Category Archives: Foreclosure

Tips for Combating Foreclosure

Foreclosure Attorney serving Brevard County, Florida

When you are seriously delinquent on your mortgage payments and foreclosure is imminent, do not ignore the problem! The faster you take action and contact us for help, the more likely you are to obtain a positive result. There are several options available for avoiding foreclosure of your home, which can preserve your ability to re-establish your credit score. In fact, you may even qualify to buy another home in the future.

combatting foreclosure pic

Below are a few tips to consider when you first believe that your home is vulnerable to a foreclosure action:

  1. Sell your house. Selling your home on your own prior to it being auctioned off by your mortgage lender is not only better for your credit score, but it may also allow you to keep any equity that remains in it. Where possible, you should take action to make your home appealing to potential buyers, even if it means reducing the asking price to below what you need to pay your mortgage loan in full. We can help you understand what a short sale requires or if paying the remaining deficiency is manageable for you.
  2. Negotiate better payment terms. It never hurts to discover whether your mortgage lender is willing to work out a deal with you. This may include negotiating to reduce the applicable interest rate and/or to lengthen the term of your loan to lower the amount of your monthly payments.
  3. File Chapter 7. When you file a Chapter 7 case, the foreclosure activity against you must cease, at least for a little while. During this time you can negotiate with your lender. If you decide to surrender your home in your bankruptcy filing, you can usually discharge any deficiency balance that is remaining on your debt after your home is sold at auction.
  4. File Chapter 13. If you have a steady source of income and you want to keep possession of your home, filing a Chapter 13 case can allow you to catch-up on your past due payments. You can make small payments in your repayment plan that are applied to your deficiency so when you successfully conclude your Chapter 13, you are current on your mortgage loan.
  5. Short sale. In order to short sale your home (sell it for less than what is owed on your mortgage), your mortgage lender must be involved and approve the sale. Many lenders will agree to this type of sale in order to avoid the time and cost of the foreclosure procedure. It is important that verify that the short sale of your home will be considered full satisfaction of your mortgage debt. Otherwise, you will remain liable for the deficiency balance.

Let us review your unique financial situation before you pursue any of the above options and help you understand which strategy is the most beneficial for you. We can make sure you understand the tax consequences, if any, of your decision as well as the other advantages and disadvantages.

Don’t delay any longer. Contact Us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our office is located in Melbourne, but we proudly serve individuals and businesses across the State of Florida.  We offer free initial consultations for bankruptcy and foreclosure defense.

Speak with an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA 321-784-8158

We offer a free initial consult for bankruptcy, debt relief, credit card debt and foreclosure defense.  Contact our office to schedule your consultation and discuss your debt relief options.

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Briefly Describe Your Legal Concern

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy under the bankruptcy code.

Struggling to Pay your Mortgage? Short Sale vs. Bankruptcy

Foreclosure Defense and Bankruptcy Attorney Melbourne Florida

Bankruptcy Attorney serving Palm Bay, Florida

If you are past due on your mortgage payments and you want to avoid a foreclosure action, you may want to consider filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Another option to consider is a short sale. Either choice has its advantages, but deciding which is more beneficial for you depends on your unique situation.

Are you limited on time?

If you are not in a time-crunch, the short sale may be a viable option for you. The short sale process can be lengthy because it involves several parties in a variety of negotiations. At the end of the short sale process, there is no guarantee that the sale will successfully close.

A personal bankruptcy provides you instant financial relief. The automatic stay stops all collection activity against you while your case is pending. A Chapter 7 filing typically lasts three to five months, while a Chapter 13 lasts three to five years. In a Chapter 13, a homeowner can cure delinquent mortgage payments. In both types of filings, when you complete your case you will receive a discharge of debt that eliminates a large majority (if not all) of your debt.

Will your lender pursue a deficiency balance?

If your short sale is successful, you will still be left with a deficiency balance. The home was sold for less than what you owe on your mortgage, which leaves your lender “short.” Depending on where you live, this can leave you in a financial bind. Most states do not require a lender to waive the deficiency in a short sale, but there are a few states that require the lender to accept the short sale as payment in full. It is important to confer with a seasoned attorney to discuss this issue in your state.

When you file a bankruptcy case, a debtor can usually discharge all of the deficiency balance left on the mortgage loan. This can save you thousands of dollars!

Is mortgage debt your only debt?

A short sale only deals with your mortgage-related debt. Thus, if you are overwhelmed with credit card or medical debt, a short sale will not provide you relief from these creditors. In a bankruptcy, you deal with all of your debt. Bankruptcy is one of the most comprehensive means for dealing with all of your creditors at once.

