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New lender guidelines may lead to increase in Florida foreclosures

In Florida, on average it takes 861 days from the time a person stops paying their mortgage to when the foreclosure process officially comes to an end with the bank taking complete control of the home. However, now with strict guidelines for banks in terms of repossession, the thought is that foreclosures will increase in Florida and across the country.

The strict guidelines come after some of the nation's largest lenders agreed to a $26 million settlement. These five lenders are Ally Financial, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Before this settlement and subsequent strict guidelines, many lenders were worried about processing foreclosures due to the earlier robo-signing scandal. Because of this, many banks would wait to repossess a home, which meant homeowners were given a longer amount of time to just stay put in their homes. In some cases, people were staying in their homes close to three years after stopping making payments.

However, now that these guidelines are in place, banks are no longer frightened to move forward, which means homeowners can expect for the entire process to run a lot quicker.

So far, in Florida, which is a judicial state where a foreclosure is under court scrutiny, there has already even been a 26 percent year-over-year increase in the number of foreclosure filings. Going forward, that percentage is only expected to increase, which would mean more Florida homeowners could find themselves seeking out options when it comes to ways to prevent a foreclosure.

Overall, what this all means is that it is now vital for a homeowner to learn about debt relief solutions as soon as he or she senses a foreclosure in the horizon.

Source: CNN, "Many Foreclosures Have Been In Limbo Since Fall 2010," Les Christie, April 13, 2012

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