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Florida is ranked second in foreclosures in the United States, right behind California. Across the country, including in Tampa Bay, the rates of foreclosures continue to rise. Finding ways to avoid foreclosure in Tampa is important for homeowners facing the loss of their home.
Foreclosure starts small
Foreclosure in Florida starts with stacks of bills that indicate a late payment. Notices that a mortgage is behind are only the start of the foreclosure process, and fortunately, there’s a long way to go before homeowners are evicted from their homes.
These five strategies to avoid foreclosure Tampa will help you to make the right decision for your home and keep you from going through a foreclosure sale.
1 – Call your lender now
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Financial institutions have a vested interest in keeping people in their homes. Rather than waiting for foreclosure prevention to fall into your lap, be proactive and reach out to speak to your mortgage lender about the unpaid portion of your loan.
The letters and phone calls about pending legal action are intimidating. Struggling homeowners in Tampa understandably want to just ignore them and try to put their attention on doing it on their own, but that’s not a good strategy.
Two ways to contact your lender are:
- reach out via phone to the help desk at your mortgage company
- chat online with mortgage support staff
Both of these methods will offer you immediate answers about what your options are. Even if you’re planning to pursue a short sale or are working with a cash buyer, go ahead and talk to your lender as soon as possible.
The sooner you start talking to your lender and making a plan to repay the loan or sell the home, the less likely it is that foreclosure will have a huge negative impact on your financial reality.
2 – Connect with Florida mortgage support agencies
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Tampa has a wealth of resources for homeowners who are not able to maintain their financial life. Not only will they give you a free consultation to help you figure out where you are, they can also put you in contact with other financial institutions who can provide even more support.
Foreclosure has impacted residents significantly in Florida. The United States federal government operates satellite programs out of the Office of Housing and Urban Development section that are available in Tampa Bay, Florida. Under Florida law, residents can utilize these services to help them find ways to pay for the mortgage or pursue legal action that’s appropriate.
Two places to check for foreclosure support are:
- The City of Tampa’s foreclosure prevention office
- The Office of Housing and Urban Development
Many of the HUD programs are woven into the amount of value that’s in the home as opposed to what’s left on the loan. In today’s market in Florida, most homes have appreciated significantly. Homeowners in this housing market can often avoid foreclosure in Tampa if they are willing to be proactive and work with a government agency.
HUD is a prime example of a government agency that can provide credit counseling and financial support. The eligibility requirements for HUD services are on a sliding scale based on financial needs, and they’re available right in the city of Tampa.
3 – Save your way out
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Pulling back your spending and thinking creatively about how to catch up your mortgage is one real way to prevent foreclosure in Tampa. This is the moment to pull back every bit of spending as much as possible, leaving you with just the bare bones of what you have to have to survive.
Remember that a few months or a year of financial hardship might be extremely stressful, but it doesn’t mean you’ll live like this forever. Some troubles are best solved by knuckling down and getting through them.
Look for side hustles to make extra money that you can put back into the mortgage payments. This could be driving for Uber, delivering DoorDash, or even taking on a part time job. While it might be well out of your comfort zone and could even be humiliating, losing your home would undoubtedly be much worse.
There’s the idea of taking on a side hustle, which is one of the best ways to earn some cash as you mortgage payments refinance, but there are other possibilities as well:
- Sell furnishings, including appliances and decor
- Ask for a loan from family or friends
Oftentimes, catching up payments that are behind is the hardest part. There are major fees and extra interest that factor into what a homeowner owes in default. Getting all of that back on track through loan modification or extra income is usually the hardest part for homeowners.
4 – Rent out your home
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One of the most creative ways to avoid foreclosure and catch up your monthly mortgage payments is to rent out your home.
This could mean that you’ll have to find somewhere else to live while you work out a home affordable refinance program, or it could mean that you use part of your home as an Airbnb rental while you’re taking the next steps.
The property address that has a loan unpaid on it is likely worth more as a rental to you in the short term than staying in the home. Reducing monthly payments you owe on the house by renting it out temporarily might be the best way to catch up, whether you have a fixed rate loan or an adjustable rate mortgage in Florida.
Renting your house might cause additional problems as well, like damage from renters or expenses from moving. What you’ll need to decide is if those costs are worth keeping your house out of foreclosure sale.
5 – Sell your home
The most permanent way to keep your home out of foreclosure is to circumvent the process altogether and find someone who will give you a fair cash offer to sell your home quickly.
The mortgage provider doesn’t want to take ownership of your property address in Tampa. It’s absolutely paramount that you make a smart decision here to avoid the same troubles that go the mortgage payments behind to start with. Selling your home is one potent way to do this.
Though it might feel like you’re choosing to abandon ship when you sell your Tampa home in foreclosure, it’s also a viable and long term solution.
Be strategic, but move fast
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Whether you want to keep your home out of foreclosure by selling your house, getting support from Uncle Sam, or hustling to take control of this stressful situation, you have options.
Tampa homeowners who want to keep their house out of foreclosure need quick tips, but they also need decisive action. It’s extremely important that you make a smart decision, and that you make it as soon as you can to avoid foreclosure.