The news can be tough to follow, from the violence in Maryland to the earthquake in Nepal. The good news unfortunately seems to get buried in small articles and clips. However, it is there fore those who look. The past few weeks have yielded good news for homeowners and tenants alike, in different forms.
As discussed in earlier blogs, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA) expired at the start of this year. The PTFA protected tenants from being immediately evicted if the home they are living is foreclosed upon. The PTFA allowed tenants to stay for at least 90 days, or if certain conditions were met, through the end of their lease.
On the federal level, no extension or new tenant rights law has developed any momentum. Some states have adopted their own tenant rights laws. Until recently, Florida was not one of them. Good news for tenants, that is soon to change. Late last week, a bill that will give tenants 30 days to vacate following foreclosure passed. The initially proposed bill would have provided stronger protections, more akin to the federal law and have provided tenants 90 days to vacate.
For homeowners, the good news comes in the form of a consistently improving economy and housing market in the state. Though a few scary headlines resulted when it was reported that foreclosures were up in March from the year before, the big picture is that foreclosures in Florida are still reported down 27% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year.
These improvements mean that: homeowners are increasingly able to continue meeting their mortgage obligations and the number of underwater homes (value is less than the amount owed) is decreasing. This should result in fewer homeowners facing foreclosure. The good news is tempered a bit by the fact that Florida is still leading the nation in foreclosures and some homeowners continue to struggle to pay their mortgages.
An increasing number of homeowners find themselves in an in-between position, where they are financially able to make mortgage payments but not in the amount required or as consistently as required. As discussed in earlier blogs, there are alternatives to foreclosure like mortgage modification, short sales, or deeds in lieu of foreclosure.
These alternatives are often particularly well suited for those in an in between position and can often help a homeowner either avoid losing their home or avoid the detrimental financial consequences of a foreclosure. All involve negotiating with your lender and there can involve pitfalls for the unwary. For example, when negotiating a deed in lieu of foreclosure, it is imperative that the agreement does not allow the lender to pursue recovery of a deficiency judgment from you.
The trick is to act before the lender files foreclosure. Not sure how to do that? Or what the best option for you is? Want to know more about tenant rights in foreclosure? Contact the Jacksonville bankruptcy attorneys at Adam Law Group today. Those are exactly the type of questions that we’re here to answer.