Florida Homeowners

JILLSTACI

LoanSafe Member
Jun 30, 2010
61
1
0
Personally I feel there should be a forum specifically for Florida Homeowners.

Most of the threads on these forums deal with homeowners in non-recourse states, or states with limited recourse like Georgia.

There are mortgage horrors particular to Florida which will never be faced by defaulters in other states.
 

Cat Damiano

Mortgage Wars
Sep 10, 2007
10,541
39
48
Colorado
www.loansafe.org
Hi JILLSTACI,


In lieu of a forum dedicated to information for Florida homeowners specifically, you can use this thread as a starter if you like, and I have stickied it to the top of the forum to attract the FL. homeowners. Feel free to start a topic of discussion here.
 

rxmama

LoanSafe Member
Dec 22, 2008
25
0
0
FL Homeowner (CITI/FANNIE primary loan only on Homestead property) in the middle of a SS negotiation (just had BPO done) after >2 years of litigation and no payments. Crossing my fingers for a positive outcome. I'm expecting a big fight with our PMI regarding negotiation of our 100k+ deficiency. I expect to write a small $ check but refuse to sign any type of promisary note at closing and will not agree to anything that doesn't release me from all liability both to the lien and mortgage note.

They can play ball or continue to fight me in court.....for another 2 years while I continue to enjoy and maintain THEIR investment.

I'm too am curious to discuss others' experiences here in the Sunshine State of Judicial FC and Recourse loans. Alright, Florida folks- speak up!
 

laststraw

LoanSafe Member
Mar 12, 2010
208
2
18
Ex-Florida homeowner here. FINALLY short sold my house this year after 30 months of no payments (caused by 14 months of unemployment, major car accident and being $165,000 underwater). This was the third short sale offer I received on the house. In their wisdom, Chase ignored the first offer, which was $60,000 more than the one they accepted, and rejected the second offer.

I hired a lawyer to protect me during the short sale process and have it in writing that the bank will not pursue me for the $100,000+ deficiency. I don't know, however, if Fannie Mae will pursue me for it at some point. My lawyer also checked out the IRS regulations to determine if I'll have to pay taxes on the deficiency amount since I left the state to find a job. Evidently if you can show insolvency, which I take to mean having fewer assets than the total amount of the loan, then the IRS will not pursue you for the taxes on the deficiency. Also, I settled the second mortgage for about 7 percent of the balance.

I feel very, very fortunate to have short sold the house and to have put the nightmare behind me. Initially all I wanted was a fixed rate loan despite being underwater but Chase refused to work with me. I think it's outrageous that the banks treated the 'housing crisis' as business as usual instead of working with people to find reasonable solutions that would benefit families and the economy.

Good luck to all of you Florida homeowners. Unfortunately many of us had no recourse but to walk.
 

morgane_edison

LoanSafe Member
Jan 19, 2012
62
1
0
Florida Legislature prepared to make Florida a Judicial State

Last year with urging by FL Governor Rick Scott, the legislature proposed new bills that eventually failed. Now those bills have been revived, specifically HB213, entitled "The Fair Foreclosure Act". A .pdf of the proposed legislation is attached. HB213 was voted on by a 15-member House Civil Justice Subcommittee last Wednesday, January 25, 2012, where the it was recommended to bring the bill to the floor by a vote of 13 yes, 1 no, and 1 absent (see attached .pdf for vote breakdown by political party and constituency "represented" by county). In essence, this bill would legally allow judges to do what they have already been doing to Floridians with relative impunity in foreclosure proceedings: ignore vast evidence of fraud. It goes one step further that if a homeowner in a foreclosure action as a defendant "wins", banks will specifically not be held financially responsible for reasonable attorney's fees.

There might be a general consensus that living in a non-judicial state poses more risks to those living in a judicial state. Arguments can be made to support both or neither. Imagine what a Florida homeowner will face if their judicial foreclosure laws gave courts the authority to rule as if Florida were a non-judicial state. I think the strongest argument comes from results of decisions in a state's judiciary, primarily New York and Massachusetts. I suppose the argument does not really matter as we live where we live and we all face challenges.

