While the media has been quick to announce that the housing market in Florida and elsewhere in the country is on a steady road to recovery, the reality is that the upward climb has been mostly driven by investors and those who can afford to pay for the properties in cash.
This does not reflect an actual recovery because for the most part, average Americans have been blocked out of the buying process. Those who have endured a foreclosure or a bankruptcy as a result of the housing crisis still face great difficulty in securing financing for a new home.
This is important information for anyone facing foreclosure in Miami because while it may be tempting to simply walk away from a property on which you are underwater, there needs to be ample consideration of the fact that recovering from that is not going to be as easy as you might have been led to believe.
It’s true that interest rates have seen record lows in recent months and while the value of homes is once again on the rise, there have been a lot of good deals. But allowing the home you are already in to go into foreclosure without a fight will not get into one of those properties. In fact, it’s only getting worse for foreclosed homeowners who are seeking a second chance.
The better option is to stave off the foreclosure action you are facing with the help of an experienced attorney. This can be accomplished by challenging the bank’s legal standing to take such action and alternatively through a loan modification agreement. These can take some time, but giving up will only serve to set you back even farther.
Plus, attaining a successful modification is going to get easier in 2014 with the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new mortgage servicing rules. Starting Jan. 10, elements of the Dodd-Frank Act that significantly benefit borrowers will be formally going into effect. Those include enforcement of the single-point-of-contact rule, barring dual-tracking efforts by banks and ensuring that there are proper procedures in place to notify delinquent borrowers of relevant timelines.
Those are just a few examples.
In the meantime, consider that real estate data firm RealtyTrac reports that in Florida, the number of all-cash property acquisitions is now at nearly 63 percent. That was as of November, and far higher than even the national average of 42 percent. In fact, Florida had the highest percentage of cash acquisitions in the country.
Other states that followed included Georgia (51 percent), Nevada (51 percent), South Carolina (50 percent) and South Carolina (49 percent).
Institutional investors are snapping up single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes at a much higher rate than they were a year ago. Of the approximately 5.1 million residential sales completed in November, nearly 8 percent were finalized from investors. It was nearly a full percentage point above where it was just a month earlier, and 1.4 percent higher than what it was last year.
Banks, meanwhile, are making a mint. They are taking the opportunity to offload huge inventories of properties that they have acquired through foreclosure action. However, once this backlog is complete, the number of overall volume of sales is expected to fall dramatically.
That decrease will be furthered by the fact that credit-tightening actions are going to make banks even less likely to loan.
Given that home ownership is still the No. 1 way that Americans build wealth, now is not the time to let go of your home.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
Cash Sales Reach New High in November, Dec. 20, 2013, By Evan Nemeroff, Mortgage Servicing News
More Blog Entries:
Florida Fails to Spend Funds to Help Struggling Homeowners Facing Foreclosure, Nov. 8, 2013, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog