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Homeowners taking advantage of foreclosure ban extension

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 18:25:32-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A home on West Rd. in Fort Myers was foreclosed on back in February. Realtor Michael Thompson says the moratorium extension leaves banks stuck.

“If they’re not able to get rid of these properties in a timely manner - imagine having one or two, okay. But, if you’ve got hundreds and hundreds and hundreds across the nation that are like this. That loss is really amplified,” he said.

He says the previous owner of the West Rd property agreed to leave after the lender offered financial assistance in February, but he’s still living in the home.

“Don’t feel it’s fair to them. If they’re willing to offer relocation assistance to help people get into another property,” said Thompson.

In this case, Thompson says the bank offered the previous homeowner $2500 to relocate.

“He has not received any of that money yet. Our initial date I believe was March 30th,” he said.

Governor ron desantis issued a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures two days later.

Thompson says he was unable to move out fast enough, and the bank’s relocation offer is now off the table. So, now the previous homeowner can live there rent-free for yet another month.

“I think extending the moratorium is causing more damage to the economy than it really needs to. A lot of people are back working again,” said Thompson

There’s also a bill in Congress called the Helping Open Properties Endeavor (HOPE) Act, aimed at helping businesses behind on commercial mortgages.

If you need help paying rent mortgage or other bills, organizations like Beacon of Hope in Saint James City offer assistance.