And for the record, our Attorney General Pam Bondi has been a voice for big banks within Florida and in the ongoing investigation of the big banks towards a 50-state settlement. Last week Ms. Bondi publicly chastised CA AG Harris for not agreeing on the $25B settlement. Throughout her term in office, she has not initiated a single indictment or investigation into fraudulent banking practices. This in a state where 45 pct. of properties are underwater; the national average is 22 pct. underwater (latest Politico, CoreLogic stats).
 

jessiereva

LoanSafe Member
Sep 27, 2011
29
0
0
57
After almost 3 years of fighting with Countrywide and then BOA. our home went up for auction on 1/24. ironically, I had been in contact with the bank continous;y. First through Countrywide, who started the fiasco, then BOA took over. With no success with an in house mod, I the started working through NACA. After three denials through them, I field a complaint with the OOP of BOA and faxed all documents to them. After weeks of no response, I contacted the Moan Mod Help Center and purchased a Rest Report and later started working through them. To make a long story short, I got a botched request to pay off my home that didn't pan put. I had no clue that if I requested a payoff letter, that in essence to BOA is saying I no longer want a Mod.After clearing that up by another complaint to the OOP and COC. I was asked to fax in all docs again to BOA & the investor to stop the sale date.I was alos told by NACA they too would be trying to stop the sale but are unable to request a stop more than 14 days from sale date. We sat on pins and needles waiting for the 14th day prior to sale. After eralizing the sale date was still out there. Charlie and the LNHC went to bat trying to stop it. Also the rep at BOA advised he had requested a stop through the BOA attorneys. NACA also was requesting same. Neverthe less, the judge would not allow it. No one purchased the house at auction as no one is going to pay what the Bank wants for it. Apparently things work much differently in Fla. A realtor came out two days later and explained the cash for keys process.BOA called epxlaing a ecission, whcih confuses me. If you are willing to do that then why was the sale not stopped to begin with? I'm really depressed and devistated. Sitting here looking at all the robo-signed documents, having no clue who really owns the note anyway. We received a miniature check from a Countrywide lawsuit a few months ago ans I cant help but feel like we were just robbed. Even the realtor says the bank is just acquiring properties, but over the last year he sgone out to numerous homes and none are being sold.I hope someone puts a stop to this .
 

fvvvvr

LoanSafe Member
Dec 29, 2011
9
0
0
30
What do you suggest we do? I am all for a grassroots effort and am open to any suggestions other members have. Florida is Not a consumer friendly state and I am sickened by what has taken place here (south florida). If there is anyone on this website that can give direction to those of us who are suffering with severly underwater mortgages and rampant mortgage fraud, please let me know. I am too afraid of a default judgment and because of my job, must have a reasonable credit score. Thanks for this forum, it has helped me so very much.
 

morgane_edison

LoanSafe Member
Jan 19, 2012
62
1
0
I will share my opinion in broad terms of two areas: stigma and shift of power to business away from citizens. We need to overcome the stigma that those most affected by the housing and economic crisis experience; we are perceived as deadbeats by our neighbors, family, employers, politicians, judges, etc., regardless of the reason for our extreme financial distress. We are marginalized by the power of big business lobbying every corner of our political system.

There are many more educated in the legal system than I am. Many foreclosure defense attorneys and political activists have blogs trying to inform the general public that we are all victims of the financial industry and trying to shame our government representatives (elected or appointed) into protecting the People. In my opinion, these efforts (as informative as they are) have been impotent to affect change.

What do I suggest we do? We need to build community, like LoanSafe, where we keep hope alive and have empathetic listeners who understand our plight; we must keep hope alive. We need to expand on that hope by sharing our story to as many people as possible through direct communication. During that communication, we need to gently relate our financial distress to that which everyone is feeling: all property values are dropping, groceries cost more, our wages (if we are fortunate enough to have a job) are stagnant. The goal here should be two-fold: share our financial distress and gently educate those people close to us that we are voting people into office against our own financial best interests.

Political activism. There is an upcoming rally in Tallahassee on Thursday February 16, 2012. Go, learn, participate, and share ideas. The .pdf I posted with the votes of the subcommittee to bring HB213 to the full House needs to be researched. For example, there are three representatives from Palm Beach County that voted to proceed with this bill. We/I need to find out how many homes have been foreclosed in PBC, how many are in foreclosure, and the future projected rates of foreclosure. I/We need to connect with people who live in those districts to communicate this information so they can use it to share their displeasure with how their representatives are voting against their interests. I/We need to do that with every district whose representative voted for bringing the bill to the floor. More aggressive political activism would be funding a PAC to lobby our interests and inform the public. We cannot compete with the deep pockets of the entrenched financial industry in Washington D.C. or Tallahassee, but we can make a difference.

