Ben McLarin lived near Jacksonville, Fla., until he lost his job and got divorced in 2007. His wife kept the house, but then couldn’t keep up the payments, spurring the bank to foreclose in 2009.
This year, a debt collector informed him he was being sued for $115,000, the difference between what was owed on the house and the amount the lender managed to recoup after it sold the home, said McLarin, an IT worker, who now lives in California.
His attorney, Chip Parker, with Parker & DuFresne in Jacksonville, said McLarin is one of thousands. Parker estimates that one debt collector alone, Dyck O’Neal, has filed more than 10,000 suits in Florida this year, involving roughly $1 billion in foreclosure debt.