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Government mortgage modification may not be best option to stop foreclosure in Miami

President Obama’s foreclosure rescue plan is losing its punch, just one more sign that struggling South Florida homeowners should not wait for the government to help deal with their bad mortgage debt.

Our Miami foreclosure defense attorneys continue to report on the mixed signals coming out of Washington. Most recently, we reported on our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog that a new bailout effort court be on the horizon. Fighting for your rights as a homeowner and consulting an experienced lawyer to help stop foreclosure in Miami are your best options for striking the best deal for you and your family.

In July, fewer than 37,000 homeowners received long-term mortgage modifications from the Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) program — Down from 51,205 in the previous month. Thus far, about 434,000 homeowners have made it out of the trial phase.

Meanwhile, more and more homeowners continue to drop out of the program: About 13,000 fell out in July.

“We know that we must continue to provide support to underwater borrowers, unemployed homeowners, and to the nation’s hardest hit neighborhoods,” said Assistant Housing Secretary Raphael Bostic. Nowhere have homeowners been harder hit than in South Florida. It’s another sign that additional help may be on the way for those who fight for it.

Meanwhile, the government is set to roll out yet another new program — the FHA Short Refinance Option. It allows underwater homeowners to refinance into an FHA backed mortgage provided they are current on their payments and the bank agrees to write off at least 10 percent of the principal. In theory, this will give the homeowner a more affordable loan, do something to address the lost property value, and provide the bank an incentive to make the deal because the new loan would be backed by the federal government.

Like the programs that have come before it, this may be a viable option for some homeowners. But the best course of action is to discuss your options with an experienced Miami real estate attorney.

If you are facing foreclosure in the Miami area or are considering home-loan modification, short-sale, strategic default or other options in South Florida, contact Barakat, Jacobs & Associates for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 350-5055.

Fewer people receive lasting mortgage help in Obama program – Aug. 20 2010.pdf

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