A Common Thread between Foreclosures and Hurricanes in South Florida
Impact of Hurricane Season on Foreclosed Homes in South Florida
Of all the country, Florida experienced the second most foreclosures in 2011. There was a slight decline in home foreclosures compared to 2010, although that may be the result of investigations launched against banks accused of shaky mortgage practices.
Those investigations slowed home foreclosure cases, but many of them are expected to be restarted in 2012, making an increase in Florida possible.
At the same time, there are already thousands of homes that have been left vacant due to foreclosure, putting these houses and others around them at higher risk when hurricane season arrives. It is unlikely that lenders will be making trips out to these homes in order to ensure they are boarded up and otherwise protected.
In 2010, Miami-Dade County took measures to address this situation. Not only is an unprotected home a risk for blowing debris, but when the home is damaged it could drive down the value of other houses in the area.
A Foreclosure Registry was created where the lending company or bank is responsible for registering the foreclosed house with the Building and Neighborhood Compliance Department. It must be done within 30 days of the foreclosure notice.
When the house is registered, the lender, mortgage company, or bank is responsible for its upkeep. So one of the first things that happens is an inspector is sent to determine if any immediate repairs are needed. If repairs are required, the bank or lender will receive a bill for the work. Otherwise, repairs that are not urgent are the responsibility of the bank or lender. They will have a certain time frames in which to make them.
This is also intended to deal with the aftereffects of a hurricane should one strike and damage a foreclosed house. Despite the good intentions, many homeowners who live nearby these vacant houses note that the repairs take too long to be completed.
Some say it can take as long as 3 months. On the other hand, Miami-Dade County has made some effort. Other counties, such as Broward, do not have a program of this nature in place, so many of the homes are not properly secured before a hurricane nor are they cleaned up afterwards.
Seeking Help from a Fort Lauderdale Foreclosure Lawyer
While some homeowners’ biggest worry is preparing for the hurricane season, as important as that is, others are struggling to save their homes from foreclosure. If you are at risk of losing your house, you’re probably interested in your legal options.
The best way to educate yourself of your rights is to seek help from a foreclosure lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has experience handling foreclosure actions. You may not have to lose your home or investment property. Do not delay, as time may be of the essence. By acting now you may delay or prevent the foreclosure from taking place.
If you are behind on your mortgage, contact the team of foreclosure lawyers at The Neustein Law Group, P.A. Our law firm serves residents of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, and other counties throughout Florida. If you have been struggling financially and are looking to save your home or investment property, act now. Don’t assume that there is nothing you can do. To learn more about how we may be able to help you, contact us today – (954) 606-0747 (Fort Lauderdale Office), (305) 531-2545 (Miami Beach HQ) or (888) 400-ATTY(2889) (Toll Free).
References:Sun Sentinel Governing