If you have received a writ of possession, unfortunately there is not much that can be done to save your home. A writ of possession is a court order to vacate your property because your home has been sold at a foreclosure auction. A sheriff will place a notice on your door, and come back every 24 hours to execute the writ. Although you cannot stop the foreclosure at this point, you can try to buy yourself some extra time by filing an “emergency motion to stay the writ of possession.” This motion must be filed at the clerk of the county court where the case was filed immediately after the writ of possession is posted on your door. The motion to stay should include the following:
- A statement explaining why extra time is needed.
- A request to the judge to delay the execution of the writ.
- A request to the judge for a hearing to explain your situation.
The judge is the only one with the power to stop the sheriff from kicking you out of your house. Therefore, make sure to deliver a copy of the motion to stay to the judge that ordered the writ. If the judge grants your emergency motion to stay, ask for a copy of the judge’s order to be delivered to the sheriff as proof, so that they do not come back and force you out. Once you have moved out, be aware that you can still be sued for the deficient amount, which is the difference between the amount your home sold for and what was owed on your loan.
Understandably so, receiving a writ of possession can be very disheartening to a homeowner. If you are struggling with your mortgage payments, acting early will allow you to circumvent the upheaval of being evicted from your home. Possible solutions include:
- Loan Modification. This solution involves refinancing your loan with lower monthly payments, allowing you to keep your home.
- Short Sale Agreement. With a short sale agreement, the bank allows you to sell your home for less than you owe on your mortgage.
- Deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement. In order to avoid foreclosure, you voluntarily give the bank ownership of your home with a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
- Cash for Keys Agreement. Cash for Keys is a move-out incentive from your lender to leave your property in exchange for a monetary reward.
- Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program (HAFA). The HAFA program involves a government short sale, where the lender allows the proceeds from the sale to satisfy the homeowner’s debt. Additionally, the program offers money to homeowners for relocation assistance.
As soon as you are served a summons and complaint, it is crucial to hire an experienced foreclosure defense attorney to delay the foreclosure process and help you find a better alternative. Aided by nearly 30 years of experience in foreclosure defense, the experts at Kelley & Fulton will work with you to determine the best course of action that is right for you. To schedule an appointment with our foreclosure attorney in West Palm Beach, give us a call today.