Saturday, August 22, 2009

Florida Foreclosures Up - But There is Help for You


Did you know that almost 1 in 4 Florida home loans are delinquent? Even though most of my real estate business in Destin Florida is short sales, this news has stunned me. According to an article by the Miami Herald, 23% of Florida mortgages, or 807,000 of 3.5 million loans are in foreclosure or have late payments by a month or more.

So, if you live in Destin, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach or Navarre Florida, look up and down your street. If you are out buying groceries in Crestview or Santa Rosa Beach Florida, look at the people in line with you.

Your neighbors, co-workers, gym buddies, friends and aquaintances are part of this group of homeowners who are hurting. They have lost jobs or income. They may not tell you, but how can they not be affected? You do know someone who is behind in their mortgage, don't you?

Or maybe it is you? Don't be ashamed, and please don't be afraid. There is help for you to avoid foreclosure or avoid losing your home. You are not alone.
Your first step, if you are in financial trouble, is to contact your mortgage lender. Your lender may be able to:
Modify your mortgage terms for lower payments by extending the length of the loan
Reduce your mortgage interest rate
Temporarily suspend payments
Allow missed payments to be paid back over time
Decrease your total mortgage amount
If you cannot keep up with your bills contact the Consumer Credit Counseling Service or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Groups like CCCS help people with debt management. They may be able to arrange a plan with your creditors to lower monthly payments and save a dire financial spiral. Organizations that work with consumers to manage debt usually charge a small monthly fee, but only if there is capacity to pay.
If you have already been served a complaint for foreclosure on your Destin, Niceville or Santa Rosa Beach property, it is not too late to see if your lender can help you. If not, seek legal counsel and consider your alternatives.
Finally, a "short sale" may spare you from foreclosure and allow you to sell your home for market value, even if that is less than your mortgage balance. A short sale is better for your future financial future than foreclosure, and you may be able to buy another home in two years or even less. Many lenders allow this option. But don't wait until it is too late.
Take action and pick up the phone today. Be "pro-active", and take care of yourself, your family and your future.

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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