When people face foreclosure here in Central Florida, they may have options to save their homes before it is too late. From refinancing, to short selling the home, to quit claiming to an investor, there are many decisions to consider when facing a foreclosure notice. Many of these options come with serious legal and tax hazards, and it is thus the better decision for many to stop foreclosure instead with an emergency bankruptcy petition.

Unfortunately, when someone in Orlando receives a foreclosure notice there may be a lot more at stake than just their home. This is because there are a lot of mortgage-related scams that may come into the picture, and additionally buyers and investors may learn about the pending foreclosure and offer the homeowner a low-ball buying price. It can be very difficult for homeowners to know how to handle these situations, and many real estate professionals are worried that a new public listing of foreclosure properties could worsen things for these homeowners.

Zillow, a real estate website, recently moved to display a database of homes that are not yet for sale but are in foreclosure. Although this information has always been public, it has previously not been readily available to the public. Many critics are worried that this might be a violation of homeowners’ privacy–many of whom might be filing for bankruptcy, or taking another step to avoid foreclosure.

By publishing this information, many fear that Zillow is opening the doors for mortgage-related scammers to target vulnerable homeowners.

This should be a reminder to homeowners in Central Florida that if they are facing foreclosure, it is important to research their options in order to make the best out of a difficult situation. Many homeowners are able to keep their homes and catch up on their payments by filing for bankruptcy. However, this may not work for everyone and it is a complicated process for which it is important to seek legal counsel to ensure the best possible result.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Zillow now lists homes in foreclosure,” Alejandro Lazo, Oct. 25, 2012