Here in South Florida, odds are high that you or your neighbor or your friend have your home mortgage with Bank of America. Why?
Bank of America holds not only mortgage notes that Bank of America made with its customers, but also mortgages made awhile back by Countrywide Financial Corporation because Bank of America took over all those Countrywide mortgages when Bank of America bought Countrywide back in 2008.
This week, it’s big news across the country that Bank of America has started to move forward in foreclosing on homes – lots and lots of homes.
CNBC reporter Diana Olick in her coverage of what is happening here looks to numbers she’s received from mortgage industry guru Mark Hanson, where Hanson finds that Bank of America got very busy last month. According to his tracking, Bank of America sent out over 200% more “notices of default” on home loans than it has in prior months.
Kimberly Miller at The Palm Beach Post looks to RealtyTrac numbers, and finds RealtyTrac reporting a 46% increase in August 2011 for non-judicial, initial foreclosures and an increase of 21% in states where judicial foreclosures are required. Miller’s reporting that in Palm Beach County, Florida, there was a 13% upswing in the number of foreclosure notices sent out in August 2011 as compared with July 2011, and that it’s predicted this is just the tip of the Bank of America foreclosure iceberg.
Brian Bandell of the South Florida Business Journal goes one step further. According to his review of actual court records, Bank of America has filed twice the number of foreclosures here in South Florida in August than it did in either of the two previous months.
Florida is a Judicial Foreclosure State – It’s Not as Quick and Easy for Banks to Foreclose Here.
Still, right now it looks like Bank of America is taking it easy and focusing its efforts on non-judicial foreclosure states like Nevada and California. Florida is different ballgame for the lender than these two states because Florida has a different foreclosure process.
There are two different procedures for banks to foreclose on homes in this country. Some states are “judicial foreclosure” states; the rest are “non-judicial foreclosure” states. What the difference?
- In a judicial foreclosure state, the foreclosure must be done as a lawsuit where a judge signs off on it (a judgment allowing the foreclosure and approving of it is signed by a trial court judge).
- In a non-judicial foreclosure state, a legal process must be followed but a lawsuit is not filed; here, the foreclosure begins with a “notice of default” being served.
Even though non-judicial foreclosures are lender-friendly, what with the ForeclosureFraud scandals and investigations and lawsuits, Bank of America really has not been moving forward in foreclosures for the past year. Things appear to be changing, and Bank of America has acknowledged it is moving forward now in foreclosing on mortgages that are behind in their payments in non-judicial foreclosure states.
What should we expect here in South Florida? Those with mortgage issues should expect a fight over their BofAm home loan.
Right now, I have heard that Bank of America is offering pre-suit mediation to South Florida home owners who are behind in their payments. However, there are rumors that Bank of America is getting its paperwork ready to start filing foreclosure lawsuits again, lots of them, here in South Florida and the Miami area.
Therefore, if you are behind in your payments on a Bank of America home loan or Countrywide mortgage, NOW is the time to get prepared for those issues associated with a foreclosure including: