How to Stay in My Home After Foreclosure in Fort Myers

A recent study estimates that 47% of foreclosed properties are still occupied.

When you first see that stat you may be surprised… but we’re not.

What most people don’t realize is that banks aren’t in the business to own homes.

They are in the business to loan people money. But when they have to foreclose on a house… the bank is forced to own the home until they’re able to sell it to get all or most of their money back.

What they’ve discovered is that when a foreclosed house in Fort Myers becomes vacant, there’s a higher likelihood of it deteriorating. In many cases, the bank prefers to have you remain in the property even after you’ve stopped making payments and foreclosure proceedings have begun. This helps deter vandalism and ensures the house remains in good condition.

There’s been a lot of talk in the media about people living for free after foreclosure – and even many stories about banks “abandoning” properties.

In those stories, people are avoiding house payments for months, even years.

Man, that sounds great! Let’s all live for free. (wink)

Wait… it can’t be that simple, right?


No bank would purposely neglect to collect payments. The only way that you get to live without making any payments is when some major mistakes were made.

But you might get lucky! It’s possible, and it’s happened before. However, it’s not exactly legal to avoid payments that you owe, and it can get you in serious trouble.

So why are so many foreclosed homes occupied? It’s important to remember that no one wants the house to be vacant. Vacant homes are targets for vandalism and crime.

Staying in the property can aid the bank in preserving the value of their investment, making it advantageous for them to keep it occupied. Due to the nuances of foreclosure laws in Florida, banks may request that you vacate the premises while simultaneously preferring for you to remain, highlighting the complexities of the situation.

There are a few perfectly legal ways to remain in your home, even after foreclosure.

How To Stay In My Home After Foreclosure In Fort Myers

Not all these options are available (depending on your situation and your lenders), and you’ll need some expert advice along the way to help you get through.

1) Wait it out. While it may not be an ideal solution, it’s becoming more prevalent. However, fleeing and abandoning your house at the first notice of default is not advisable. It’s crucial to recognize that foreclosure proceedings can span months or even years. Therefore, it’s essential not to concede defeat prematurely. Conversely, waiting until the sheriff arrives to evict you before packing up your belongings is also ill-advised. Finding a balance between these extremes is key.

2) Go to court. In very rare cases, judges are granting stays and delaying evictions. This is really only a valid option if you (and your attorneys) can prove that the bank has neglected a legal requirement during the foreclosure process. During the past few years, a lot of fraudulent behavior at banks has been uncovered – so we may see an increasing trend of using the courts to stop foreclosure. Fighting banks with lawyers is very difficult, expensive and time-consuming, even if you’ve got a perfect case (most people don’t stand a chance).

3) Propose a move-out bonus.

Purchasers of foreclosed properties often find themselves facing hefty legal fees and eviction expenses when dealing with occupied properties. One solution to expedite the process and alleviate financial burdens is to consider offering occupants a “cash for keys” arrangement. While this may appear to benefit only the seller, it actually promotes smoother transactions for all parties involved.

By incentivizing occupants to vacate the property voluntarily through a cash for keys agreement, you not only save time and money for yourself but also for the buyers and the financial institution. This proactive approach helps prevent potential issues such as the property being abandoned to squatters, which can complicate the process further and incur additional expenses for both the bank and the new buyers.

In essence, by offering cash for keys, you’re not just looking out for your own interests; you’re actively contributing to a more efficient and amicable resolution for everyone involved in the foreclosure transaction.

4) Rent it back.

While it may initially sound unconventional, there are banks out there who are willing to consider former homeowners as potential tenants for their properties. This unique arrangement can provide a temporary housing solution for individuals who have previously owned homes but find themselves in need of alternative housing options.

Under this arrangement, you would essentially become a tenant in the property owned by the bank. However, it’s important to note that this is typically a short-term fix, as the bank’s ultimate goal is to sell the property to a new owner. Therefore, as soon as a buyer is found, you would be expected to vacate the premises.

In some cases, though, there may be opportunities for a more stable housing solution. For instance, we can explore the possibility of purchasing the property from the bank and then leasing it back to you. This option could provide you with greater security and continuity in your housing situation, offering a longer-term solution beyond just being a temporary tenant.

It’s really good that you’re reading this page and exploring your options. We help homeowners like you to find creative solutions.

We can’t help everyone, but we might be able to help you.

We buy local Fort Myers Florida houses like yours from people who need to sell fast.s

Give us a call anytime at 239-360-3176 or
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