The home foreclosure process is very detailed and can be a lengthy legal process. After the backlog within the court system in Florida and elsewhere created by the recession, the home foreclosure process went past the statute of limitations for some. The banks’ failure to initiate a home foreclosure proceeding or finish the process in the allotted amount of time has led to a unique legal conundrum as some homeowners are still in homes they have not paid toward in years.
One case in Florida has garnered attention recently. The woman involved has missed five years’ worth of mortgage payments. She is still in the house, and the statute of limitations has run out. This means the bank can no longer take action and she essentially gets the house without any more legal repercussions. However, lenders may be able to place a lien on the home to guard against the home being sold without payment of the claimed mortgage balance.
The woman fell behind at the height of the recession. She could not keep up with the mortgage despite various jobs. She sought and agreed to a modification, which took months to receive. She then refused to sign it due to the time it took, and it was also discovered the modification company shut down after various complaints were made. She hired a lawyer to pursue her options, and the legal wrangling resulted in her getting to keep the home.
The complications of home foreclosure can lead a homeowner to pursue any viable option that may help in keeping a home. While a loan modification may be one option and direct negotiations with a lender may be another, legal help may ultimately point a Florida homeowner in the right direction so as to obtain the best solution. For those wishing to keep a home and avoid creditor harassment, certain types of bankruptcy protection may be a step in the right direction.
Source: The New York Times, “Foreclosure to Home Free, as 5-Year Clock Expires“, Michael Corkery, March 29, 2015