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End of moratorium following Florida hurricanes sparks foreclosure

National disasters have wreaked havoc throughout this state. Because of this, financial crises have hit many Florida families hard. In March, more than 52,000 homeowners were threatened with foreclosure. In fact, there were 5,000 plus more started in March than in February.  Many people are worried about defaulting on their loans and are wondering whether there is anything they can do to prevent that from happening.

It is believed that the expiration of the moratorium set in place following Hurricanes Irma and Harvey brought on the sudden increase in foreclosures. While serious loan delinquencies associated with the hurricanes have reportedly declined, there are many mortgagors in Florida with home mortgage payments late 90 or more days. In fact, the state ranks highest in the country in this category.

Delinquency on a mortgage loan is typically defined as the failure to make a payment when it is due. Any number of unexpected situations can throw a person's finances off-track for a month or longer. Late mortgage payments do not necessarily mean every situation leads to foreclosure. Many people might be able to retain ownership of their homes if they knew more about available financial relief options and where to seek support.  

Foreclosure is often used by banks as a last resort. Many Florida homeowners avoid the process by contacting their lenders and requesting alternate payment plans until they get their finances back on track. Lenders are not obligated to comply with such requests, though, so it's usually best to have a backup plan in mind.

Source: nationalmortgagenews.com, "Foreclosure starts rise as moratoria in Texas and Florida end", Brad Finkelstein, April 19, 2018

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