For a few years during the recession, the banks handling many home loans across the country became the target of legitimate complaints related to how they handled mortgage issues. Many homeowners in Florida and elsewhere faced home foreclosure, even as they were attempting to get help via loan modifications or other means. Due the unfair and illegal practices, a major settlement has reached and new agreements have been put in place. However, despite the settlement and agreement, there are still many complaints about how mortgages and the home foreclosure processes are handled.
The settlement was in excess of $20 billion. Roughly half of the money was used to help homeowners who were underwater and at risk for default. Other parts of the settlement were used to help with programs that aimed to help those who had to short sell and for service members who had no choice but to sell at a loss.
One measure to help ease complaints and ease the process of seeking help has been to connect homeowners with one lender representative to talk to when they need information. All options must now be pursued before the foreclosure process starts. There are also now restrictions that prevent banks from foreclosing when the homeowner is trying for a loan modification.
The new provisions will protect Florida homeowners more so than in the past and give them a means of filing a complaint when one is warranted. However, those who are still struggling to avoid home foreclosure may remain leery or unsure of the best way to keep their home. Knowing options, such as bankruptcy protection as a means of handling debt and keeping a home, can help homeowners avoid the pitfalls of assuming there is no other way aside from home foreclosure.
Source: flcourier.com, “Mortgage complaints grow”, Charlene Crowell, April 11, 2014