Various law firms, attorneys, and organizations in Florida have partnered together to create FLASH, which stands for Florida Attorneys Saving Homes. Homeowners throughout the state can contact the non-profit organization for free legal advice when dealing with a foreclosure. Ideally they should contact the organization early and before they even fall behind on a mortgage payment.
Some of the different groups that are working together on the program include The Florida Bar Foundation, HUD counselors across the state, Florida Legal Services Inc., government agencies. The Florida Bar, and also the Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar. They have all committed to do what they can help Florida homeowners stop or prevent a foreclosure. The Real Property Probate and Trust Law Section is assisting with the administering and the coordination of the efforts of all of these volunteer attorneys across the state in this task.
This pro bono project was the the first of its kind across the country in which the organization will be placing volunteer attorneys and homeowners together before the foreclosure process starts, which helps increase the chances of success.
A toll free phone number has been established and it will take phone calls from Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm each day. Dial 866-607-2187.
As soon as you think you may have difficulty in making a mortgage payment, you need to call the number and ask for help from an attorney. The advice is free, and the program has been shown to lead to some success. The longer you wait the fewer options you will have, and the more likely you will not be successful. If you have missed a payment, call right away. Do not wait before asking for help.
If you call the FLASH program, counselors, paralegals and/or attorneys will be on the receiving end of your call. They will ask you some questions and try to understand your financial situation. All of the communication will be confidential. Some of the questions asked will also ensure you are put in contact with the pro bono attorneys who can best help you.
The exact type of support you are provided may vary based on your personal and financial situation. However, in general, attorneys will negotiate or mediate with your bank or lender on your behalf. The goal of this communication to create a positive relationship in which the lender and the homeowner can work together to come up with a solution. Read about other medication programs, such as those in Broward County foreclosure mediation and also the Florida mortgage mediation program.
Some of the solutions that may be arrived at include a modification to your loan. The goal will to be to create a loan that is more affordable and reasonable for the borrower to pay. It should allow the homeowner to remain in the home and avoid foreclosure filing. This is a win-win situation for all involved, as the homeowner keeps their home, and the lender loses less money in the process.
Attorneys across Florida feel that homeowners who may be having trouble with paying their mortgage would have better success negotiating directly with their bank or lender if they had some free legal advice, support, and assistance in advance of those discussions. So this is what the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes (FLASH) program can provide. It will offer clients the consultation and support of an attorney, who will work with the borrower and really be at their side.
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