“Best Day of My Life!!!”

“Thanks, Mark!  Best day of my life!!!”  That was the email I received from a homeowner today.  No, it wasn’t because I got her foreclosure lawsuit dismissed, and no, it wasn’t because I somehow got her a free house.  That was the email I received after I settled that client’s case by allowing the bank to foreclose in exchange for the bank agreeing not to pursue a deficiency.

What would anyone be so excited about such a settlement?  Think about it.  If your house is worth $175,000, but you owe $400,000, then even after the bank forecloses, you still owe the extra $215,000.  That’s called the deficiency.  Many homeowners are willing to get foreclosed, but they want to avoid liability for a deficiency.  Essentially, they just want to get that liability off their shoulders and move on with life.  That’s an especially attractive resolution for homeowners who have other assets.

But there’s more to it than that.  As I’ve explained previously, it’s entirely possible to buy a house with cash saved while a foreclosure case was pending.  That’s what made this homeowner so excited – not only that she was able to avoid a deficiency, but was able to buy a house with cash from the money she saved while the foreclosure lawsuit was pending against her.

In foreclosure defense, the victories don’t always come from court rulings.  Sometimes, the mere pendency of the lawsuit is all a homeowner needs to get back on his/her feet and get a fresh start.  So if you think your judge is not “defense-friendly,” or you’re in a part of Florida where banks usually win, try to remember this.  Sometimes, it’s not just the result that matters, it’s what you’re able to make of your situation in the meantime.

Mark Stopa

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