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Is Refinancing the Right Way to Stop a Florida Foreclosure?

Is Refinancing the Right Way to Stop a Florida Foreclosure?

Foreclosure defense
Many Florida homeowners have faced enormous financial burdens as a result of theCOVID-19 pandemic. Some have been forced into foreclosure without the protection of federal moratoriums. Others have been able to access emergency housing funds or even workout mortgage repayment options with their lenders. Still others have been able to tap into their home equity by refinancing their mortgage altogether. Thanks to Florida’s healthy real estate markets, appreciation has resulted in home equity for many Florida homeowners, and this has been a popular option. Interest rates are also at historic lows, which has helped many homeowners reduce their monthly payments. But is a loan modification right for you? Like anything in life, refinancing a mortgage loan has both costs and benefits. Any mortgage comes with closing costs, appraisal fees, and…
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Florida Lawmakers Consider State Laws to Protect Tenants From COVID Evictions

Florida Lawmakers Consider State Laws to Protect Tenants From COVID Evictions

Eviction
For nearly a year now, Florida tenants have been protected by state and federal moratoriums on evictions. This has helped many families shelter in place in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, the current federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire soon, and it is not clear whether it will be renewed. State lawmakers are considering options to enact state rules that would afford eviction protections to Florida tenants. The Miami Herald reports that two separate bills have been introduced to the Florida Senate. One would require independent mediation between landlords and tenants before an eviction could be processed by the housing court. This would help landlords and tenants explore options to keep families in place without incurring significant court costs (and leaving the tenant with an…
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Florida 2022 Budget Expands Funding For Affordable Housing

Florida 2022 Budget Expands Funding For Affordable Housing

Eviction
Affordable housing has become a hot issue as of late. Wages across the country have remained largely stagnant for years, at a time when housing costs have increased dramatically. This increases the financial burden many Americans face in trying to simply keep a roof over their heads. Studies and projects have been started, but there has been little widespread effort by state governments to really tackle the affordable housing crisis. Funding was further cut by the dramatic emergency measures needed to keep the country afloat during theCOVID-19 pandemic. But now, as Governor DeSantis proposes his budget for the 2022 fiscal year, there is a surprising recommendation: to fully fund affordable housing projects at the cost of $423.3 million. The Center Square reports the recommendation is supported by a study that…
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Bundle of Hope Program Helps Expectant Mothers Secure Permanent Housing

Bundle of Hope Program Helps Expectant Mothers Secure Permanent Housing

Landlord/Tenant
Housing has become a crisis in Florida. A lack of affordable housing was only exacerbated by the prolonged financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, thousands of Florida families are facing eviction and foreclosure. There are many programs available to help Florida families stay at home and stop the spread of COVID-19. It is important to start exploring these options early - if you wait until your landlord has already started the eviction process, it might be too late to stay in your home. It will also be more difficult to find alternative housing on short notice. Housing programs are designed to help all Florida families. Now, there is a special program designed for pregnant women. According to Action News Jax, the Bundle of Hope room is part of a…
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Affordable Housing For the Formerly Homeless Opens in West Palm Beach

Affordable Housing For the Formerly Homeless Opens in West Palm Beach

Eviction
The pandemic has brought many affordable housing projects in Florida to a crashing halt. This has been a devastating development for the families who were struggling to stay in their homes before the pandemic hit. Luckily, there are a few projects that have been able to move forward and provide critical support to those who need it most. Housing Finance reports that a housing complex has opened in West Palm Beach. The 36 units have been fully leased by adults with mental illnesses and who had previously experienced homelessness without options for community support. One of these new residents had been stuck in a state hospital for years: despite finishing treatment and being ready for discharge, there were no housing options that offered the necessary support. Other residents are being…
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Miami Landlord Scammed By Eviction Service

Miami Landlord Scammed By Eviction Service

Eviction
Landlords all across Florida are in a difficult position. Many tenants have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic, but eviction protections prevent landlords from actually having delinquent tenants removed from their properties. Some tenants have been living rent-free for nearly a year now. The financial burden on landlords is significant, and many are looking for solutions to this problem. But landlords must beware that there are many scams out there that can leave them with the same problems - and even further in debt. The Miami Herald reports that Linda Mallard, 66, is a retiree who depends on rental income to support herself and her elderly father. When one of their tenants stopped paying rent in February 2020, she paid an eviction service $50 to serve her tenant with a…
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Negotiations and Mediation Can Provide Better Options For Florida Landlords and Tenants Dealing With COVID-19 Eviction Matters

Negotiations and Mediation Can Provide Better Options For Florida Landlords and Tenants Dealing With COVID-19 Eviction Matters

Eviction
TheCOVID-19 pandemic has created a housing crisis across the United States. Layoffs, reduced hours, and small business closures mean that tenants are unable to pay rent. Landlords have been prevented from evicting many tenants due to emergency state laws and the current CDC ban on residential evictions. This has created a financial burden on both landlords and tenants, and the situation only gets worse as the pandemic drags on. Luckily, there is a way that a housing lawyer can help both sides mitigate their losses. Eviction is a costly process. Landlords must usually hire a lawyer to prepare the paperwork and argue their case to a judge, pay for a process server to deliver the notices in accordance with state law, and cover other administrative costs. Tenants, meanwhile, are left…
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New Affordable Housing Units Open in Lakeland – But the Housing Crisis Continues

New Affordable Housing Units Open in Lakeland – But the Housing Crisis Continues

Eviction
After a year of a global health crisis and financial devastation, there is a little good news for Lakeland families. The Ledger reports that 132 affordable housing units are being made available at the Twin Lakes Estates in Lakeland. These units are available to residents earning 60 percent or less of the median household income in Polk County, which is $24,720 for an individual or $40,980 for a family of six. Rent for these units is well below the market rate: $604 for a one-bedroom apartment, $730 for a two-bedroom, and $845 for a three-bedroom unit. There is, however, a lengthy waiting list already in place for these 132 units. This demand illustrates a larger problem: there is a serious lack of affordable housing in Lakeland, in Polk County, in…
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Lofts at Brooklyn Offers Affordable Housing in Jacksonville With Relaxed Income Requirements

Lofts at Brooklyn Offers Affordable Housing in Jacksonville With Relaxed Income Requirements

Foreclosure defense
Alack of affordable housing has become a major crisis across the country - and especially here in Florida, where a hot real estate market has not been offset by higher wages. The pandemic made the crisis even worse. Many projects lost funding at a time when Florida families needed them the most. Luckily, several projects have been able to move forward, and affordable housing options are now opening up for Jacksonville residents. According to the Jax Daily Record, the Lofts at Brooklyn is a community of 133 units in downtown Jacksonville. It will provide affordable housing for the Jacksonville workforce. Other affordable housing complexes have strict income requirements, and residents must usually earn 60 percent or less of the median income in their local area. The Lofts at Brooklyn have…
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Pinellas County Receives More Than $21 Million in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Pinellas County Receives More Than $21 Million in Federal Emergency Rental Assistance

Foreclosure defense
Pinellas County residents will soon have access to emergency housing funds allotted under the second federal stimulus package. The Tampa Bay Times reports that a total of$21,428,218.80 was allotted to Pinellas County. While the County Administrator acknowledged these funds at a January 26th meeting of the county commissioners, he also said there is not yet a timeline for distributing these funds. The Administrator said the county is working on delivering services in a way that complies with the program requirements. This could take some time, and tenants should be aware of the new requirements. Under the initial funding from the CARES Act, tenants only had to sign a declaration that they met eligibility requirements. The Treasury Department is now requiring documentation of eligibility (such as past-due notices, utility bills, and…
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