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Tampa Foreclosure Attorney

Are you falling behind on mortgage payments?
Filing for bankruptcy may stop home foreclosure and help you keep most of you property.


Florida is a lien theory state which means that your property acts as security for the underlying loan. The document that places the lien on the property is known as your mortgage. A mortgage is filed as evidence of the debt and terms of repayment, which is set forth in the note.

If you stop making payments on your mortgage and fall seriously behind you could face the risk of foreclosure. Depending on the court schedule, it usually takes approximately 180-200 days to effectuate an uncontested foreclosure. However, this process may be delayed if the borrower contests the action, seeks delays and adjournments of hearings, or files for bankruptcy.

In Florida, the lenders go to court in what is known as a judicial foreclosure proceeding where the court must issue a final judgment of foreclosure. The property is then sold as part of a publicly noticed sale or auction. If you are behind on your mortgage payments and at risk for foreclosure, seek help now. Do not wait. It is best to contact an attorney who can examine your finances, look at your individual situation, and assess your needs to help you determine a plan that is best for you and your family.

Facing foreclosure is one of the toughest times in a person's life as you could be left without a house to live in. If you are already facing foreclosure threat, or if you have already received a foreclosure notice, your situation is dire, but not hopeless. If you are behind on your mortgage payments and at risk for foreclosure, seek help now. Do not wait. It is best to contact an attorney who can examine your finances, look at your individual situation, and assess your needs to help you determine a plan that is best for you and your family.

There are methods and strategies to help you and you can avoid foreclosure.

Stop Foreclosure

During tough economic times, foreclosures and vehicle repossessions are common, leaving many people desperate to save their home, car, and other possessions. Most people do not realize that filing bankruptcy can stop home foreclosure, stop repossession, and help them keep most of their property. If you are falling behind on mortgage payments, car payments, and other debt, you should consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa from Attorneys and Debt Counselors for a free consultation about the legal options available to you.

Federal bankruptcy laws are part of U.S. Code, Title 11. The two main chapters of this code dealing with bankruptcy for consumers are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Either of these chapters may be of assistance if you wish to stop foreclosure, stop repossession, and stop bill collector harassment.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy often provides the best solution for people who want to stop foreclosure, repossession, and bill collector harassment. With a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you will receive an "automatic stay" from the bankruptcy court. An automatic stay forces bill collectors to halt all debt collection efforts, including foreclosure and car repossession. In addition to the automatic stay, you also will receive 3 to 5 years to catch up on your current and past due debt payments. As long as you make your payments as agreed upon in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, foreclosure proceedings, repossessions, and other collection attempts will end.

The other option is a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is a liquidating bankruptcy, meaning that some or all of your property may be sold to pay back your creditors. However, in a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to make some of your property exempt, protecting it from being sold or liquidated. Common exemptions in a Florida Chapter 7 bankruptcy could be your home, vehicle, and certain other personal items.

Both Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies are complex, and mistakes are costly. A Florida bankruptcy lawyer should be your resource for explaining all the options available to you, especially the options that stop foreclosure, stop repossession, stop bill collector harassment, and provide Florida debt negotiation services.

Foreclosure Help

According to RealtyTrac, U.S. home foreclosures increased 112 percent between the first quarters of 2007 and 2008. The Tampa Bay region is one of the hardest hit areas in Florida and the rest of the Country. Obviously, foreclosure help in Tampa, Florida is desperately needed, but many nervous homeowners are not sure where to turn or who to trust. In addition, a lot of people facing foreclosure in Tampa, FL may not realize that a bankruptcy attorney can help them avoid foreclosure.

How can you receive foreclosure help by filing bankruptcy? Through something called an "automatic stay." An automatic stay is issued when you file a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The automatic stay gives you protection against your creditors until the bankruptcy court has time to consider everyone's rights in the case. As long as the automatic stay is in place, your creditors-including your mortgage lender-cannot take action against you. During an automatic stay, you will be protected from collection calls, repossession, and foreclosure.

The foreclosure help you receive from an automatic stay may be limited. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the automatic stay expires when your debts are discharged. This may only take a couple months, and then your mortgage lender would be allowed to continue with the foreclosure of your home.

However, with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the automatic stay remains in effect for the life of your Chapter 13 repayment plan, which could be up to 5 years. As long as you make payments as agreed in the Chapter 13 plan, you can stay in your home and avoid foreclosure. After you are finished making the payments in your Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan, you should be able to keep your home as long as you continue to make mortgage payments.

One final note: do not seek foreclosure help from bankruptcy scam operators. In the Tampa, FL area, you may have seen advertisements targeting people who are having trouble paying their mortgages. Sometimes calling themselves a "foreclosure service" or "mortgage consultant," these scams will ask you to pay your mortgage payments directly to them. They may also ask for the deed to your home. Meanwhile, the scam operator will file a bankruptcy in your name, usually without your knowledge. During the brief time that the fraudulent bankruptcy case stops foreclosure of your home, the bankruptcy scam pockets your money and leaves. This means you could lose your home and the money you paid to the scam, in addition to having a bankruptcy on your record.

If you need foreclosure help in the Tampa, FL area, contact a Tampa bankruptcy lawyer for assistance. Attorneys and Debt Counselors offers a free initial consultation to anyone considering bankruptcy in the Tampa Bay area, including homeowners who may use bankruptcy as a way to help them avoid foreclosure.

Mortgage Modification

Fortunately, the Obama administration's housing plan encourages lenders to modify the mortgages of homeowners who can no longer afford their monthly house payments because of hardship. The definition of hardship includes lost income, increased expenses and other indications of being at risk of default.

There are some qualifications to be eligible for a loan modification, and it's not an easy process but if the borrower qualifies, then the mortgage provider figures out what it will take to decrease the monthly payments to 31 percent of pretax income.

Loan modifications are not always permanent however and most borrowers would see their payments rise again after five years but it could be just what you need to save you from possible foreclosure.

What Is a Short Sale?

For homeowners who can no longer afford to pay their monthly mortgage payments, there are alternatives to bankruptcy or foreclosure . One of those options is called a "short sale." In the simplest of terms a short sale means that the lender is discounting the total loan and accepting less than the amount owed to avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy. For example, let's say you have a mortgage amount of $ 175,000 and you are no longer able to make your monthly payments and are facing a possible foreclosure. A buyer offers the lender a signed contract for $120,000, which is accepted as full payment for the loan. This is a short sale.


One of the reasons banks are allowing people to short sale their homes is because of programs like the Making Homes Affordable program/ Home Affordable Foreclosures Alternative or HAFA. Created by the government helps homeowners sell their undervalued homes waiving all deficiencies and in some cases even provides relocation assistance funds to help them move.

Another reason a bank or mortgage company may accept a short sale is that they do not like excess inventory and bad loans on their books; therefore, if they see an opportunity where they can sell the property without a huge loss, they will most likely do it.

If you are facing foreclosure a short sale may be an option for you. You could possibly avoid the foreclosure process and in a lot of cases the lender will forgive a portion of your current loan. Although this sounds like an easy way out, there is a catch. Short Sales have a high probability of damaging your credit and the lender may not agree to a short sale or to forgive part of the loan. Most lenders will only entertain the idea of a short sale if you are several payments behind or if you have gotten a default notice and they will not always forgive the balance of the loan.

Not all sellers nor all homes qualify for short sales. Contact the lawyers from Attorneys and Debt Counselors today to find out if a short sale may be a viable option for you.

Contact Us Today, We Are here To Help: 813-876-3328

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3019 West Azeele Street, Tampa, Florida 33609 | 1243 South Ridgewood Avenue, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114 | Phone: 813-876-3328
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