A large number of people are getting a non-jury trial order from the court.
If you are among the thousands of South Florida borrowers in Foreclosure that have recently received an order from the court scheduling a non-jury trial, your time and options are definite. South Florida courts have enacted new rules and procedures to push through aging foreclosure cases, which will clear their caseload. But, they send myriad properties into foreclosure sale and potentially flood the market with inventory. In Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties, the court set block groups of trials. This compels both sides to the hearing unless given more time by a judge.
However, judges have been loath to extend or cancel these trial dates. This is in their efforts to clear the backlog of cases from 2008 to 2011. The courts are forcing cases to trial en masse whether they are ready or not. While many are files that could and should be closed, a great deal of these cases also include borrowers who may be on the cusp of recovery and eligibility for modification.
Lenders have got the motivation to approve more short sales and loan modifications. This is after the $25 billion nationwide settlement for foreclosure-related abuses. The settlement, between 49 attorneys general and Bank of America, Ally Financial, Citimortgage, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo requires them to provide mortgage relief to borrowers. But the settlement also includes guidelines for proper foreclosure proceedings. This is giving banks the green light to prosecute their foreclosures and repossess the properties.
Bankruptcy may be the best and only option
For borrowers facing a trial date and in need of more time to prepare a defense, obtain a loan modification, close a short sale, or transition from the property; Bankruptcy may be the best and only option.
The filing of a bankruptcy petition (either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) prior to a foreclosure trial helps. In fact, it helps ensure the cancellation of the trial. And, it perhaps provides time for exploring an alternative. For example, the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of Florida has recently implemented a Loss Mitigation Mediation Program for borrowers in Bankruptcy; those who are seeking a chance to keep their home through one of the several loan modification programs available today. Many borrowers have reportedly received principal reduction, reduced payments, etc., through a similar program. The implementation of the program happened in the Middle District of Florida over a year ago.
If you have questions about foreclosure, loan modification, bankruptcy, or other alternatives, please feel free to call my office at 888-886-0020. Or, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form below.