Attorney At Law
Central Florida Divorce, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Defense
1. If I am served with papers, what should I do?
You should immediately contact an attorney and go in for an appointment. You have 20 calendar days to file an answer to the complaint for Foreclosure. This means 20 days, not 20 work days. If you do not file an answer within 20 days, you will be defaulted and will not be able to file an answer unless the default is lifted. Even if you do not believe the home can be saved, there may be reasons for filing an Answer. The number one reason is that you may be able to stay in the house for a very long time without making any further mortgage payments. Sometimes you are able to stay in your home without making a mortgage payment for up to 2 years.
2. If a foreclosure is filed, how much time do I have before I am required to move out of the house?
This varies. The least amount of time will probably be in the neighborhood of 6 months and the longest would be in excess of one year. There are numerous things that can be done to delay the Foreclosure final judgment. When a final judgment is entered, you will be required to move from the property within 10 days or so.
3. Can the mortgage be reinstated or modified?
Sometimes, it is possible to reinstate the mortgage and it is sometimes possible to modify the terms of the mortgage. Depending upon the equities of the situation, you may be able to have the mortgage company place the delinquent mortgage payments on the back of the loan and you may also be able to modify the interest rate. This depends upon the lender and the specifics of your situation. It is very difficult to accomplish either of these if the value of the property is significantly less than the amount of the mortgage.
4. Other Options
Other options may include a short sale, where the property is sold for less than the outstanding balance of the mortgage; a deed in lieu, where the property is deeded to the mortgage company, or a judgment being taken against you and negotiating a small payment to satisfy same.
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Charles A. Dehlinger
260 Maitland Ave. Suite 1500
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701