If you are behind on your mortgage payments or your lender is threatening foreclosure, contact us to discuss all of your debt relief options.

Foreclosure versus Deed-in-Lieu

House changing hands

If you are struggling to make your house payments, you are probably investigating all of your debt relief options. There are several options that may be available to you, but this blog focuses on the pros and cons of foreclosure versus a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Some mortgage-holders offer a deed-in-lieu to their borrower as a means for avoiding the foreclosure process. A deed-in-lieu is another name for surrendering your property back to your mortgage lender. Although it has its benefits, it is important to understand that a deed-in-lieu also has some significant disadvantages.

A lender benefits from obtaining a deed-in-lieu because it saves it the time and money expended in the foreclosure process. In order to avoid foreclosure, your mortgage-holder may ask that you sign over the deed to your house. This legally transfers title to the property to your lender. As the borrower, it allows you to handle the transaction quickly and privately. A homeowner may be able to negotiate certain benefits with the lender in exchange for the transfer. Of primary concern is negotiating a waiver or a reduction of the deficiency balance that you will otherwise remain liable to pay after the property has been auctioned.

Another important factor to consider is that if you use the deed-in-lieu process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers it “debt forgiveness.” This means that the amount forgiven by your mortgage lender will be considered as income by the IRS and you will be taxed on it. If you are not prepared, this can be financially devastating.

If you are facing a foreclosure and trying to decide whether or not to give your lender a deed-in-lieu, you may want to consider filing a personal bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case could allow you to discharge or eliminate the deficiency balance that is left owing after your home is auctioned. A bankruptcy may also help you deal with your taxes.

To learn more about your debt relief options, contact the legal team at Faro Crowder, PA. We will review your individual circumstances and help you understand the best strategy for dealing with your debt.

Central Florida’s Foreclosures Decline

There is finally some good news in Central Florida’s foreclosure market. The Orlando metro area showed a decline in its foreclosure inventory in July of 2014, which hopefully is an indication the housing market is slowly recovering.

Central Florida Foreclosure Defense | Brevard County Attorney

There was a decrease of 3.6 percentage points from a year ago in the foreclosure inventory in the Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford metropolitan area. For the year ending in July, there were 13,817 foreclosures completed compared to the 12,244 for the same period last year.

The total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure is calculated by completed foreclosures, according to CoreLogic. CoreLogic is one of the premier sources for real estate information and it reports that the housing market is a prime indicator for how the economy is doing as a whole. The fact that there are fewer bank repossessions is an indication that the homeowner market is getting stronger.

Below are a few other findings from the CoreLogic report:

  • Florida had a statewide foreclosure inventory of 4.8%, which is a 3.5 percentage point drop from July of 2013
  • There was a 1.7% decline nationally compared to July of 2013 and 45,000 completed foreclosures
  • The Sunshine State had the largest number of completed foreclosures for the year prior to July in comparison to the rest of the nation
  • Florida’s 4.8% foreclosure inventory made it the second-highest of all mortgaged homes.

Although the housing market is showing signs of improvement, there are still many Florida homeowners that are past due on their mortgage payments. If you are facing foreclosure of your home or you would like to learn more about the legal services we provide, call us to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Melbourne and proudly serve all of Central Florida.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about foreclosure defense and saving your home, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

How Can You Defend a Foreclosure Lawsuit?

Home being sold

There was a time when homeowners had few defenses available when it came to foreclosure actions. However, times have changed and now there are numerous defenses that allow a homeowner to successfully defend a foreclosure lawsuit. Below are a few examples:

  • Unfair mortgage terms. If a provision of your mortgage loan “shocks the conscience” of the court, you have a valid defense to the foreclosure action. We can review when your mortgage was signed and the circumstances surrounding it to determine whether there are unconscionable terms in your loan agreement.
  • Insufficient documentation. As soon as your lender begins threatening a foreclosure lawsuit, you should request that your lender proves it owns the mortgage. Most mortgages are assigned numerous times and it is common for errors to occur in the documentation. You have a valid defense if the plaintiff seeking to foreclose your home does not have the proper paperwork to support the action.
  • Active military. There are special protections afforded to active duty service-members. For example, The Service Members Relief Act (SCRA) allows military personnel a nine month postponement if the foreclosure lawsuit is initiated while they are on active duty.
  • Unfair lending practices. If your mortgage lender violated the law in extending your loan to you, it is a valid defense to a foreclosure lawsuit.
  • Procedural requirements. You may be able to defend a foreclosure suit if the lender failed to follow certain procedural requirements.
  • Personal bankruptcy. When you file a bankruptcy, all collection efforts against you (including the foreclosure) must come to a stop. This may only provide temporary relief, but it will give you time to understand all of your available options, as well as negotiate with your lender.

