I would like to point out a very good post from fellow foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa (external link removed from Stopa’s site it seems)
Second, the notorious “free house” does not exist. There are only a handful of cases across the whole country where a borrower got a free house, and these were in cases of the worst foreclosure abuses imaginable. Florida judges are not generally homeowner-friendly and will not award you a free house because the bank screwed up.Read it. Read it carefully. DO NOT and I mean DO NOT hang your hat on beating the bank in court and getting a free house. First, even IF you win or the bank dismisses the case because it cannot proceed on its current paperwork, it is “without prejudice” meaning the bank CAN and WILL re-file at some point.
You should be saving money. Whatever you are not paying in mortgage,taxes and insurance, should be going into a separate bank account that you do not touch. When it gets to the end of the road and modification efforts cannot be had, then you have a safety net. You can use that money now to go rent or buy elsewhere, and should have a good amount saved if $1,500 is the average mortgage payment as a whole.
PLEASE do not come to us after 4-5-6 years of being in foreclosure and say “what do I do now I have nowhere to go?” You knew you were in foreclosure, you had YEARS to save money while we did our job, and there was no guarantee you would end up at the end with the house still. Money should have been put aside for rainy day such as this.
As Mr. Stopa points out in a subsequent post after this, yes, there are times when homeowners cannot even pay their bills, let alone save the money they aren’t paying the bank. But let me pose this question. If you cannot pay the bills without a mortgage, what do you expect the bank to do for you to make it affordable to pay your bills AND a reasonable mortgage payment? You have to be realistic. If you can afford $0 because you cannot even pay the costs of living monthly, you have a bigger problem than foreclosure and I urge you to seek a financial counselor immediately before it is too late and start saving even a $100 dollars a month. This will add up after a few years of the foreclosure case dragging on. In 2 years you will have $2,400 saved; a good deposit for a rental.
Please take this warning and put aside money. We see far too many homeowners (not necessarily our clients) with fancy cars, nicer than their lawyer drives, taking lavish vacations, and then telling their lawyer that they cannot afford a reasonable mortgage amount. Do not blow the opportunity while living “mortgage free” to live like a king, because it will come and bite you later when the foreclosure goes through and you have nowhere to go.