LABELLE, FL. -- Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today encouraged homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure or fearful that their lending institution may foreclose on their property to contact the Florida Bar Association to obtain free legal assistance.
According to Florida Legal Services Inc., 77,000 state homeowners are in foreclosure, making Florida second in the nation only to California in the number of homes in that status. And many others are at least 30 days past due on their mortgage payment, which places them at risk of having their loans foreclosed.
Florida Legal Services and the Florida Bar Association have partnered in establishing a toll-free hotline -- 1-866-607-2187 -- that consumers can call to answer a few initial questions about their situation to ensure accurate placement with a free attorney. The attorney will then negotiate with the lender on behalf of the client to keep the home from being foreclosed.
"I applaud Florida Legal Services and the Florida Bar for offering this public service," Bronson said. "Home ownership remains a foundation of our society, leading to the stability of families and contributing significantly to our local, state and national economy, and any effort that helps families keep their homes in this uncertain economy is beneficial."
More than 10,000 Florida attorneys have volunteered their services in the program, according to Florida Legal Services Inc.