Friday, October 24, 2008

Can I stay in My house once I am served foreclosure papers?

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The Florida Foreclosure Process

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Florida Foreclosures

Foreclosures happen in Florida when a homeowner is severely delinquent in payments or can no longer make payments on the mortgage. Any hardship can contribute to the foreclosure process beginning: an injury preventing work, the loss of a job, a divorce or other financial strains. Foreclosure is the process of the bank or lending institution getting the property back and reselling it to recoup their money.

Florida is a judicial state. This means that all foreclosures must use the court system for processing. Since banks differ and the courts are involved, the foreclosure process time line varies slightly between individual cases. The average time frame is five to six months from the beginning steps until the finalization of a foreclosure.

Steps Taken to Foreclosure

The first steps fall under the pre-foreclosure period. The mortgage holder is late with payment, but remain in the property while the foreclosure proceedings progress.

Notice of Default

The Notice of Default is the first indication of late payment. It is a written notice sent to the mortgage holder by the mortgage lender. It will state how much money is owed and how late the payment is. A Notice of Default will state what you need to do in order to become current on your payments and prevent foreclosure from happening.

Lis Pendens

Lis Pendens is Latin for "suit pending." [1] This may refer to any pending lawsuit or to a specific situation with a public notice of litigation in this case it is paperwork filed by the mortgage lender in the county courthouse. It states their intention to sue the property owners if they do not receive the mortgage monies. The court then creates the paperwork that notifies all parties involved about the upcoming lawsuit and the terms.

Notice of Action

Notice of Action is the next step in the foreclosure process. When a mortgage holder cannot pay the terms stated in the Notice of Default and goes further in delinquency, a Notice of Action is posted in the local newspaper. It states the mortgage lender’s written demands to be paid on their loan and their intent to take back the property if the payment is not made.

Once the Notice of Action is posted, the formal foreclosure process takes place.

Foreclosure Action

A foreclosure action, which is a lawsuit filed under the county where the property is located, is made. This states the intent of the mortgage company to evict the residents and take over ownership of the property. They will post the date and time of the auction where the property will be sold, anywhere from three to six weeks in the future.


At any time before the auction of the property, the mortgage holder can take back the property if they can pay off the mortgage in full. If they can pay for the mortgage in full, the proceedings are halted and the mortgage holders can move in and reassume ownership of the property.

Sheriff’s Sale

The last step of the foreclosure process is the Sheriff’s sale. This is where the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder at the county courthouse. The price is low to begin, but can escalate if it is in a hot location. Once another bidder has won the auction and the property, the former mortgage holder has terminated all of their rights to the property. Within ten days of the successful sale, the title is transferred to the winning bidder.

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Staging tips to make your house stand out.

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Making Your House Stand Out in Today's Market As the real estate industry continues its downward trend, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sell your home. Prices have dropped, there are more listings than ever to choose from and sellers are giving incredible deals to buyers.
Here are a few tips to make your home stand out.

Curb Appeal Curb appeal is the first way to draw attention to your home. Since it is the first thing that anyone sees, you want the “WOW” factor. I know people that have bought houses just because of the spectacular landscaping. I also know people who have not even bothered looking inside of a house because of the condition of the exterior.
Make sure the exterior of the house is in tip-top shape so the potential buyer immediately wants to see the inside.
The following is your list of items to maintain curb appeal:
• Cut grass
• Trim all hedges and bushes
• Add mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch to beds
• Have flowering plants or potted flowers on the porch
• Keep junk out of sight and place in the backyard or in a shed
• Clean all cluttering debris such as sticks, garbage, old magazines, etc.
• Replace all the light bulbs surrounding the house
• Check the doorbell!
You want the inside of your house to wow potential buyers just as much as the outside. The following checklist gives ultimate interior appeal.
Make sure all items are completed before the first showing of your house is scheduled.
• Clean! Every floor, window, closet and cupboard!
• Remove excess clutter, toys, paperwork and knick-knacks. Clutter makes counter tops and rooms appear smaller than they really are.
• Paint the walls in dirty rooms or where a room needs brightening. Bright rooms give the appearance that they are more spacious.
• Make repairs to anything needed – hinges, doorknobs, plaster, steps, plumbing, etc.
• Replace all burned out light bulbs.
• Wash all window coverings. Open all of the curtains and blinds before a showing. Natural light makes a room appear bigger.
• Open the doors and windows before a showing to fill the home with fresh air.

When the inside and outside are clean and neat, you may need to provide a bigger incentive to your potential buyers. If the house has repairs that you didn’t have the time or cash to fix, you can offer credit towards the purchase price. That way, you acknowledge the repairs and give the buyer a discount for accepting the home as is.
Another option is to offer an allotment if your house needs new carpeting or flooring. Buyers like allotments because they get the item new, plus they get to pick out their colors. A win-win situation for everyone.
The time spent cleaning, making minor repairs, and providing incentives for major repairs, will make your home stand out above the competition.
Although these little fixes may require some time and effort, selling quickly in a tough market will be worth the effort in the end!

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