As a homeowner in Florida, considering the possibility of foreclosure can be alarming, especially if you have a family. If you are not that far behind on payments, changing the mortgage terms might allow you to keep your home. Timing is important when you fall behind on home payments, so you must act quickly to find out what your best option might be.

Consulting an experienced lawyer may help you work with your mortgage company to determine new, workable terms for both you and your lender. The most common alternatives to a foreclosure include mortgage alteration and short sales.

Mortgage alterations

To modify your mortgage, you need to begin negotiating with your lender as soon as possible. Be aware, however, that there are no guarantees that the financial institution will accept your new terms. If the lender seems open to an alteration, you might come to a mutually acceptable agreement. If not, another option is a short sale.

Short sales

A short sale involves selling your home for an amount that is less than the balance owed on your mortgage. All parties – you, the buyer and the lender – must agree to the new terms, and in this case the lender would be agreeing to take a loss.

If your financial situation is such where your credit will take a large hit by going through foreclosure, and especially if the balance you owe on your mortgage is larger than the value of the home, a short sale may be beneficial for you. If you are more interested in keeping your home, this would not be your first choice if it is avoidable.

Even when facing foreclosure, do not think that you have no choices. Consulting a lawyer experienced in foreclosures and mortgage negotiation and explaining your financial situation may help you determine what your best options are.