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If I make too much (money), can I get out of a bad real estate investment?

Paramus, NJ |

I purchased property (a single lot, no structure) in Cape Coral, Florida during the real estate boom. The value has gone from $115,000 to $10,000, while my payment has gone from $450 to $650 per month due to the parameters of the loan. I can afford it but it's just not smart financially to continue. I've not paid the loan for nearly 3 months and I'm on the verge of going into foreclosure. My actual residence is in New Jersey. I just want to get out of this in the most painless (financial) way. I'm concerned I make too much for the bank to work with me. If so, what are my options?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If you make too much money, then generally, your option is to settle when the time comes. No loss mitigation programs, either internal bank options or government sponsored, are designed to help those that can afford to pay, but simply choose not too.

    Based on what you describe, either you are
    1. Cash Flow Rich (make too much money) AND Asset rich (have significant equity in assets), or
    2. Cash Flow Rich, and Asset Poor (no significant equity in assets)

    If (1), you raise cash, fight'em off a few rounds and settle. If (2), you either try and raise cash to settle (foreclosure in FL takes a long time, and I imagine on bare land, banks are not eager to start foreclosure anytime soon), or if you can't, you may look at chapter 13 bankruptcy.

    Ultimately, your financial circumstances will dictate the best option. In the mean time, unfortunately, you will suffer significant damage to your credit, and settlement is not a guaranteed outcome.


  2. You could consider allowing the property to foreclose, consult with a Florida lawyer to see if liability on the note would be extinguished. Another option is to negotiate a payout with the bank.

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