Sun Sentinel: Playing the “What if” game with your Florida mortgage
How big of a gamble is it to stop paying your Florida mortgage? This is a question I receive very frequently as a foreclosure defense attorney in South Florida and was recently cited as a source on the topic by the Sun-Sentinel.
Personal finance writer Harriet Johnson Brackey wrote an article outlining the consequences of stopping payments on your mortgage.
Here is a summary of what could happen if you don’t pay the mortgage:
- Your lender will first report your missed payment to the credit bureau and your credit score will drop by up to 200 points.
- Next, you can expect other creditors to take notice and take action by closing your credit cards, raising your interest rates or lowering your credit limit.
- The tightening of your credit will cause you to use more of your available limit and in turn continue to lower your credit score.
- Then, your lender will try to contact you. After 90 days, you cannot just start making payments again. Your lender may actually send the payments back if you have not been in contact.
- After four months of not paying your mortgage, you will likely be served a foreclosure notice.
The article also echoes something I have been saying for awhile now: “If you hire a lawyer and fight the foreclosure, you may be able to delay the sale for many months or avoid it altogether.”