What Happens in a Florida Foreclosure?
Florida has what is called judicial foreclosure, or foreclosure through the court system. Not all states have the same laws regarding foreclosure. Here are the basic steps in Florida:
- When you are behind in your mortgage payments, your lender may file a "Lis Pendens". The Lis Pendens is an entry in the public records to make it known a lawsuit is pending involving title to your property. An actual suit will be filed with the court and is what initiates the legal proceeding. You will be served a copy of the complaint
- You have 20 days to respond after you are served. If you fail to respond in the time provided, the lender can obtain a default judgment against you. Your answer denies the lender the ability to get the default. The answer forces the lender to file a Motion for Summary Judgment. That is what triggers the hearing.
- At the Summary Judgment hearing the lender will state the debt (including fees, interest, etc.) and argue that there is no real dispute (i.e. everyone admits that there is a valid mortgage/note and that the borrower defaulted). If the judge decides that the mortgage/note are valid and that the debt is undisputed, then he will enter a final judgment in favor of the lender. The hearing involves both sides and there is a possibility that the lender's motion could be denied.
- On the Sale Date, there will be a public auction at the courthouse in the county where the property is located. The sale date must be at least 20 days after the date of final judgment, but no more than 35 days after the date of final judgment unless the lender agrees to extend the sale
There is a 10-day period after the auction in which objections may be filed for limited reasons. After that period if there are no objections, the highest bidder at the auction may obtain a Certificate Of Title.
- The lender can pursue a deficiency judgment against you for the unpaid difference in your mortgage plus costs.
Information courtesy Fountain, Shultz & Associates Law Firm, P.L.
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This site, Wendy Rulnick or Rulnick Realty, Inc. is not providing legal or tax advice. The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only. It is recommended that sellers considering a short sale should consult an independent legal and tax advisor for more information.
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