Although by many indications the economy is still booming, there are some signs that trouble is brewing in Florida's real estate market.
A previous post on this blog talked about an unusual foreclosure action in which a municipality is foreclosing on a piece of property because of unpaid fines. This is just one example of a situation in which a foreclosure involves a lien that is not a mortgage. While most foreclosures involve mortgages that have fallen delinquent, there are in fact many other ways in which a person or business can obtain a lien over a piece of property.
Falling behind on mortgage payments is the most obvious cause of foreclosure. But, a 69-year-old homeowner in Dunedin is engaged in a foreclosure defense against that city's code enforcement board. It is trying to foreclose on his home because he accrued $30,000 in unpaid fines for uncut grass since 2018.
There are occasions in which a Coral Springs, Florida, family can legally fight off the foreclosure of their home. Many banks and other lending institutions are not always careful about following this state's foreclosure laws and related legal provisions. In certain cases, their lack of attention to detail can stop or at least slow down a foreclosure.
Mortgage borrowers should guard against mortgage scams, which can mislead them into entering loans that are difficult to repay or ultimately jeopardize their foreclosure defense. High interest rates, other credit and closing costs and unclear documents can be financial quicksand. Documents should be carefully read and reviewed. A purchaser should not sign any agreement if there are new terms that were not disclosed to them. Explanations should be provided on any cost, term or condition that is too high or ambiguous.
When individuals in Florida and elsewhere purchase a home, they often do not think about losing the house because they cannot afford it. Whether it is a starter home or a dream home, individuals and families seek to remain in their home until they seek to move or have passed. Unfortunately, financial problems can alter these plans. When financial hardships occur, it can be challenging to navigate these matters. One does not want to think about losing their home; thus, they seek out ways to keep their home while they sort through their financial problems.
A few years ago, half of Florida home mortgages were underwater with homeowners owing more than their home's worth. However, many Florida cities still have a high number of underwater mortgages. Many homeowners with little equity may have to seek foreclosure defense when they struggle paying their mortgage.