Do You Need Help Defending Against a Foreclosure in Florida?
Staying on top of your finances is a major problem for many people in today’s economic climate. One of the payments people often struggle with is the mortgage. Failure to make your mortgage payments can result in foreclosure. If you’re in danger of foreclosure, it’s important to speak with a West Palm Beach foreclosure defense attorney right away. At the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A., we can help advise you of your specific options.
Under the law in Florida, mortgage foreclosure matters are handled in courts of equity. These courts have the authority to apply principles of equity (fairness) rather than just a Florida legal foreclosure defense. This means a judge has the power to consider whether the bank’s actions would make the foreclosure unfair.
Options to Avoid Foreclosure
Obviously, the best way to avoid foreclosure is to make the payments on time. However, that is not necessarily feasible when emergencies happen or when presented with circumstances beyond your control, like the loss of a job. There are some steps you can take in hopes of resolving the past due amounts. Some of your options include:
- Refinance: When you refinance, you essentially pay off one loan with another one that has different terms. It’s important to make sure you don’t get into another loan that there is a risk of defaulting.
- Home loan modification agreements: This is when you negotiate with your bank to make the payments more affordable. It may be able to change the interest rate, lengthen your loan term, or renegotiate the terms.
- Short Sale: This is when you want to sell, or have to sell, but you are essentially “upside down.” This means you owe more than the house is worth. Banks won’t clear title until it’s paid in full. Negotiating a short sale can be tricky and requires the expertise of a skilled Florida foreclosure defense attorney.
Possible Foreclosure Defenses
There are several contractual defenses you can use in a foreclosure as well. These include:
- Fraud: If there is a way to demonstrate that the home loan was based on fraud due to the lender or its agents, then the foreclosure could fail. This is not easy to prove.
- Statute of Limitations: All civil matters in the state have a certain amount of time where you can bring legal action. After that date, it’s barred by matter of law. This is what’s known as the statute of limitations.
- Legal Default: There are a number of different defenses that fall under legal default, like HOEPA. Under the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act, there are special disclosures required for mortgages that have higher than 8% interest rates. Failure to follow the terms of this act can result in the borrower’s right to rescind the loan and provide a foreclosure defense.
- Unclean Hands Doctrine: This defense involves showing the lender had “unclean hands,” which means that if you can show they were involved in illegal or improper activity, then the action involves “unclean hands.”
Contact a Florida Foreclosure Defense Attorney
To learn more about possible foreclosure defenses, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.