database.

Source: CNN Money, “Half of nation’s foreclosed homes still occupied,” Les Christie, Oct. 24, 2013

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