COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Emergency Mortgage Relief Could Extend Through 2022

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of homeowners have benefited from the mortgage relief programs offered by the federal government, and some private lenders.  Now that a year has passed, approximately 2.5 million homeowners are still enrolled in some sort of mortgage relief program, whether it be payment suspension or mortgage forbearance, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 

It is for this reason that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to extend these provisions and programs further into the future to ensure that these homeowners are not forced into foreclosure.  

Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

How to Save Your Home from Foreclosure in Florida

Many Americans have been able to utilize the federal and state mortgage foreclosure moratoriums during the COVID-19 crisis to stay in their homes. But a record number of homeowners have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. According to statistics from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the number of Americans who have fallen three or more months behind on their mortgage payments increased by 250 percent in 2020, reaching a record of over two million households nationwide. These figures have not been seen since the Great Recession.  

It is estimated that the total amount owed is nearly $90 billion in deferred principal, interest, insurance, and tax payments. Financial analysts predict that the nation will soon see a wave of foreclosure lawsuits hitting the court system. However, it is possible for a consumer to stop the process from getting out of control and allow the individual to stay in his or her home.  

The first step should always be for the homeowner to reach out to his or her mortgage lender. Pursuing a foreclosure costs the lender money. In fact, they end up losing more money through that process than they would gain if they worked on a deal with the homeowner to stay in the home, which is why so many of them are more than willing to negotiate 

Many mortgage lenders are offering loan deferral programs or are either lowering or deferring interest payments for a temporary period. They may also be willing to waive late fees and penalties. The key is the homeowner needs to ask, first. The lender is not going to proactively reach out to the homeowner to see if he or she needs assistance. Ultimately, it is up to the homeowner to request this.

If the consumer has already reached out to the lender and is not able to realistically catch up on payments and late fees, it may be best to sell the property to pay back what is owed. For this plan to truly succeed, the borrower needs to price the property to sell. The longer the home stays on the market, the longer the homeowner will be behind on his or her payments, making the home even more difficult to sell.   

While the home is in default or foreclosure, the homeowner will likely be receiving mail from the court or lender regarding important dates and opportunities to make a deal on his or her payments. It is extremely important that all mail related to the home be opened immediately, be read, and if a response is required, be responded to quickly. The last thing the homeowner wants to do is miss an important court date or fail to take advantage of an opportunity if the lender is offering lower payments or a deal that could allow the person to remain in his or her home 

Lastly, to keep the home, it is important to continue making mortgage payments, if possible. Many people will take the idea of a moratorium and assume it means he or she does not have to pay on the mortgage debt during that periodThe problem is, during a moratorium, mortgage bills continue to incur, and if payments are not made, the homeowner will fall behind even more than he or she was at the start of the moratorium. The mortgage bill is arguably one of the most important payments the homeowner makes, even above other bills or debts, such as credit cards or medical debt.

Filing for bankruptcy can help. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when someone is facing foreclosure and is in the middle of a major financial crisis, bankruptcy can be a viable option to help save that person’s home. Ultimately, it depends on your specific financial situation and the type of bankruptcy you file – but bankruptcy can be used as a tool to help keep your home.

The Power of the Automatic Stay

If your home is already set for a foreclosure sale, you may be asking, “how can I make it stop?” Filing for bankruptcy can put a stop to the process or at the very least postpone it. As soon as a petition for bankruptcy is filed, the court issues an order called an “automatic stay,” which puts an immediate halt to all collection activities that were happening to the homeowner before the petition was filed. This automatic stay also applies to foreclosure cases.  Creditors (including your mortgage lender) must immediately cease collection attempts. Even if the mortgage lender has the home scheduled for a foreclosure sale, the sale will be postponed during a pending bankruptcy.

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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between keeping your home or losing it in foreclosure. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com 

 

Kingcade Garcia McMaken, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Kristina Gonzalez Named Partner at Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A.

The Miami-based bankruptcy and foreclosure defense law firm of Kingcade Garcia McMaken is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristina Gonzalez to the position of Partner with the firm.

“We are delighted to have Kristina become a Partner with the firm. Kristina is an exceptional bankruptcy lawyer and is the perfect fit to support our firm’s growth and positioning as the leading consumer bankruptcy law firm in Miami,” said Timothy S. Kingcade, the firm’s Managing Partner.

Ms. Gonzalez focuses her practice on Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, foreclosure defense, and debt settlement. Kristina represents debtors throughout the bankruptcy process – initiating petitions, guiding debtors through meetings, depositions, and litigation with the trustee and advocating for debtors before the bankruptcy court.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosures

Governor DeSantis Issues Amended Executive Order on Foreclosures and Evictions

The statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has been extended via an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis. However, critics are questioning the language within the order itself as to just what it means for Florida residents facing evictions or foreclosures.

The executive order was signed and announced on July 29. However, the amended language in this new executive order does not prevent all evictions and foreclosures like the previous one did.

Foreclosures

Reverse Mortgages: Thousands of Florida Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure

Thousands of Florida seniors are facing foreclosure, even homelessness due to being stuck in reverse mortgages now going into foreclosure. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), nearly 15,000 Florida seniors out of the 85,000 currently holding reverse mortgages are at risk of losing their homes.

A reverse mortgage is also often referred to as a home-equity conversion mortgage. Reverse mortgage lenders normally target individuals over the age of 62 who are living in homes with larger amounts of equity. The reverse mortgage allows the homeowner to borrow against the equity in his or her home. Instead of monthly mortgage payments, the balance only becomes due when the borrower dies, moves away from the home permanently or sells the home.

Foreclosures

Facing Foreclosure? Here’s When You Actually Have to Move Out in Florida.