Don’t assume you cannot defend a foreclosure lawsuit! Let us review your individual circumstances and help you understand what defenses are available to you. Contact the skilled attorneys at Faro & Crowder to schedule a free consultation.

Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Bankruptcy Options

Hopefully you have read our blog yesterday titled “Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Options.” This part of the blog will examine how filing a personal bankruptcy can affect a foreclosure action.

inverted house

Chapter 7 bankruptcy

As soon as you file your Chapter 7 petition, the automatic stay goes into effect. The stay prohibits any further collection activity against you, including the foreclosure. However, the foreclosure is only temporarily halted. At a minimum, it is additional time that you and your family can stay in the home. If the lender is unwilling to work with you, it will file a motion for relief from the automatic stay. If the court grants the motion, the lender will be allowed to proceed with the foreclosure. Any liability you may have for a deficiency balance remaining after the foreclosure sale can be discharged or eliminated in your bankruptcy. It should also be noted that if you have no equity in your home and you plan to surrender it, filing a Chapter 7 provides you the ability to avoid the tax consequences associated with mortgage forgiveness.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

The Chapter 13 process allows a debtor to restructure debt in a repayment plan. A Chapter 13 plan lasts three to five years and it must be approved by the bankruptcy court. You can include all of your creditors (including your mortgage lender) and make smaller monthly payments that the trustee distributes to each of your creditors according to the terms of the plan. Additionally, if you are past due on mortgage payments, your plan can provide for small payments to cure your delinquency. As long as you are making your timely monthly plan payments, the foreclosure action is halted. You may also be able to modify your mortgage permanently through the mortgage modification mediation program, which has a proven track record of successfully modifying mortgages to keep people in their homes.

Bankruptcy can be the difference between losing your home in foreclosure and obtaining a fresh financial start. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, contact us for a free consultation.

Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Options

Housing Crisis

When you are past due on your mortgage and your lender is threatening foreclosure, it can be overwhelming. You may be wondering what you can do to try to save your home. While no two cases are identical, most homeowners have several options available to them. Below are a few actions you may want to consider, but it is important that you confer with an experienced attorney to discuss which option is best for you.

Defend the foreclosure action

Many individuals do not realize that they can fight a foreclosure action. There are numerous defenses that may be available to you, including the lender having improper documentation to support the lawsuit. You may also be able to challenge unconscionable mortgage terms or unfair lending practices. There are numerous other possible defenses and we can help you explore all of them. If you are an active military member, you have special defenses available to you. In many cases, we can help you obtain a waiver of the deficiency balance, extend the sale date and even cash in exchange for your keys. If a settlement cannot be reached, we will take your case to trial.

Mortgage modification

Modifying your mortgage can provide significant financial assistance by providing you with more beneficial terms. Each lender has their own way of handling mortgage modifications and the process can be difficult, so it is important to seek assistance from an attorney experienced in handling modifications. One of the most significant factors is whether you have equity in your property because your mortgage lender is more likely to agree to a modification if the lender stands to lose money in a foreclosure. If you have equity in your home, the lender is more likely to make a profit or at least break even in a foreclosure. Mortgage modification can be obtained directly with the lender, however, success rates are exponentially higher in the context of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Short sale

If you are willing to sell your house, a short sale may be a good option. The short sale process involves the homeowner obtaining permission from the lender to sell the property for less than what is owed on the mortgage loan. There are several obstacles that must be overcome to successfully close a short sale, so having a knowledgeable attorney on your side can be extremely helpful. If the bank has not agreed to waive the deficiency, a short sale may not be in the borrower’s best interests. Once the property has been sold, the borrower has no leverage to obtain a waiver of deficiency. If you are attempting a short sale without the advice of an attorney, particularly if you are relying on a real estate agent, remember that there may be a conflict of interest. The borrower obtains no benefit from a short sale with no waiver of deficiency. When the bank, usually at the last minute, refuses to waive the deficiency in writing, the real estate agent will often pressure the borrower to move forward anyway, claiming that the bank will be more likely to waive the deficiency after the short sale. Once the short sale has gone through there is no incentive for the bank to waive the deficiency. If the short sale does not close, however, the real estate agent gets no commission. This is not said to be critical of real estate agents, commissions are how they get paid for what they do. However, a real estate agent’s job is to put a buyer and seller together, not to solve a defaulting borrower’s financial problems.

If you have questions regarding how to handle a foreclosure, Contact us for a free consultation.

