Halpern Law Firm PLC
1264 Timberlane Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308

 Phone  850-727-5610
Fax        850-807-2587

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 180476
Tallahassee, Florida 32318

Or use our contact form.
Business hours
M-F 9-5:30 By Appt. 

 Halpern Law Firm, PLC               Phone: 850-727-5610
                                                    Attorney & Counselor At Law

Foreclosure Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Foreclosure Defense and Strategic Defaults

Can I walk away from my mortgage?

Many Florida homeowners feel trapped in their home because they now owe more on their mortgage than the house is worth. Some families have resorted to spending their life savings or exhausting their retirement accounts in order to keep up with their mortgage payments. For most homeowners who are underwater on their home loans, it is no longer in their best interest to continue paying on the mortgage. Walking away from a mortgage is called a "Strategic Default." If not done correctly, property owners who engage in a strategic default can end up not only losing the property, but also being held liable for substantial additional money to the lender. Homeowners considering a strategic default should consult with an experienced Florida foreclosure attorney.

How long do I have to answer a foreclosure lawsuit (summons and complaint)?

Homeowners in the state of Florida have only 20 days in which to file a response to a foreclosure lawsuit. After that 20-day period, your options may become very limited. We strongly recommend that you take immediate action to retain an experienced foreclosure defense attorney if you have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit. If you wait too long, you can severely damage your legal rights.

Can hiring an attorney give me a better a chance of avoiding foreclosure?

Yes. An experienced foreclosure defense lawyer will be able to provide you with skilled legal representation that can increase your chances of avoiding foreclosure. A lawyer will also be able to provide you with proactive foreclosure alternatives that may save their home.

What is a "deed in lieu of foreclosure"?

A deed in lieu of foreclosure is an agreement that a borrower makes with their lender that involves the borrower turning over the title of their property to the lender. The lender effectively owns the property at that point, and the borrower can avoid foreclosure proceedings as a result.

What is a deficiency judgment?

A lender can pursue a deficiency judgment against a borrower when the proceeds of a foreclosure sale are not enough to satisfy the amount left over on the borrower's mortgage. The lender usually has up to five years after the foreclosure to seek a deficiency judgment.

What is a strategic default?

When a homeowner decides to stop making their mortgage payments, they are effectively "walking away" from their mortgage: this is called a strategic default. Strategic defaults are usually employed when the person's home is worth less than the balance of their mortgage, or when the person is no longer able to afford their monthly mortgage payments.

What is a demand or acceleration letter?

A demand or acceleration letter is sent by a lender to a homeowner when that homeowner goes into default on their mortgage. The lender must send this letter before they are able to proceed with a foreclosure lawsuit for the entire amount of the loan.

Are there alternatives to foreclosure available?

There are a number of foreclosure alternatives available to homeowners, including short sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and mortgage/loan modifications. An experienced attorney can assist you in pursuing these options and maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

Call The Halpern  Law Firm today  for an informative and comprehensive consultation.
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