As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Once Again Extends Foreclosure Moratorium, Residential Tenants & Single-Family Mortgagors Look Ahead to the Future
On July 29, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-180, extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in Florida until September 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Failing to do so could have left thousands of Floridians homeless, as, unfortunately, many expect a deluge of foreclosures and evictions once the moratorium is lifted. In fact, according to reports, a number of landlords have already filed paperwork to evict their tenants once that the ban is lifted.
Similarly to the original Executive Order (20-94), relief in these circumstances is limited to residential tenants and single-family mortgagors adversely affected by COVID-19, and does not cover commercial tenants. Still, state politicians called on DeSantis to put in place additional plans to ensure long-term housing security – both during and after the pandemic – for mortgagors and residential tenants, as they claim that the governor has ignored important proposals necessary to assemble a more sustainable plan for Florida.
Foreclosure Laws & Practices in Florida
In addition to the impact that a foreclosure has on the mortgagor, the laws in Florida allow lenders to pursue mortgagors for the difference between the mortgage debt on the property and what they are able to sell the property for in a foreclosure sale, as well attorneys’ fees and costs. As a result, decades later and even after a property’s value has dropped far below the amount borrowed to purchase it, mortgagors are often still paying it off, even as this number continues to grow. This is in addition to mortgagors and other property owners having to deal with banks sometimes engaging in unlawful practices when they take possession of property, which can sometimes include forcing a renegotiation of the contract and/or delaying a repossession, fraud, and/or questionable loan foreclosure and origination proceedings. In some cases, banks have even had to pay out settlements for foreclosure abuse as a result.
Meanwhile, the moratorium on all properties owned, insured, or overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, and Department of Veterans Affairs, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration was extended through August 31, and one Congresswoman has called on these entities to extend the moratorium through December 31. Federally-backed mortgages represent an estimated 70 percent of all outstanding single-family homes, therefore, this would make a significant impact on a number of homeowners and residential tenants.
If You Are Facing Foreclosure in Florida and Need Help, Contact Our Lawyers Today
What a number of banks may not realize is that, due to the current crisis, US homeowners are not only struggling to pay their mortgages now, but will likely be struggling even more in the future, and lenders are unlikely to see the money they have lent out. As a result, foreclosing on properties may not be financially beneficial even for the banks, as investors could, in some cases, lose more money than they lent because work done to repossess houses and then sell them can sometimes cost more than it would to simply give them away.
In order to avoid getting themselves into this bind, banks need to mitigate a breach of contract and any loss, which is required by common law anyway, as well as just representing good business practices.
At HD Law Partners, we represent homeowners facing foreclosure proceedings. If you or a loved one is facing foreclosure, speak with our Tampa foreclosure attorneys today. We serve clients in Sarasota, Tampa, and surrounding areas.