Many Florida homeowners are very concerned about the current state of the Florida economy and the housing market. Many are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in their homes, even if it means struggling to pay their mortgages on underwater homes.

Recently, an event was held offering Florida homeowners the opportunity to try to obtain loan modifications on their mortgages. For some, the news was good, but for most, the wait in line was not a success.

People lined up in order to apply for help from the Help for Homeowners Community Event sponsored by the federal Making Home Affordable Program. After registering, Florida homeowners were given the opportunity to meet with loan officers in the hopes of obtaining a loan modification.

Most of the people who attended the event are unemployed. As a result, they typically do not qualify for the loan modification programs because they do not have enough income. From the bank’s point of view, changing the mortgage payment will not help jobless Florida homeowners, because they have no money to make any payment.

Many homeowners have stood in these types of lines before, applying for programs and hoping for relief from their loans. The question remains: what can these homeowners do? Is their situation hopeless?

The answer is no. There are other programs that Florida homeowners can apply for, such as Florida’s Hardest Hit program, and the new program for unemployed homeowners that we discussed in a previous post.

Another option that Florida residents should consider is filing for personal bankruptcy. Filing either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy will prevent a bank from immediately foreclosing on a home. It may also give a homeowner leverage to negotiate with the bank about a mortgage modification.

Chapter 13 may be particularly helpful for unemployed homeowners who have become far behind on their mortgage payments. While bankruptcy can be quite complex, it is certainly an option that Florida homeowners should consider in their quest to save their home.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Hundreds in Hollywood wait in line for help to save their homes,” Donna Gehrke-White, 11 July 2011