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Miami homeowners have experienced their share of housing troubles in the past decade. Defaults on subprime mortgages turned neighborhood subdivisions into eerie ghost towns dotted with properties worth far less now than when they were built.

Repossessions and foreclosures have occurred at alarming rates and have damaged many residents’ credit histories for years to come. Even renting a house or apartment becomes difficult when a credit report is run during the screening process. Those who had open lines of credit may have seen the stream turned into a trickle or shut off entirely.

Sometimes homeowners feel that they have no other options available to them but foreclosure. Foreclosure can buy a little time while you live in the house without making payments. Wise homeowners use that time to negotiate better terms with their lenders, catch up on other bills, seek higher-paying employment and financially restructure their lives.

However, there is no peace of mind with foreclosure looming over your head. Some homeowners temporarily move in with family members or find cheaper housing and rent out the property. However, many if not most homeowners associations either prohibit or limit the number of renters or have very strict rules in place for them that can make renting quite difficult.

One alternative that still gives your credit rating a drubbing is a short sale. This agreement with the lender allows the sale of the property for a lesser amount than what is owed on it. Sometimes the homeowner walks away with nothing but a lowered credit score, but other times terms are negotiated to repay the deficiency over a period of time.

When faced with alternatives that are all unpalatable, sometimes the best choice is to stand your ground and fight back against predatory lenders and shaky housing markets. An experienced legal professional can offer advice on your best option at whatever stage of the foreclosure in which you may be.

Source: Huffington Post, “Is Foreclosure Ever a Good Idea?” Sep. 16, 2014