Foreclosure Prevention

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Getting Ahead of Foreclosure

Residents who are facing foreclosure and need assistance may find guidance in the following resources. 

Pre-Foreclosure Assistance

The federal government has allocated funding to assist eligible Florida homeowners who owe at least 125% or more on their home than its current market value, commonly referred to as the home being “underwater.” The Florida Hardest-Hit Fund Principal Reduction (HHF-PR) program will provide up to $50,000 to an eligible homeowner(s) to help reduce the principal balance of the first mortgage. The program is available in all 67 counties in the state of Florida.

For more information, visit www.FLHardestHitHelp.org or www.PrincipalReductionflhhf.org/

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Contact the Mortgage Lender/Servicer

The loan servicer is the company that handles collection of payments and the day-to-day tasks involved with other mortgage-related processes like collection and payment of homeowner's insurance and property tax payments. Many servicers understand that individuals and families can face temporary job loss, serious illness, or other major life events that can impact their ability to pay their mortgage. It is important that residents contact their mortgage servicer to explain their situation if they anticipate any difficulty in making their mortgage payment. Many servicers are willing to work with residents if they contact them immediately. Residents should have information prepared for the conversation so that their company is best able to assist them when they call. Check the monthly mortgage billing statement to find out who the mortgage lender is. If contact information isn’t readily available, search for mortgage lenders using the MERS database.

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Alternatives to Foreclosure

There are several alternatives or "work-out solutions" that residents may explore with their lender. If residents can keep their mortgage current, they should do so. But if they find they are unable to make their mortgage payments, residents might qualify for a loan workout option. Residents should check with their lender to see which option may be available. Some of these options may not apply to the home loan if it is not insured by Federal Home Administration (FHA).

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Frequently Asked Questions

The foreclosure process can be overwhelming and many residents have a lot of questions about the process and what comes next. Some of the most common questions and their answers are listed below. 

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Avoid Foreclosure Scams

When residents fall behind on their mortgage, it is very common for them to receive telephone calls, home visits, and direct mail from a foreclosure "rescue" service. Scam artists often target defendants named in public records. The scam artists usually inform residents that they are "foreclosure specialists" or "mortgage specialists," claiming that they will save the home from foreclosure in exchange for a sum of money. Unfortunately, many people pay the scam artist, but find out months later that the company has done nothing to stop the foreclosure, and the house is set to be sold at a sheriff's sale. 

Residents should watch out for handwritten notes that refer to the details of their situation, services telling them not to contact their mortgage servicer, services promising to save their house, and large deposits required upfront.

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