One Palm Beach neighbor borrowed more than just a cup of sugar. When Nathalie Heil noticed that the house next door was empty after it foreclosed, she posted an online ad offering the property for rent. Heil found some unsuspecting tenants, and had been raking in $1,500 a month in rent since July — totaling more than $13,000 in ill-gotten gains. When the property’s manager discovered the scam, she contacted the police. Heil was charged with grand theft and fraud.
Foreclosures have reached epidemic proportions in Florida. In fact, Florida currently has the highest rate of foreclosure in the county — more than double the national average. In 2012, one in every 32 Florida homes received a notice of default, auction or repossession.
If you’re falling behind on your mortgage payments, a loan modification may be the solution to save your home from foreclosure. A loan modification is a homeowner’s attempt to change the terms of their mortgage. It can result in temporary or permanent changes to the interest rate, terms of the loan, monthly payments or a reduction in the principle owed to the bank.
To help homeowners in crisis, the federal government initiated the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). If you are employed, but are still struggling to make your mortgage payments, HAMP can lower your monthly payments, and even make them sustainable on a long-term basis.
To find out if you qualify for HAMP, you can generate a Real Estate Services and Technology Report (REST report). The REST report uses your personal information, property details and mortgage payment data to determine your HAMP eligibility. If your REST report says you qualify, you can send the generated report, and the supporting documentation, to your lender when applying for a loan modification under HAMP. The REST report can be especially useful if a lender refuses your modification request.
However, when attempting a loan modification, it is also important to have legal representation. Foreclosure can be a lengthy and expensive process, and a loan modification attorney — particularly one who understands the legal process and has extensive negotiation skills — can save time, effort and money.
If you’re facing harsh financial times, you may need an experienced loan modification attorney. Don’t let your family suffer the traumatic experience of a home foreclosure.