Volume 3 Number 29
July 17, 2006

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e-mail CFO Tom Gallagher
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With an increase in calls from people regarding foreclosure, the Department of Financial Services is aware of the problems that can occur when cash is tight.  Due to the rise in interest rates and the cost of homeowners insurance, Florida could have a record number of mortgage foreclosures in the next few years.

If you get behind and miss mortgage payments, foreclosure may occur. This is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess (take over) your home. When this happens, you must move out of your house. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued. If that happens, you not only lose your home, you also would owe your lender an additional amount.

Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. So you should avoid foreclosure if possible.

Do not ignore letters from your lender.  If you are having problems making your payments, call or write to your lender's Loss Mitigation Department without delay. Explain your situation and be prepared to provide them with financial information, such as your monthly income and expenses.  Without this information, they may not be able to help.

Stay in your home for now as you may not qualify for assistance if you abandon your property.

Contact a  housing counseling agency. Call (800) 569-4287 or TDD (800) 877-8339 for the housing counseling agency nearest you. These agencies are valuable resources that frequently have information on services and programs offered by government agencies as well as private and community organizations that could help you. The housing counseling agency may also offer credit counseling. These services are usually free of charge.