Governor Charlie Crist and the state Bankers Association Monday announced there would be no new foreclosures for at least 45 days. But, there are strings attached.
Governor Crist says homeowners facing foreclosure may have some
breathing room. He has been asking the state’s banks to be more consumer friendly.
“We are here today to offer hope to those certainly deserve it and need
it during these challenging economic times...an opportunity to keep
Once described by the governor as a moratorium, the word was not used in the announcement. The 45 day hiatus applies to homesteads, not second homes, speculators, or businesses.
Bankers like Alex Sanchez, President of the Florida Bankers Association, describes the agreement as a reaffirmation of a policy they have always had in place.
“Out bankers want to work with every Floridian that shows a need, lives in their primary residence, there’s 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.
Bank of America has already suspended foreclosures for more than 50
thousand Florida homeowners who had loans through Countrywide before the company was acquired by the bank.
Mike Fields is a spokesman for Bank of America.
“Those individuals involved in sub prime and those individuals in pay
option ARM’s, those were already suspended”.
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 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 the following web sites:
www.floridahousing.org and www.dca.state.fl.us