When someone receives a foreclosure notice, the first thought that often comes to that person’s mind is the fear of losing their home. A foreclosure notice does not mean that someone is automatically out of his or her home. As a homeowner in Florida, you have rights. It is important that any person in this situation understands clearly what those rights are.

Understanding the Timing

A notice of foreclosure does not mean that it will happen immediately. The homeowner has the legal right to remain in the home until the lender successfully completes all foreclosure procedures and sells the home, which can take several months, depending on the circumstances involved.

Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Foreclosure Rates Reach Pre-Recession Record Low

Good news has come from the housing market involving mortgages and delinquencies across the nation. According to a recent report, the rate of foreclosures and loan delinquencies is now at the lowest it has been since before the 2008 financial crisis.

The report comes from the Data and Analytics division of Black Knight, Inc. and showed that just shy of four percent of mortgages nationwide were delinquent as of 2018, which is down 18 percent from 2017. One word of caution from the report was that it was possible that these figures could be inflated by the after-effects from the 2017 and 2018 hurricanes. The effect could not be too significant, however, since areas that were not impacted by hurricanes were also down 11 percent from 2017. It is anticipated that these rates will decrease even more and could even go lower than they were before the recession.

Mortgages that were seriously delinquent also went down as of the end of 2018. A mortgage is said to be seriously delinquent when the payment is more than 90 days past due. Foreclosure starts, as well as foreclosure sales, were at an 18-year low, according to Black Knight’s reports.

Of all of the states, Colorado reported the lowest serious delinquent rate at 0.37 percent, while Mississippi was at the highest at 3.06 percent. The national foreclosure rate was also down 19 percent over 2018, dropping 0.52 percent from 2017. Even more promising were reports that five states experienced more than 30 percent declines in their foreclosure rates, including New Jersey, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Utah and D.C.

States that reported the highest number of non-current home loans, meaning loan obligations that were in some level of delinquency or were past due, were from southern states, including Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Colorado, North Dakota, Idaho, Washington and Oregon reported the lowest number of non-current loans.

As of the end of 2018, 60,000 loans were in foreclosure to the point where the borrower had not made a payment in over two years. Over 40,000 loans had not received a payment in at least five years. These figures may seem high, but the report also showed that the aged foreclosure inventory rate was dropping, as well.

In fact, foreclosures that were ongoing for five or more years dropped by 35 percent from 2017 to 2018. Interestingly enough, the aged foreclosures seem to be from two states, including New York and Florida. These two states alone claim 40 percent and 20 percent respectively of aged foreclosure loans.

Many borrowers are taking this opportunity to refinance their mortgages. The report indicated that the lower rate of mortgage foreclosures in the last two months alone led to a 50 percent increase in the number of borrowers seeking a refinance on their mortgages.

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Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure, please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Debt Relief, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Phony South Florida “Lawyers” Face Prison Time after Scamming Distressed Homeowners

A number of South Florida homeowners were recent victims to two scam artists, posing as attorneys promising mortgage relief, but instead pocketed the upfront fees they charged.  Joseph Anton Hilton and Adam Todd Forman plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the scheme.

Authorities say the pair operated phony law firms based in Coral Springs, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, FL.  The pair posed as lawyers and even manipulated real attorneys into working on their behalf. They tricked homeowners into paying legal fees in lieu of making mortgage payments. Hilton and Forman targeted homeowners across Florida and in other states, including New Jersey and Ohio, according to authorities.

The Florida victims were from cities including Sunrise, North Palm Beach, Cooper City, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Miramar and Delray Beach.

The Attorney General’s office said the fake law firms had more than 300 clients who could have potentially been harmed.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit, Debt Relief, Foreclosures

Florida Offers Homeowners Facing Foreclosure a Free Assistance Program

According to CoreLogic, Florida had the highest number of completed foreclosures of any state last year, with a total of 57,000 foreclosed homes. South Florida led the state with 9,603 in September alone. As a result, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation is offering a free statewide assistance program designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure called the Foreclosure Counseling Program.

The program provides struggling homeowners with one-on-one counseling and financial education services. Residents in all 67 counties are eligible.

“Foreclosure is still an issue facing thousands of homeowners in every county of our state,” said Florida Housing Communications Director Cecka Rose Green. “As a participant in the FCP, homeowners can expect to receive extensive housing and financial counseling services that can help them save their homes and become more financially stable.”

The Florida Legislature allocated $10 million from the state’s National Mortgage Settlement funds to implement the program. More than 40 agencies are available to assist interested homeowners across the state.

Click here to read more on this story or click here to visit the Florida Housing website for a full list of participating agencies.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Debt Relief, Foreclosures, Timothy Kingcade Posts

New Mortgage Rules Aim to Stop Wrongful Foreclosures

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) approved new rules that will help prevent borrowers from being improperly foreclosed on by their mortgage lenders. The recently approved rules build on the current regulations that were created in the aftermath of the housing bust. The original rules required mortgage lenders to grant certain foreclosure protections to a struggling borrower once over the life of the loan. The new rules will require mortgage lenders to provide protections more than once, offering them to borrowers who make current payments after they have worked out an agreement to avoid foreclosure.

“This change will be particularly helpful for borrowers who obtain a permanent loan modification and later suffer an unrelated hardship – such as the loss of a job or the death of a family member – that could otherwise cause them to face foreclosure,” the CFPB said in a statement outlining the new rules.

In addition, the rules expand surviving family members’ protections and require mortgage lenders to give borrowers who have filed bankruptcy information about possible options. The rules also prohibit servicers from taking legal steps once borrowers have completed loss mitigation applications.

The rules come after a June report from the CFPB revealed that some servicers were giving homeowners wrong or outdated information or no information at all.

Click here for more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.