Manual Survival Strategies for Foreclosure

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In that event, please consult with a foreclosure defense attorney and bankruptcy attorney regarding your options. I believe that it is best to find an attorney who is experienced in both areas of law to fully evaluate your options and the order in which things should occur if you are giving up your home. You may find that your realtor, lender, and mortgage broker may all suggest a short sale. A short sale is process where the lender agrees to take less than what is owed for the house once you obtain an offer to purchase. However, we find that most homeowners are not advised that they could be sued for the deficiency judgment the amount still owed on the promissory note and they will likely receive a c from the mortgage company for the amount of the forgiven debt.

You are simply told that if you accept a short sale you will not have a foreclosure on your credit. While maintaining your credit is important, the possibility exists that you could be sued for a deficiency judgment for the unpaid balance owed on the promissory note s and the time to negotiate this is during the short sale process. The IRS treats the forgiven debt as income to you. You would want to weigh your options in this event.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of that was passed on December 20, eliminates the taxation on a primary home for a three year period provided the loan was used to purchase or improve the property and not used to pay off credit card debt or buy a vehicle. It does not waive any deficiency balance owed to the mortgage company and it does not protect you from taxation on forgiven debt on second homes or investment homes. Again, you should obtain competent legal advice to weigh your options.

Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations. Often a refinance is an excellent way to reduce interest payments, catch up on credit card debt, make improvements and obtain some extra spending money. However, there are many situations where a refinance may not be your best option such as:.

If you are considering a refinance, make sure it will be a long term fix to your debt problems or you may be setting yourself up for failure later at a greater expense, such as losing your home altogether. In the current market in , refinances are very hard to obtain and are expected to remain so for at least a few years. Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyers Christie D. Arkovich Home. Arkovich Barbara C.

The Foreclosure Survival Guide: Keep Your House or Walk Away with Money in Your Pocket

Practice Areas. Foreclosure Defense. Foreclosure Defense What should I do if I have received legal papers advising of a foreclosure of my home? Can I fight back or delay the foreclosure? Although you most likely will have to pay your loan back, with a successful defense you can buy precious time and leverage to: Negotiate a work-out or modification with the bank. Sell your home at a short sale Now the HAFA program eliminates requests for promissory notes at closing and deficiency judgments for those who qualify.

Apply for a court ordered repayment plan through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy even if the mortgage company is uncooperative Get rid of credit card debt in a Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy and buy time to catch up on house payments. Get rid of credit card debt to improve debt ratios for modification of mortgage. Negotiate for a written deficiency waiver of the loan balance if you are giving up the house.

Remain in the house for as long as possible without making a mortgage payment in an effort to recoup some of the down payment or loss you have suffered as a result of the real estate market while some may question the morality of this choice, the fact remains there are simply too many houses on the market right now, and leaving yours vacant will hurt everyone due to mildew once the air conditioning is shut off, vandalism, squatters, uncut lawns affecting the neighbors, inviting crime and code violations.

Banks are holding back a tremendous amount of real estate and it is extremely likely that it will be several months and even years before a buyer could be found for your home once the foreclosure is complete. What can I do and how much will it cost? What will a bankruptcy do for me in my foreclosure?

Do I need an attorney? If you suspect the presence of termites on the exterior wood of the home, it should not be taken lightly. Termites can eat away at the wood and your potential profits by causing structural damage to the foreclosure property.

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The gutters around the property are filled with leaves, trash and debris. Not only are clogged gutters unsightly, they can cause major repair problems that will make a home decrease in value. Clogged gutters cause water to flow into the cracks and openings of a foreclosure property. Some of the repair issues that are caused by clogged gutters are:.

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When you see a foreclosure property with clogged gutters, do not take the issue at face value. Clogged gutters can indicate that there are more expensive repairs lurking beneath the surface. The roof of the property is in disrepair. One of the most expensive repairs on a foreclosure property in Florida is the roof.

It may be difficult for the average person to determine whether a roof needs to be replaced. With a little investigative work, you can get a good idea of the condition of the roof of the foreclosure property. A roof that is badly worn can cause structural damage to the home. Unexpected roof repairs can be a potential disaster to your profit margin. The home has a cracked foundation. The cement that surrounds a property can reveal the condition of the house to prospective buyers. For instance, cracked and split bricks are the most obvious signs of a cracked foundation. Another visible sign of a cracked foundation is the window frame has separated from the siding or brick.

To get a good return on your real estate investment in Florida, it is essential that you are able to spot potential foundation issues immediately. The foreclosure property is located in a good city but the wrong neighborhood. Purchasing a foreclosure in a bad location occurs frequently among real estate investors.

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Sometimes a foreclosure deal looks good on paper, but the wrong location can turn a potentially good deal into a hidden foreclosure disaster. Failure to research the neighborhood and the street address of the foreclosure property is a huge mistake. It is such a common occurrence that the issue will be expanded further. Investigate the Location of the Foreclosure in Florida In real estate investing, the location of a property is equally as important as the condition of the property. If a home is in pristine condition, but it is located in an undesirable location, it will be difficult for you to resell or rent it.

