What are your options if you are behind on your mortgage payments?

If you do nothing, your home will be foreclosed. You lose the home, your credit rating suffers and you will probably be on the hook for the "deficiency" between what you owed and what the bank sells it for.

You may attempt a loan modification, but even if the lender is willing, be very careful to see that you actually benefit from the new terms.

If you declare bankruptcy, you might be able to keep the home, but only if there is some way you can make the payments.

There are at least two other options: a short sale, and offering the deed in lieu of foreclosure. In a short sale, the bank allows you to sell the home for less than you owe on it. But you may still be liable for the deficiency between what you owe and the sale price.

Future Liability

A very important factor in any of these alternatives is whether you will be legally liable for the deficiency between what you owed the lender and what the lender finally obtained. Attorney Jake Miller can advise you on this potential liability and negotiate to avoid it if possible.

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure — Keys for Cash

In a deed in lieu of foreclosure, unlike a short sale, you are not required to list your home and find a buyer. Instead, you simply advise the bank that you want out of the mortgage and you transfer your deed to your lender. The bank then takes the responsibility to sell the home.

The federal government's new Making Home Affordable program may help you. If your lender participates in the HAFA (Home Affordability Foreclosure Alternatives) program and certain conditions are met, you may be free of any liability for deficiency. You may be required to attempt a short sale first.

The Law Offices of Jake Miller, LLC, in North Miami brings more than 15 years of legal experience to individuals. A longtime resident of South Florida, he understands the local real estate market and how to help you get the results you seek.

The firm offers a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, contact the Law Offices of Jake Miller, LLC, or call 305-758-2020.


Armenteros & Miller, P.A.

11900 Biscayne Boulevard
Suite 618
Miami, FL 33181