Relief For Homeowners? Don’t Bet On It!

With great fanfare, a landmark mortgage settlement was triumphantly reported in the national and local press. It seemed that “relief for homeowners” was on the way. And while the details of the historic joint state-federal settlement are yet to be finalized, the roll-out of the program will take up to 3 years. So the good news is, … if you can wait and survive long enough, .. you may get help?!

Under the terms of the settlement, Floridians who lost their homes or have fallen underwater on their loans could receive a $2,000 check, a $20,000 mortgage reduction, or a lower interest rate. Unfortunately, this will only apply to about 20% of the market – loans held by the 5 major banks. It will also only apply to homeowners who have not missed a mortgage payment. The other 80% of the market – Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and securitized loans – are out of luck. As for the real dollar amount coming to Florida, $8.4 billion, … it is a fraction of the size of the state’s housing problem. With nearly 2 million homes currently underwater by an average of $65,000 per home, the total negative equity comes to $123 billion (and only $309 million will be used to refinance loans to a lower interest rate). Reality is that homeowners and investors may be so far underwater or behind on their payments that even if they were to receive a $20,000 reduction, they could never catch-up.

Last, but just as critical, … there is about 250,000 homes stuck in Florida’s foreclosure legal system, more than any other state in the country. This settlement is now predicted to shorten the state’s foreclosure bottleneck since banks will no longer be held up by charges of fraud and “robo” signing scandals. A shortened amount of time means homeowners have no time to waste. They must take action to protect their interests.

For several years homeowners have been asking banks to “work with them”. Yet, the newspapers have been filled with countless stories of people being foreclosed upon as they were in the process of talking to their bank about a loan modification or short sale approval. Even worse, there are homeowners who have ignored the foreclosure lawsuit only to find the sheriff knocking on their door to say their home has been sold in foreclosure and they must leave. Or possibly even worse there are homeowners who do nothing in hopes that the “government” will bail them out.

Time for a reality check and we’re here to help. Only YOU and YOUR FAMILY can change the course of this struggle. You must get the proper help. There are “programs” out there and people who care about your circumstance. Take action by getting knowledgeable people that can and will make a difference in this complicated maze. At the Reyes Law Group, we use the “Stair-Step” approach to handle all possible situations.

Step One – Loan Modifications: Many homeowners would like to stay in their homes. But working with a financial institution can be a very frustrating and lengthy process and this does not stop the bank from foreclosing on your property. Our experienced staff includes former in-house bank underwriters and mortgage officers. They know how to organize and submit your application and paperwork. Throughout the bank’s review process we continually follow up, answer any questions they may have about your application and handle the negotiation of your loan modification. Our experienced staff is familiar with what the banks are capable of doing and know how to negotiate an outcome that makes sense to your financial situation.

Step Two – Short-Sale Negotiations: When a loan modification is not possible due to a client’s financial situation, a prudent step would be to short sale the property. Our team of negotiators & selected realtor and lender sources assure you of quality people to help maximize your chances of an approval. Our legal staff is also key in this process when it comes to negotiating a waiver of any deficiency judgments the financial institution may try to impose.

Step Three – Foreclosure Litigation Defense: We urge homeowners to defend a foreclosure lawsuit. Why? Because they need to insure that their rights are protected and they do not leave themselves open to future liability in the form of a deficiency judgment. Lenders are more than happy to foreclose and take title to your property. But that doesn’t mean you may not be obligated to still owe them for the difference between what they sell your property for and what you initially owed. Our experienced Foreclosure Defense Team brings a court-tested, zealous representation designed to assure the lenders and their counsel, … we will work to “defend your property, and preserve your rights”.

Don’t be a victim! The Reyes Law Group can help you aggressively litigate your case, negotiate your loan modification, and successfully close your short-sale transaction. Our firm has over 20 years experience in the real estate legal field.

Carlos J. Reyes  is the Principal of Reyes Law Group. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1988 and practices state-wide.  Carlos has been awarded a rating of “AV Preeminent” which is the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by Martindale-Hubbell – a well-recognized legal resource. The RLG Legal Team also include attorneys Stephan LopezMelissa J. UlloaPhillip A. Ortiz and the RLG Legal Support Team to bring you a dedicated, experienced and dynamic legal team to handle your legal needs.

We also assist clients in the areas of: Civil LitigationReal Estate LitigationResidential Purchase & SalesCommercial Acquisitions & SalesResidential Landlord-Tenant LitigationCommercial Landlord-Tenant LitigationShort Sales NegotiationsLoan ModificationsCriminal DefenseCivil Rights ClaimsFamily LawCorporate Work, and Labor & Employment Law.

Call us for a FREE consultation at (954) 369-1993  Se Habla Español.

Visit our firm website and review our credentials.

We are located at 150 S Pine Island Rd #210, Plantation, FL 33324


The Reyes Law Group BLOG is intended to provide information to firm clients, friends and potential clients about various legal related topics. Nothing in this BLOG should be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should not act upon the information contained in this BLOG without seeking the advice of legal counsel.

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Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

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