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More Foreclosure Help on the Way

July 28th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

A four million dollar settlement with defunct mortgage lender CountryWide will be used to hire legal aid lawyers to help fight foreclosures in Florida. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the cash couldnt come at a better time.

There were 41 thousand new foreclosures filed in Florida last month alone. The state ranks second only to California. Kent Spuhler of Florida Legal Services says the Foreclosure boom is stretching legal aid lawyers thin, just when they are needed most.

We are tremendously swamped. I mean its probably ten fold greater than what we saw when this crisis began says Spuhler.

But help is on the way. Attorney General Bill McCollum presented a two million dollar check to the Florida Bar Foundation.

The check is part of a four million dollar settlement with former mortgage lender Countrywide. Two million dollars is for this year, another two million next year fund attorneys in legal aid offices to help those facing foreclosure.

Well, we hope we prevent foreclosure, but most importantly we hope we prevent scams from occurring, but either one says McCollum. If we prevent foreclosures thats even better because people save their homes.

The bottom line is this: if someone is trying to take your money and promising to save your house…youre likely to lose both.

New federal legislation means homeowners facing foreclosure have new legal rights that Spuhler says are almost impossible to navigate without a lawyer.

If it has been filed in court, they can file a response Spuhler says of Legal Aid attorneys. And under the new federal program, it the family qualifies, that response is supposed to stop the foreclosure filing.

The money will be spread across the state based on the percentage of foreclosures in the area.

If you just lost a job or fear going into foreclosure, you should contract:
Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program with an on-line intake form or by calling the toll-free hot line from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at 1-866-607-2187. If you are already in foreclosure, call the local legal aid office.

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