Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Attorneys in Tampa

Helping Relieve Florida Clients from Unsustainable Mortgage Agreements

Not being able to pay your mortgage can be frustrating and embarrassing, especially as missed payments accumulate debt and the threat of foreclosure looms. In many circumstances, the events that led to you being unable to pay your mortgage, like a loss of income, death of a loved one, or significant injury, are completely out of your control. Changes to your financial situation as a result of these difficulties might convince you that your current mortgage agreement is untenable, anyway, and that the best option would be to leave your house for a more affordable location elsewhere.

Still, you are bound by the terms of your current mortgage agreement, even if you know you will miss payments and inevitably fall into foreclosure, which will be an exhausting process that severely damages your credit and consequently your ability to find a new home. A loan modification may not make sense for you, as you do not wish to stay in your current home, and your property’s value may preclude a short sale.

In these scenarios, you may want to consider pursuing a deed in lieu of foreclosure arrangement. In this type of agreement, the homeowner formally relinquishes their rights to the property to the lender – typically your bank or other financial institution – in exchange for being released from the mortgage obligations. This can be advantageous to both borrower and lender in a situation of mortgage default, but the process still requires negotiation and paperwork. Our Tampa deed in lieu of foreclosure lawyers at Cremeens Law Group PLLC can assist you in evaluating whether the arrangement makes strategic sense for your situation and navigating the process from beginning to end.

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When to Pursue a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

If you are a homeowner struggling to keep up with your mortgage as a result of some sort of ongoing financial difficulty and do not anticipate being able to continue to afford your home, you want to avoid foreclosure by all possible means. Not only can this process lead to the sale of your home and eviction, it will cause significant damage to your credit. This in turn will make it more challenging to be approved for a mortgage on a new home.

If you, as the homeowner, wish to stay in the home whose mortgage you are defaulting on, a short pay agreement or loan modification might make sense as methods to avoid foreclosure. A short sale might make more sense for both borrower and lender if the property’s current value is sufficient in covering the mortgage. Also understand that you will likely be unable to facilitate a deed in lieu of foreclosure if you have other liens or a second mortgage taken out on the property.

If you are a lender on a mortgage, a foreclosure should also be avoided if at all possible. The foreclosure is really the last resort on a defaulted mortgage agreement and requires undertaking a resource-consuming, expensive court process. Often, the lender will be stuck with purchasing the foreclosed property at the public auction, leaving them with a property they had no intention of acquiring and carries additional ongoing costs to maintain. A deed in lieu of foreclosure still ends up with the lender controlling the property outright, but it effectively circumvents the costs and resources required of a protracted foreclosure process and allows them to exit a defaulting agreement with fewer monetary losses.

The Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Application

If you determine a deed in lieu of foreclosure is the best strategic move in your position, your first step as a homeowner is requesting an application from your lending institution. This application is extensive and requires the submittal of supporting documentation, with the goal of validating your inability to continue to honor the mortgage agreement.

Some of the documents you will need to include with your deed in lieu of foreclosure application include:

  • Breakdown of current monthly income versus basic living expenses
  • Proof of current income, typically in the form of paystubs
  • Most recent tax returns
  • Affidavit of hardship
  • Most recent bank statements from all active accounts (some will require the last two sets of statements)

The affidavit of hardship is a formal letter explaining the circumstances that led to your present inability to pay. This typically includes the steps you took to attempt to overcome these difficulties, why those alternate methods failed, and why you have no choice but to request a deed in lieu of foreclosure. Hardship has a fairly broad definition and can refer to numerous incidents, including divorce, death of an immediate loved one, loss of job or income, or a serious physical injury or illness.

Remember that each of these documents will be heavily scrutinized by your banking institution and validated against the financial data enclosed with your application. Errors can lead to delays or outright rejection. Our Tampa deed in lieu of foreclosure attorneys have ample experience in helping clients prepare their applications and supporting documents and can help you avoid making damaging mistakes.

Once the lending institution has received an application, they will double check to make sure no other liens or additional mortgages have been undertaken on the property. If the check comes back clean, they may choose to grant the deed in lieu of foreclosure.

If you are facing missed mortgage payments and need a way out, we can help give you the relief you need. Do not wait to call (813) 683-8688 or contact us online.

However, many banks and financial institutions will require that alternate means of foreclosure avoidance be explored before accepting a deed in lieu of foreclosure. For example, many will want to attempt a short sale before moving forward, as that arrangement allows the bank to collect a good portion of the property’s value upfront versus simply releasing the borrower from their obligations.

Many institutions in Florida will also seek to reserve the right to pursue deficiency judgment as part of the deed in lieu agreement. This provision can be dangerous for borrowers, as it allows your lender to seek compensation for the remaining balance, or deficiency, on your mortgage. This dampens or outright defeats the purpose of pursuing a deed in lieu in the first place for many borrowers, and the practice can wreak havoc on the rest of your life. Should a borrower be granted a deficiency judgment by a court, they will be permitted to garnish your wages or even levy your bank accounts to collect what is owed. Experienced Tampa deed in lieu of foreclosure lawyers can help negotiate around both of these common requirements and make sure there are no surprises in the language of the agreement.

Once the application has been approved and an agreement drafted to the parties’ mutual satisfaction, the borrower will sign the “grant deed in lieu of foreclosure,” which officially transfers ownership to the lending institution. The borrower will also sign what is called an “estoppel affidavit,” a legal document validating that the borrower entered into and will honor the terms of the agreement voluntarily. At this point, the lending institution assumes full control of the property, and the previous owner will amicably vacate. Both parties avoid having to experience a grueling foreclosure process, and money is saved on both sides.

Get Assistance with Your Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

Whether you are a borrower or a lender, our legal team at Cremeens Law Group PLLC can assist you in each step of a deed in lieu of foreclosure negotiation. For borrowers, we can assist in preparing your application, drafting your affidavit of hardship, and fiercely negotiating with your lending institution. For lenders, we can review submitted applications, evaluate possible alternatives, and negotiate terms that are both compassionate to the homeowner while preserving the interests of your institution. Either way, our Tampa deed in lieu of foreclosure attorneys are committed to facilitating successful deed in lieu of foreclosure agreements and helping both sides achieve favorable outcomes.

Do not attempt to negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement on your own! Get the help of our team by calling (813) 683-8688 or contacting us online. We offer free initial consultations and services in both English and Spanish.

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What You Can Expect With Us
  • Experience

    Having worked with both consumers and lenders, we have unique insight for how banks work, providing you with the best strategy.

  • Results

    If you hire us, we will be the attorneys that keep you in your home.

  • Affordability

    With payment plans available and without any hidden or extra fees, our goal is to help you budget when you're dealing with financial issues.

  • Communication

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