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The statewide economic impact of home foreclosures

While foreclosure of your home brings uncertainty, options exist as you face a lengthy and stressful process.Florida is one of a handful of states that requires foreclosures to take place before a judge in a courtroom. Defendants can raise legal defenses to the action without the cost of filing a lawsuit. Referred to as judicial foreclosure, the proceedings can last several years.

Sitting unoccupied and unattended for months and years, vacant properties often fall into disrepair and lose their value and marketability. Repair costs are no longer worth the investment. Home values depreciate to small percentages of the mortgages owed, harming the Florida real estate market and negatively affecting the state’s economy.

Conversely, rising real estate prices can bring down the cost of borrowing and ease securitization (combining mortgages and selling the cash flow to third-party investors). A healthier market reduces the stress on Florida’s financial system.

Losing your property also impacts other homeowners, specifically your neighbors. Real estate ownership should be a profitable investment, not result in lower home values and reduced profits from sales. Should you ever consider a future purchase, you will want a healthy and thriving real estate market with increasing home values.

Options exist to prevent your house from falling into foreclosure. Prior to any adverse actions, bankruptcy can provide relief, especially if your mortgage is higher than your home’s value. You can also discharge second mortgages with a Chapter 13 filing.

When the ends do not meet and you are unable to pay your mortgage and other debts, you need immediate representation from an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

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