The Florida Foreclosure Process
Foreclosures happen in Florida when an
individual or group is severely delinquent in
payments or can no longer make payments on their
mortgage. Any number of situations can
contribute to the foreclosure process beginning:
an injury preventing work, the loss of a job, a
divorce or other financial strains. Foreclosure
is the process of the bank or lending
institution getting the property back and
reselling it to recoup their money.
Florida is a judicial state. This means that all
foreclosures must use the court system for
processing. Since banks differ and the courts
are involved, the foreclosure process timeline
varies slightly between individual cases.
Steps Taken to
The first steps
fall under the pre-foreclosure period. The
mortgage holder is late with payment, but remain
in the property while the foreclosure
The Notice of
Default is the first indication of late payment.
It is a written notice sent to the mortgage
holder by the mortgage lender. It will state how
much money is owed and how late the payment is.
A Notice of Default will state what you need to
do in order to become current on your payments
and prevent foreclosure from happening.
Typically the homeowner will know a foreclosure
is imminent when they receive a notice that the
entire mortgage is being accelerated and
therefore all amounts that remain due for the
life of the mortgage are now due an owing.
Lis Pendens is
paperwork filed by the mortgage lender in the
county courthouse for your particular Circuit
Court. It states their intention to sue the
property owners if they do not receive the
mortgage monies. By recording the Lis Pendens,
there is now a cloud on your title to the
property and the public now has recorded
knowledge that the foreclosure is imminent. Most
of the time a Lis Pendens is filed with the
action is a lawsuit filed under the county where
the property is located. This is typically a
four step process. First, the lawsuit is served
on the homeowner with a summons. Next, the
Mortgage Company files a "Motion for Summary
Judgment" asking for a final judgment. Once a
Final Judgment is issued, a judicial sale is
scheduled where other people or companies can
bid to buy your property. Most of the time the
Mortgage Company wins the bidding process
because they will not have to pay any actual
money until the bid exceeds the amount of the
mortgage. Finally, the Mortgage Company can (but
usually does not) seek a money damage judgment
(deficiency judgment) for the difference between
the sale price and the amount of the mortgage,
attorneys fees, costs, and interest.
any time before the auction of the property, the
mortgage holder can take back the property if
they can pay off the mortgage in full. If they
can pay for the mortgage in full, the
proceedings are halted and the mortgage holders
can move in and reassume ownership of the
above,the last step of the foreclosure process
is the Judicial sale. This is where the property
is auctioned off to the highest bidder at the
county courthouse. The price is low to begin,
but can escalate if it is in a hot location.
Once another bidder has won the auction and the
property, the former mortgage holder has
terminated all of their rights to the property.
Within ten days of the successful sale, the
title is transferred to the winning bidder.