Florida Foreclosure Laws
Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: No
Security Instruments: Mortgage
Right of Redemption Period: Yes; Limited Time Period
Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes
Time Frame: 6-9 Months; Typically 180 Days
Public Notice: Complaint
Florida operates as a lien theory state, which means that a property acts as security for the loan. In Florida, the document that places a lien on a property is referred to as a mortgage.
Only judicial foreclosure proceedings are allowed in Florida, where the court must issue a final judgment of foreclosure. The defaulted property is then sold as part of a publicly noticed sale. In Florida, the court with jurisdiction over foreclosure proceedings is the Circuit Court. In order to get the procedure started, a complaint must be filed in Circuit Court along with a Lis Pendens, which is a recorded document that provides public notice of the property that is in the process of foreclosure.
The state has a statutory right of redemption, allowing the borrower whose property has been foreclosed to reclaim it by paying the full sum of the loan plus any additional costs within a specified time frame. In addition, Florida also allows for deficiency judgments to be obtained when a foreclosed property is sold at a public sale for less than the amount that is owed on the mortgage. The mortgagor will be responsible to the lender for the difference between what the property sold for at auction and the amount that the original loan was obtained for.
Types of Foreclosures Allowed in Florida
In Florida, only judicial foreclosures on defaulted property are permitted. This type of foreclosure, also known as foreclosure by judicial sale, involves selling the defaulted property under court supervision. In order for a judicial foreclosure to be possible, no power of sale clause may be present in the loan documents.
All mortgages that are foreclosed in Florida are in equity. All counterclaims against the foreclosing lender are separated by the court to be dealt with at a different trial. In order to obtain a judicial foreclosure, a lawsuit for an Order of Foreclosure is needed.
It is up to the court to determine how the foreclosure proceedings will occur. The court will give an Order of Foreclosure which will include all the details of the proceedings, such as date, time and place. The court may order for a notice of the sale to be published in a newspaper that circulates in the county where the property is located. It is up to the lender to place a public advertisement or notice of the foreclosure proceedings.
Florida allows for right of redemption up until the end of the foreclosure sale, or in rare cases, at a court specified time. After the sale, there is a period of time in which the court reviews the sale to make sure that the property was sold at a fair price. During this time, parties may object to the sale if the proper procedures were not followed or if there were any signs of fraud. This process takes roughly ten (10) days, after which the Certificate of Sale is filed and the title will be passed. If a sale is not confirmed, another sale will be ordered.
Obtaining Legal Help from a Florida Foreclosure Attorney
Due to the current standstill of the economy, homeowners across the country – and in Florida especially – are falling behind on their mortgage payments. Mortgagors that were previously able to make their payments without hassle are now finding themselves in dire financial times. While receiving a foreclosure notice can be extremely frightening, help is readily available to homeowners in Florida to protect their property from being seized. If you have defaulted on your mortgage in Florida, turn to a leading foreclosure lawyer for help.
Foreclosure attorneys will sit down with you to discuss your current financial situation and will devise a plan of action to present to lenders in lieu of foreclosure. Your paralegal may suggest mortgage modification, short sale, refinancing or even a temporary halt in payment. Regardless of the plan, you can rest assured that your foreclosure lawyer will not rest until an agreement has reached between you and your lender that does not involve the repossession of your property.
Regardless of your reason for defaulting, as a homeowner in Florida, you have a right to seek legal help. Turn to a skilled Florida foreclosure attorney right away to fight for your rights and stop foreclosure on your home today.