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45 Day Halt to Mortgage Foreclosures

December 1st, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Charlie Crist and the state Bankers Association today announced there would be no new foreclosures for at least 45 days, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, there are strings attached.

Hear it Here: 45 Day Foreclosure Halt

Governor Charlie Crist says homeowners facing foreclosure may have some breathing room. He has been asking the states banks to be more consumer friendly. We are here today to offer hope to those who certainly deserve it and need it during these challenging economic times…an opportunity to keep their home, says Crist.

Once described by the governor as a moratorium, the M word wasnt used in the announcement. The 45 day hiatus applies to homesteads, not second homes, speculators, or businesses.

Alex Sanchez, President of the Florida Bankers Association is describing the agreement as a reaffirmation of a policy his members have always had in place. Out bankers want to work with every Floridian that shows a need, lives in their primary residence, theres been no mortgage fraud, and is willing to enter into a repayment plan.

Florida is third in the nation in the number of foreclosures. Bank of America says the announcement will have no impact on its business. Mike Fields from Bank of America says his bank has already suspended foreclosures for more than 50 thousand Florida homeowners who had loans through Countrywide before the company was acquired by the bank. Those individuals involved in sub prime and those individuals in pay option ARMs, those were already suspended, says Fields.

Set to expire in mid January, the halt to new foreclosures could be extended by the Governor by executive order, but banks say that could get them in trouble with regulators.

The Governor is also says the Department of Community Affairs will soon have $541 million for mortgage assistance and other financial aid to local governments that put together a plan to help homeowners in foreclosure, including $91 million for direct housing assistance. For more information, go to: www.floridahousing.org and www.dca.state.fl.us

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