Therefore, it is not a good investment. Location determines the future value of the property. Prospective tenants and buyers base their decisions on the location of a property.

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Here are key location features that make a foreclosure property a good investment. Properties located in good school districts attract a wide range of prospective buyers and tenants. People who have children know the best way to save money on education costs is to move into a property that is located in a good school district.

In fact, many prospective buyers and tenants purposely seek out homes in well-respected school districts. A foreclosed property that is located in a less-than-stellar school district can impact the number of people who are interested in the property. The characteristics of the neighborhood are equally as important as the condition of the property. Neighborhoods attract people with various lifestyles and standards.

A neighborhood that is noisy and busy may attract people who loiter or create disturbances. People with these qualities may not be the best prospects for tenants. If you want to attract a more socially responsible pool of prospective tenants, purchase a property in a neighborhood with people who exhibit socially responsible behaviors. If you plan to rent or sell the foreclosure, the property must be located in areas that meet the needs of prospective buyers and tenants. Foreclosure properties that are located near grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, bus stops, gas stations and banks are attractive to prospective buyers and tenants.

You will always have the opportunity to renovate a property to enhance its attractiveness and features. However, you cannot renovate the features of a less-than-desirable neighborhood in which the property is located. For this reason, the wrong location can be a hidden disaster for your real estate investment. Profitability is the goal when you purchase a foreclosure property in Florida.

Properties that are situated in areas with amenities, a close proximity to shopping areas, good school districts and calm conforming areas will offer the greatest return on investment for real estate investors. Plan Multiple Visits to the Neighborhood The atmosphere of a neighborhood can differ greatly on the weekends, at night and during the day. Some neighborhoods are quiet during the day, but they are hotbeds of questionable activity at night and on the weekends.

It is not enough to know what the neighborhood is like when people are not home. You can get the most accurate depiction of a neighborhood on days when most of the residents are home. Here are a few things you should pay close attention to as you observe the activity in the neighborhood. A foreclosure property in Florida and its neighborhood are a package deal. You cannot purchase a property without the neighborhood having a direct impact on your bottom line. Getting an accurate picture of the neighborhood can prevent a hidden foreclosure disaster.

Research Criminal Activity in the Neighborhood An investment property that is located in a Florida neighborhood that is prone to criminal activities can waste your time and money. You can eliminate the hassles of purchasing a property in a crime-ridden neighborhood by researching the crime statistics before the county foreclosure auction date.

A convenient way to research the crime statistics of a neighborhood is by conducting research on the internet. Popular online sites such as Family Watchdog and CrimeReports can give you up-to-date information about sex offenders, robberies, break-ins and violent crimes. Another way to find accurate information about crimes in prospective neighborhoods is to contact the local police station in the area. Law enforcement officers can provide you with information about the latest crime statistics near the Florida foreclosure property.

Many local police departments maintain websites that provide current information about crime data and statistics. The neighbors who live near the foreclosure are good resources for information about criminal activity in the neighborhood. In some instances, they can provide you with information about crimes that has not been reported to law enforcement officials. Nothing contributes to a hidden foreclosure disaster like criminal activity in a neighborhood.

The following is a guest post by Jessica Bosarii. She writes for Billeater. You can read about home finance and mortgage at the site. I marvel at how my husband and I have managed to make our marriage work over the past 10 years. Our shared pain, brought about from the recession, has turned two people who were constantly at odds into one couple who shared a deeper love and respect for each other. I reluctantly agreed to the purchase. He presented this move as something he needed to do. Being newly married, I did not have the confidence to hold my ground on our very affordable mortgage. I acquiesced only after much fretting and fighting.

And at first things were fine. I expected to have some difficulty. We had to live in a poorly insulated house for about a year that felt like living in a Maine log cabin. The remodeling process was difficult and frustrating, especially with a toddler to raise. And having to live in three different temporary locations over six months while the work was being done, we fought. Boy did we fight. When the remodel was complete, it seemed that everything might be okay. But I forgot how opposite we are.

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My husband likes to always be striving for bigger and better challenges. I like to just chill and try to be as happy and satisfied as I can, regardless of circumstances. I just want to live simply and make enough to get by. He gets excited by challenges that can result in big payoffs. Of course, you need to take big risks to get big rewards, and those risks can also lead to huge debts. After settling into the house, it became clear that we had bitten off more than we could chew. Rather than making the house just big enough for our son and us, we made it into a four-bedroom. The cost of maintaining such a large home was huge.

Year after year I approached my husband about our budget not working…we were getting further behind every year. He believed I was just being anxious and everything was fine. Showing him the numbers was no help. Offering to split our finances was no help. Nothing worked. So when we found a remodeling project on the same street where we lived, we both agreed to it right away. I thought that the profit would allow us to pay down our mortgage to a more manageable level, letting us have a manageable budget.

I thought he wanted it for the same reason too, but it turned out that he just wanted the challenge.

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He had dollar signs in his eyes. Despite this, things started out well. We agreed to make minimal improvements to the house to make it salable, turn it around quickly and use the profit to pay down our mortgage.