We need to maintain balance in how we communicate these issues. Some will shut us out immediately as they have made up their minds that we are degenerate losers and are the cause of all their ills. Just as you fear for your job, moderates do not feel our pain (or realize their own pain) and they just want to go about their lives and seem to be able to shut out the problems of the many. The other main group is sympathetic to our cause but is so overwhelmed with the stress of financial distress they cannot muster the strength to help themselves through politically activist means. We need to gently sway the moderates and those in financial distress to follow the steps outlined above. It is a very precarious balance we must achieve. We cannot be too provocative to alienate but we need to communicate the urgency of our cause, that but for a layoff, illness, etc. they could be in our shoes in the blink of an eye.

For what it is worth, this is my take. Please read my words and let me hear your thoughts.

Fvvvvr regarding your own difficulties, although I do not know all of the specifics of your situation, I do know that it is close to impossible to continue to make payments that you cannot afford on a house significantly underwater. You are going to have to make a business decision whether it is in your best interest to throw good money after bad. There is very little you can do to minimize the damage that decision will have on your credit. It is not legal for an employer to discriminate against a current employee for experiencing financial problems including bankruptcy or foreclosure. However, I know it is not that simple. Employers do consider credit backgrounds prior to making new hires; that is legal.

Let us brainstorm this; it will help the entire LoanSafe community.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
84
48
SF Bay Area CA
Although I'm not a FL property owner, I post this as a caveat about FL law in regards the options afforded a junior lender.

As many of you know, FL affords secured junior lenders the option of either FCing on their loan, or suing the borrower for breach of contract on that loan. FL and MD are the only states I know of that allow a lender to do that.

This can present a bad situation for an owner of property that is encumbered with a junior loan mortgage, and who also owns other assets. Why? Because it is more likely the underwater junior lender will sue and get a judgment that can attach to any and all of the debtor's assets.

That lender will frequently analyze a debtor's credit file to determine what other assets the creditor might own. Then, if it appears the creditor is more likely to recover some $$ owed on its loan, it can sue now in lieu of waiting for years and hoping their junior loan will ever again be in the money.
 

crazyeyes

LoanSafe Member
Mar 6, 2012
40
0
0
It looks like this bill HR 213 is quietly passing the Florida legislature making Florida a judicial state. This is going to put a lot of people on the street who were attempting modifications. Shame on you Florida Republicans.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
84
48
SF Bay Area CA
It looks like this bill HR 213 is quietly passing the Florida legislature making Florida a judicial state. This is going to put a lot of people on the street who were attempting modifications. Shame on you Florida Republicans.
The news today indicated that bill is now dead.
 

crazyeyes

LoanSafe Member
Mar 6, 2012
40
0
0
The news today indicated that bill is now dead.
That's good news if it's true. I googled Florida foreclosure bill and couldn't find anything.. Where did you see it?

I didn't see anything on the website for the group organized against it but it could be too soon.
Florida House Passes HB 213 Florida’s Foreclosure Act 94-17 | Foreclosure Fraud - Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the KnowledgeControversial Foreclosure Bill Overwhelmingly Passes Through FL Senate « CBS Miami
 

morgane_edison

LoanSafe Member
Jan 19, 2012
62
1
0
The Florida Fair Florclosure bills: A Summary

Hi Crazyeyes and Tom:

I thought I would add a bit more to explain the happenings in the FL legislature over the past few months. First, you are absolutely correct: the republicans in FL are engaged in the same nonsense that has gripped our nation's capital. Very little meaningful legislation came out of the 2012 session that ended about midnight on Friday, March 9 with one exception: now it is legal to color the hair of your pets (yellow, green, blue, red, any color) including rabbits, dogs, hamsters, etc. This is the State's Legislature in action. Unfortunately, some despicable bills did become law, but "The Florida Fair Foreclosure Law" was not one of them. Even had it passed, it would have never held up to legal scrutiny.

HB213 passed the full house by a vote of 94 to 17 after going through approximately five subcommittee/committee hearings. The inability to pass the companion bill in the senate is what ended up killing (for now) the legislation. SB 1890 proceeded through multiple subcommittee/committee hearings of which I attended two and personally spoke. I was graciously offered 30 seconds to express my opinion as a citizen of the State of Florida. SB 1890 ran into some trouble in the Banking and Insurance Committee with the bolting of a number of republicans voting against the bill. This was the beginning of the end of SB1890 and subsequently HB213. Even though the senate committee did vote to move the bill to the floor, it's momentum was altered, and the senate leadership deemed voting on the senate floor too difficult; there was dissension among the ranks.

