The Florida foreclosure process can seem confusing and complicated, adding extra stress to an already difficult time. In this article, we’ll break down the foreclosure process in Florida and explain what you can expect at each stage.
Remember that this is just a general overview and not legal advice – for more specific information relating to your particular case, you should consult with an attorney.
The Pre-Foreclosure Process
Foreclosure in Florida is a process by which homes are taken over by the bank when they haven’t been paid in full on time. Federal law dictates that typically a servicer can’t formally begin the judicial foreclosure process until you’re past 120 days delinquent on your loan. This period is referred to as the pre-foreclosure period, and it allows you a chance to figure out how to address the issue and avoid foreclosure.
During the pre-foreclosure period, your loan servicer may charge late fees or inspection fees. Still, they typically also must notify you of your delinquent status and inform you of potential loss mitigation options. These must happen within 36 and 45 days, respectively, of your first missed payment, with another follow-up 36 days after the first.
There are several ways to stop a foreclosure from happening, including filing bankruptcy, loan modification, filing a lawsuit, and more. But of course, the best defense against foreclosure is preventative action – do whatever you can to avoid getting to this point.
- Serving of Lawsuit – 15 Days
A case number will be assigned to the Bank once they file suit. They have one opportunity to serve you with the summons, but if that fails or is unsuccessful, then service by publication must take place instead.
- Response from the Homeowner – 20 Days
A Homeowner has the option of admitting or denying the allegations in a Complaint and can also file Affirmative Defenses and argue their case. The bank will then have an opportunity at rebuttal through filing a Motion to Strike.
- Discovery of the Parties – 45 to 90 Days
Both the homeowner or the bank can serve discovery requests to the other side to strengthen their position. Types of requests include questions to be answered under oath (Interrogatories), access to particular documents (Request for Production), and confirmation or denial of specific statements (Request for Admissions). There is a 30-day window to respond before a Motion to Compel arbitration can be filed, and court proceedings are necessary.
Final Hearing and Summary of Judgement
The bank will file a motion for summary judgment once they believe they can obtain a Final Judgement without anything standing in the way. The bank will then have an opportunity to disprove the homeowner’s defenses, and if successful, then a sale date will be set within 35-120 days, at which point the bank will sell your home. Even if you’ve reached this point, there’s still time to take action to better your situation.
The Post-Foreclosure Process
On the sale date set by the Court, the highest bidder becomes the new owner, assuming that neither the homeowner nor bank has successfully filed a Motion to Cancel Sale.
When there are no objections to the sale within 10 days of filing the certificate of sale, the certificate of title will be issued, and the property transfers ownership.
The new owner will send a Certified Letter to the prior occupants inquiring about their residence. If no one responds, they can file for a Motion of Writ of Possession hearing. The judge will typically direct the Clerk to sign the Writ at this hearing. This process generally takes around 30 days, allowing the Homeowner one last opportunity to delay the foreclosure by filing a Motion to Stay the Writ, though these are seldom granted.
The foreclosure process in Florida is complex and can be challenging to navigate. If you’re facing a foreclosure, you need a solution fast. Our team at 321 House Buyers has worked with numerous people just like you who needed to sell their house quickly to get out of a bad situation.
We’ll buy your house for cash fast and at a fair market price, and we’ll guide you through every step of the process so you don’t have anything else on your plate but moving out and moving on with your life. Give us a call today at +1 (321) 323 9093 and let’s solve your problem together.