If President Obama and Congress fail to come to an agreement about how to resolve the fiscal cliff, the proposed tax hikes and reduced government spending will cause Floridians a whole host of new troubles. First, without action from Congress the Bush tax cuts will expire on January 1st. The result of this is that income taxes reset to levels last seen during the Clinton administration.
For the 3rd month in a row, Florida has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate. One in every 304 Florida homes was in some stage of foreclosure in November – more than twice the national average. Additionally, there are 550,000 Florida homeowners who are over 90 days delinquent but have not yet received default notices. The South Florida metro area alone (Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties) had the nations 5th highest foreclosure rate among communities with populations of at least 200,000.
The past year has seen heavy competition between potential buyers of foreclosed homes. The result of this is that the average price for a foreclosed home in Florida is nearly the same as for a non-distressed home. Nationally, bank owned property price discounts fell to 7.7% from 9.1% a year ago. The smallest foreclosure discount has led potential buyers into bidding wars over the shrinking number of foreclosure properties available for sale.
The number of short sales has more than tripled in the past three years and with that, the opportunity for fraudsters to make quick money has also grown. Known as “flopping”, an underwater seller arranges a short sale with their mortgage holder and then intentionally misleads the bank about the condition of the property in order to sell it for as low of a price as possible to an accomplice.
Over 5,100 foreclosures were filed in South Florida in October, 2012, a 50%+ increase from October, 2011. More than 1/3 of the foreclosures (2,300) came from Miami-Dade County. Broward County had almost 1,800 foreclosures, up from 1,200 last year. Palm Beach County shows 1,100 new foreclosure filings, a big jump from the 757 filings in October 2011.
Broward County is accounting for 42% of all the foreclosure filings so far in 2012, while Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties share the balance of foreclosures at 24.1% and 33.7%.
The number of new foreclosure filings in Palm Beach County increased in October compared with the previous month, as well as with the same time in 2011, according to the latest statistics from the Clerk & Comptroller’s office.
The 1,418 new foreclosures filed in October also pushed Palm Beach County’s foreclosure case total for 2012 to 13,057, exceeding the 12,154 cases filed for all of 2011.
Many Americans today are faced with large amounts of debt. Because of this, many debt settlement companies have popped up promising consumers ways to get out of their debt in a relatively short amount of time and for less money than they actually owe. However, despite all their TV and radio advertisements, the industry admits that the debt settlement schemes fail to work for about 2/3’s of clients.
As a Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Attorney, I am frequently asked how long after Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, or Short Sale a mortgage loan can be obtained. While everyone’s situation is different, the following table is a good overview…
|Chapter 7 Bankruptcy orChapter 11 Bankruptcy||4 Years|
|Chapter 13 Bankruptcy||2 Years from discharge4 Years from dismissal date|
|Multiple Bankruptcy Filings||5 Years if more than 1 filing within the past 7 years|
|Foreclosure||3 – 7 yearsDepending on extenuating circumstances which would require additional documentation|
|Deed-in-Lieu of ForeclosurePre-Foreclosure Sale
|2 years- 80% max LTV ratios4 years- 90% max LTV ratios
3 years from completion date
Greater LTV’s can require up to 7 years
In 2008, Bank of America purchased Countrywide and inherited its mortgage program called the “hustle”. This lawsuit claims that Bank of America continued to operate the hustle, which consisted of rubber-stamping risky home loans and then selling them to government controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, throughout 2009 despite the program’s poor performance. This new lawsuit is very similar to another recently filed where Bank of America settled for one billion dollars in an attempt to make right their past behavior of making poor loans and concealing the defect rates of loans that they sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Following the watershed case of in re: McNeal, in which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that fully unsecured 2nd mortgages, Home Equity Loan Liens, and other junior mortgages may be discharged and stripped off in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, many debtors’ attorneys were unsure of how this ruling would play out with local South Florida judges covering Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties.