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Foreclosures still affecting Floridians

Some South Florida homeowners who went through the process of foreclosure during the mid-2000s recession in order to deal with their mortgage issues are now being served with paperwork for deficiency judgments, which is a method of collecting the unpaid portion of a mortgage on a house that was sold at auction by a bank. One might assume that the bank violated the law by waiting so long, but the practice is legal in Florida.

Foreclosure defense attorneys believe there are several reasons why this is happening now. Lenders were not seeking the judgments previously because they were overwhelmed with a backlog of foreclosures. In addition, it made little financial sense for the banks to go after individuals who did not have any money. However, now that the economy is improving, the banks are trying to recoup some of their losses. Florida also recently changed the deadline to file to collect unpaid debts from five years to one year.

This has resulted in individuals who assumed they were done with their foreclosed properties being sued for amounts that can reach tens of thousands of dollars. Records show that at least 300 deficiency judgment lawsuits have been filed in Broward County and another 200 were filed in Miami-Dade County.

Some homeowners who find themselves unable to make their mortgage payments can end up in foreclosure. After the banks reacquire the home, it may sell for much less than the actual amount owed, causing the organizations to try to collect the difference from the former homeowner. A person who is experiencing foreclosure-related issues may want to consult a real estate law attorney. It may be possible, in some cases, to negotiate a settlement for a lesser amount or have the case dismissed.

Source: The Palm Beach Post, "South Florida residents served with second foreclosure nightmare years after home is taken", Kim Miller, August 06, 2014

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