Minimize Your Risk

When a former client reaches out about an impending foreclosure

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

Licensed Florida real estate agents are required to understand the technicalities that govern real estate transactions. Their responsibilities include helping clients review documents, inspect properties, counter offers and manage the closing process. Oftentimes, a real estate agent’s responsibilities end after a closing or when a buyer assumes possession of newly-acquired property. However, sometimes agents will hear back from a client sometime after a closing to inform them of an unexpected challenge that may warrant a need for additional support.

Real estate agents will sometimes hear from clients facing foreclosure, for example, and they may worry about how to assist those former clients. After all, they won’t become repeat customers anytime soon if they lose their home. How might a real estate agent assist a buyer facing foreclosure?

Explain the basic process

Homeowners are often unfamiliar with foreclosure proceedings and unsure of what to expect when a lender sends them a warning about a possible upcoming foreclosure. Buyers that understand the requirements imposed by the law on foreclosure proceedings and the estimated timeline for the process can prepare a more reasonable response to a lender’s collection efforts.

Explore a short sale

One of the most viable alternatives to a foreclosure is a short sale. Often, buyers make aggressive offers when the market is competitive, only to then find themselves underwater or upside down on the mortgage attached to it. A short sale is a possible solution for such a scenario, as it can allow the mortgage lender to recoup as much as possible without incurring the cost of foreclosure. A short sale usually creates less of a negative mark on someone’s credit history than a foreclosure.

Bring in legal support

Trying to handle foreclosure without the right professional assistance can be a major financial mistake for a property owner and any professional attempting to assist them. Real estate agents may be familiar with property laws, but they are not lawyers.

The best way to determine if the lender has violated foreclosure statutes or to determine the most viable response to foreclosure efforts often starts with having a lawyer review the circumstances and the letters sent by the mortgage lender. Partnering with an attorney even before a client runs into trouble can help real estate agents better represent buyers by providing them with custom documents and accurate information regarding their rights.

When real estate agents encounter former clients who are worried about foreclosure, the steps that they take next can make a big difference. Having a plan in place before the issue arises can increase the chances of successfully navigating this challenge.