FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – July 30, 2015 – Question: I have been unable to make my mortgage payments for the last four months. I figured I had more time before I had to worry about the lender coming after me. But to my great surprise, I was just served with a foreclosure lawsuit. This was much faster than I expected. Should I be concerned? – Chester
Answer: Yes. You need to take this lawsuit seriously if you want to save your home. A lot has changed in the way the courts have been dealing with foreclosure lawsuits over the past year.
Previously, lenders and the courts were inundated with cases, which resulted in foreclosures dragging on for years. But as time went on, the backlog diminished. Now cases often are measured in months, not years.
In Florida, the state had extra money to set up special foreclosure divisions in which additional staff and senior judges were hired to hear cases. But now the funding has been cut because the foreclosure crisis is winding down.
Lenders, while still working with borrowers, seem to be more particular about offering loan modifications. These changes mean that borrowers who can’t pay need to start trying to work things out with the lender as soon as the problem occurs. People who are served with a lawsuit need to immediately find an attorney who can mount a defense and try to get the lender to work things out.
Simply put, there is no more time to waste.
About the writer: Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He is the chairperson of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is an adjunct professor for the Nova Southeastern University Paralegal Studies program.
The information and materials in this column are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this column is intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
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