Florida Divorce: What to Do With the House

life%20preserver.jpgWith so many Florida homeowners underwater on their mortgages, many divorcing couples that want to sell their house are wondering if it is even possible. Mortgage experts say that there are several things to consider when deciding what to do with the marital home in the event of a divorce:

Consider staying put. See if one of you can afford to stay in the home, at least until the housing market improves. If one of you can afford to stay, and you can refinance the mortgage in your name alone, be sure that the other spouse is removed from the deed as soon as the divorce is final.

Sell. If you have to sell, the good news is that Florida homes sales are on the rise, with an increasing influx of foreign buyers. Engage a real estate agent as quickly as possible to get your home on the market.

Short Sale. If you have been unable to sell the home and cannot afford your payments, talk to your lender about a short sale, where the lender agrees to sell the house for less than the mortgage. It is important for you to speak with an attorney to be sure the lender releases you from any obligation for loss on the home.

Avoid Foreclosure. You and your ex should not try to just walk away from your mortgage obligation. Talk to a foreclosure defense attorney first before taking action.

Bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy could be an option for divorcing couples that cannot afford their mortgage and cannot get approval for a short sale. Speak with a Florida bankruptcy attorney about how to proceed.