However, two days prior to the end of the session an amendment was made to another senate bill (SB670) that included the essential language of 1819. It was a slick maneuver that was politics at its worst. As the drama unfolded, many including myself were glued to our computers as we watched the Senate wrap up this year's votes. "Our" only hope was for SB670 to not be called and if it was called, that enough senators would vote either the added amendment or the entire bill down. We were literally on the edge of our seats until a few minutes past midnight this past Friday. SB670 did not make it to the floor; the senate did not vote on it thus killing HB213 and SBs1819/670.

Brief low-lights of the bills: 1-judges could rule on the veracity of a foreclosing entity's evidence "in camera" (in chambers) without either side having the ability to argue merits, etc.; 2-the legislation would take effect in July 2012 and would be retroactive to every case currently in litigation (in direct conflict to the legal standard of "ex post facto"-changing the rules in the middle of a game); and 3-once a summary judgment was issued, no entity who could possibly have a claim on the property (i.e. since the "property" came into being) could sue for anything other than modest monetary damages even if fraud was later proven (in effect, this was our legislator's attempt to sweep clean the titles of properties with a history of broken title, bifurcation, robosigning, etc.).

Look them up for yourself at Florida House Of Representatives - CS/CS/HB 213 - Mortgage Foreclosures and/or (SB1819) Senate Bill 1890 (2012) - The Florida Senate

Our glorious governor has been trying to pass this type of legislation since being voted into office.
 

TomEason

LoanSafe Guide
Jun 18, 2009
12,390
84
48
SF Bay Area CA
Hi morgane_edison

Thanks for posting the details and background on the legislation. Your remark about it now being legal to color the hair of pets is hilarious.

The fact the you've attended a couple hearings and testified obviously lends your account much credibility.
 

morgane_edison

LoanSafe Member
Jan 19, 2012
62
1
0
What the Tampa, FL senator who brought SB1819 said about people in foreclosure: see for yourself!

Click on the link below and move your cursor to 33:18 on the video.

I urge you to watch and listen to the video of Monday’s Senate hearing (The Florida Senate) just after an exchange between Senator Richter (Naples area) and Senator Latvala (Tampa Bay area) at 33:18 on the video, Senator Latvala says:


“…and perhaps there’s some people who don’t see a real reason to go out and get a good job or to try to make a lot of progress during that period of time because they feel like it will all get taken away from them. Now people like you and me would never have that attitude and we wouldn’t be in that situation hopefully to start with…â€

What do you think of this blatant, stereotypical, judgmental comment by the senator who is proposing that homeowners lose of more than their house; he also wants to take their/our human dignity? And he believes they/we deserve it. Should not humility be a prerequisite for our leaders?

BTW Senator Richter was the co-mastermind to amend SB670 to include the language of SB1819.
 

robzel

LoanSafe Member
Mar 8, 2012
32
1
8
Florida
Thanks for posting this Morgane. I'm new to all of this as of a few days ago. My research led me to look up Florida - judicial or non-judicial? I then read about this bill and that it was passed in the Florda House, just waiting to be voted on by the Florida Senate on March 9. Wait a second! That was just last Friday. I coudn't find an update. So I thought maybe it's already being discussed at LoanSafe. Sure enough... Good news though. I'm going to be missing my first payment this week.
 

crazyeyes

LoanSafe Member
Mar 6, 2012
40
0
0
My apologies everyone; I suffer a bit of dyslexia! The bill is SB1890. Anytime you read "1819" in my two previous posts, it should read "1890".
Thanks for the info! When can they bring this bill up again, should they choose? I'm hoping to stay in my house as long as possible.
 

morgane_edison

LoanSafe Member
Jan 19, 2012
62
1
0
The representatives of the people, including the governor, have been trying to pass this legislation for the past few sessions. You can be certain they will try next year. All representatives in Florida are up for election in November; we must vote these "legislators" out of office. They got very close to passing a very damaging law this year. Those living in Florida must vote these representatives out of office. The information is relatively easy to obtain and follow regardless of state or county; one of the beauties of the internet.