Many in Florida are feeling a financial pinch as the cost of living in the Sunshine State continues to rise. At the same time, hourly earnings among Florida workers have gone down from $25.12 in February 2020 to $24.82 in April 2023. This combination of a higher cost of living and lower wages means some homeowners in Florida are struggling to afford their mortgage payments, leading to default and foreclosure.
Foreclosures are on the rise
The real estate data group ATTOM reports that foreclosure-related filings rose 14% from last year’s levels. Florida saw the most foreclosure starts in the nation at just over 2,901 foreclosures in May 2023. Lakeland, Florida, was especially hard-hit with one out of every 1,361 homes being subjected to a foreclosure filing that period.
California saw the second-highest number of foreclosure starts in May 2023, and Texas saw the third-highest number of foreclosure starts that month. Illinois and New York saw the fewest number of foreclosure starts in May 2023.
Can you do anything about foreclosure?
Learning your home is being foreclosed upon is very distressing. Yet you do not want to stick your head in the sand if you have received a foreclosure complaint. Florida only permits homeowners 20 days to respond to a foreclosure complaint.
In addition, you are entitled to fight the foreclosure, if you wish. It is up to your lender to take all necessary steps within the correct timeframe to move the foreclosure process along. It is not your fault if your lender makes a mistake.
Moreover, nearly all homeowners facing foreclosure in Florida are permitted to pursue reinstatement. Through reinstatement, if there is a point in the foreclosure proceedings during which the homeowner can pay back what they owe on their mortgage or can negotiate a satisfactory agreement with their lender to cure what they owe, then their lender is legally obligated to stop foreclosure proceedings.
So, if you are facing foreclosure, know that it is not the end of the story and that you have options. It can be intimidating to receive a foreclosure notice, but receiving the notice alone does not necessarily mean you will automatically lose your home, if you take the appropriate actions.