“Florida is leading the nation in foreclosure starts. Orlando’s numbers are considered a “hot spot” with 1 in every 2,049 housing units starting the foreclosure process as of May 2023.” (ATTOMDATA May 2023)
If you ask, “How can this be?” “My mortgage rate is less than the current rates.”
On August 5th, 2021, a 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) was 2.77%. August 31st, 2023, the same rate is 7.18%. Not only have mortgage rates gone up, but so have other interest rates. While you might have a fixed mortgage rate, other interest rates are not fixed, causing you to pay more for any credit. Prices have increased for everything during the same time period. This has left you with less spending money. According to leading experts, interest rates are not coming down any time soon.
A pre-foreclosure start is when you, as a homeowner, receive a notice from your lender that you’ve missed a payment within the last 30 days. In Florida, the pre-foreclosure phase is generally 30-120 days. If you receive a notice from your lender, DO NOT WAIT TO CONTACT YOUR LENDER! Waiting, hoping they won’t proceed, creates difficulty in working to resolve. Be open and honest with the lender in explaining your situation. At the same time, it might be best to contact your favorite Realtor®. Your ability to pay your monthly mortgage timely is dependent upon your monthly income. If you have had a change in your income, you might be able to request forbearance, where you temporarily pause or reduce your monthly mortgage. Please know this is not forever. You will still need to pay your monthly mortgage payment.
After discussing with your favorite Realtor® and your lender, you might find out you are not able to continue paying and need to evaluate other options. Again, time is of the essence! Do not wait! The clock is ticking, and you’ll need as much time on the clock as possible. Your lender will let you know what your payoff is as of a specific date. Speaking with your Realtor®, you might find that your home has appreciated in value, exceeding what is owed to the lender. You still have options. Selling might not be what you had hoped for. However, it is better to sell and pay off your mortgage than to go into foreclosure and end up with nothing and the foreclosure going on your credit rating.
Talk to a real estate professional who can give you options that won’t hurt your credit.
Ignoring your problem will only hurt you in the end. I read the article today with my comment.
Eric Mock is an Apopka resident, a member of the Apopka Planning Commission, and a realtor at You Have Realty.