Fighting Back Against Foreclosure

It will come as news to virtually no one that home foreclosures are among the most challenging and heartbreaking problems facing Sarasota County families as they struggle through one of the worst economic meltdowns in our nation’s history.  What largely began as a problem affecting investors and homeowners—who could no longer afford the sub-prime mortgages that were so freely and irresponsibly parceled out during the boom—has morphed into a much more all-encompassing crisis.  Today a lost job—or even a temporary layoff—can be the final straw that pushes responsible homeowners to the brink of having to surrender their homes.

Where homeowners threatened with foreclosure once had few options but to pack up, vacate the family home and relocate elsewhere, Sarasota County and the Community Alliance of Sarasota County are taking fresh steps to minimize such drastic and distressing outcomes.  If the threat of foreclosure is on the horizon by far the worst thing imperiled homeowners can do is throw-up their arms, throw in the towel and do nothing.  Doing so only complicates the problem when there are more positive and available options awaiting those who act quickly to pursue them.

If you are in danger of foreclosure you can visit Sarasota County’s web site, www.scgov.net/HomeHelp for online guidance in understanding what your options are.  Its Foreclosure Resource Assistance Network (FRAN) offers tips on avoiding foreclosure among other pertinent information.

Foreclosures are particularly hard on families with young children, the elderly; and are frequently the first step on the downward spiral into homelessness.  Moreover vacant, un-maintained homes affect neighborhood safety, the neighborhood’s quality of life, local property values and local tax revenues. Therefore, we all have a stake in seeing this crisis to its conclusion as quickly, forcefully and humanely as possible.  So even if you aren’t personally affected by the crisis, chances are a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor is.  Please be sure to share this information with them.

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