What YOU Need to Know About Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments

Many homeowners that contact us for help with their foreclosure action do not understand how or when a deficiency judgment applies to them. If you are “underwater” on your home and considering a short sale, offering a deed in lieu of foreclosure or defending a foreclosure action, it is imperative that you understand how deficiency judgments work because it can apply in one of these situations.

Home being sold

A deficiency is the amount that is left due and owing after your home or other property has been sold. Pursuant to the promissory note you signed, it is likely that your lender has the legal right to pursue a deficiency judgment against you because you legally obligated yourself to pay the full amount. However, whether or not the lender decides to pursue the deficiency is another matter.

We have had considerable success in defending foreclosure actions and/or reaching a settlement. We frequently are able to negotiate with a lender to waive their right to collect the deficiency. Of course, the lender does have the ability to report the cancelled debt to the IRS as potentially taxable 1099 income.

When is a lender likely to pursue a deficiency judgment? There are numerous factors that play into a lender’s decision. If there is private mortgage insurance (PMI) involved, the lender will look to the insurance company to be made whole. Insurance companies do not pay the balance of a claim if the insured has agreed to accept less, so if PMI is involved, the lender is more likely to pursue a deficiency judgment.

In Florida, a lender has one year from the date of the foreclosure sale to seek a deficiency judgment based upon the foreclosure action.

If you have questions regarding foreclosures and deficiency judgments, call the knowledgeable attorneys at Faro & Crowder to schedule a free consultation.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you have been served with a deficiency judgment, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Bankruptcy or Short Sale: Which is better?

If you are a homeowner struggling to pay your mortgage, it is important to consider all of your debt relief options. Two options you should educate yourself about are filing for bankruptcy and short sales.

A short sale is the process that permits you to sell your house for a lower amount than what you owe on your mortgage loan. The sale proceeds are used to pay a large portion of your mortgage debt, but the lender is still “short” or owed money after the transaction has been completed.

In deciding whether filing a bankruptcy or pursuing a short sale is more beneficial for you, there are numerous factors to consider. Below are a few things to think about:

  • Time. The short sale process can be complicated and very time-consuming. You must obtain your mortgage lender’s approval to pursue a short sale and many lenders take a long time to review the documentation and provide the necessary approvals. Also, there is no assurance that your short sale will close. If you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case, you are provided instant relief from your creditors because the automatic stay prohibits any further collection efforts against you while your bankruptcy is pending. Once you obtain your discharge order, you eliminate most, if not all, of your debt.
  • Deficiency balance. In a short sale, there is always a deficiency balance remaining on your mortgage after the sale of your home. Thus, it is vital to determine in advance whether or not your lender will waive the right to collect the deficiency balance as part of the short sale agreement. If not, you will remain liable to pay the remaining amount. In a bankruptcy case, you can eliminate the deficiency balance after the short sale or foreclosure of your home.
  • Total debt. If you have a significant amount of debt in addition to your mortgage, such as medical bills or credit card debt, a short sale might not be the best option. However, if your mortgage loan is the cause of your financial troubles, a short sale could be a good solution. Filing a bankruptcy is the most comprehensive means for dealing with numerous different types of debt at one time. All of your creditors are included in a bankruptcy, so you are able to obtain a fresh financial start at the conclusion of your case.

If you are interested in learning whether a short sale or bankruptcy is the best option for you, contact us for a free consultation.

Lear Company Saves Veteran from Florida Foreclosure

It is always uplifting to hear stories about corporate America taking time to care about the little guy. We recently came across such a story about some Lear Capital business executives out of Los Angeles who paid the fines being assessed against a Florida homeowner. The homeowner, who was also a veteran, was facing foreclosure on his home for displaying an American flag on his front steps.

The 73-year old Air Force veteran living in Jacksonville was being fined thousands of dollars by his homeowners association. In fact, the association had even placed a lien on his home because the veteran refused to take down an American flag displayed in the front of his house. The veteran was current on his homeowner’s association dues, but his payments were being used to pay the fines instead of the dues, which resulted in the lien being placed on his home.

The flag was a small 17-by-12 inch flag that was placed in a flower pot on his porch which violated an ordinance that planters are to be used for plants and flowers only. The homeowner’s association claims that American flags can be flown in their community, but only if proper flag etiquette is followed.

The CEO of Lear Capital, Scott Carter, and Lear Capital founder, Kevin DeMerritt, wanted to help when they heard about the veteran’s situation. They paid the $8,000 the homeowner owed plus an additional $2,500 for tax adjustments.

What is a seemingly small amount to pay by a large corporation was a significant amount for the homeowner. The veteran and Lear Capital believe that the American flag is worth fighting for, and we just wanted to share their story with you.

Contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you with your legal needs.

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