Florida is a Judicial Foreclosure state, which means lawsuit must be filed in order to foreclose. Once you are a few months past due, you will get what is called a Notice to Accelerate letter. At this point, you will need to pay the past amount plus any late fees they assess you to stop the foreclosure process. You may also receive a letter saying that they may accelerate the due date of the loan and start the foreclosure process if you do not pay by a certain date. The foreclosure process begins when your lender issues a “Notice of Default” asserting that the terms of the loan have not been met by the borrower. Upon receipt of the Notice of Default – the beginning of the foreclosure proceedings will have commenced.
Following the notice, the lender will file a “lis pendens” with the county courthouse, and you will then be served with a Summons and Complaint. The Summons and Complaint begin the lawsuit against you. The bank will hire an attorney and will forward you a Demand Letter if you do not respond by paying the full amount due on the date the bank has established in their Notice to Accelerate letter. The Demand Letter officially notifies you that if you don’t bring your mortgage current, the foreclosure process is going to start in the court system. You will also be responsible for any attorney fees added to the delinquent amount, unpaid interest and late charges that are added to the loan, which will make it more expensive to stop foreclosure later on. Many methods can help avoid Foreclosure.
Once you have been served with court papers, you have only 20 days to fight back the lawsuit and stop your home from being sold out.
The longer you wait, the harder and more expensive your fight will be. That being said, even if your sale date is just days away, in some cases it is still possible to stop the sale and keep you in your home. Ultimately, we highly recommend you contact us as early as possible in the process.
If you don’t respond, the Bank will move for a judgment. Once the court rule in the Banks favor, they will set a date to sell your house, and you will soon be left without a home.
The lender will file a lawsuit and seek to force the sale. The proceeds of the sale will go to the lender to pay all amounts. If there are no bids, the lender will take title to the property or home and will attempt to sell the property.
Foreclosure Important time frames:
Day 1- Complaint-Filed and served
Day 20- Your Answer/Respond to the Complaint is due- If you fail to answer/respond you may be defaulted for not responding in writing to the Complaint
It is essential that you act before the Court enters a default. Do not ignore the Complaint.
Days 90-120- Judgment Hearing-Judge will grant the lender a Foreclosure judgment and set a sale date. It is best to hire a Foreclosure defense attorney to avoid this.
Days 120-150- Foreclosure Sale and Eviction-The property will be sold to the highest bidder at a public auction. It is important to note that this time frame varies case to case, could be longer.
What can an experienced and knowledgeable Lawyer do? When applicable:
- File an answer containing affirmative defenses, if any.
- File Motion to Quash Services and process
- File Motion to dismiss lawsuit
- File Motion to dismiss complaint
- File answer a counterclaim against the lender/plaintiff/Bank
A short sale occurs when and if a mortgage lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on a mortgage to avoid a possible foreclosure auction or a bankruptcy filing. The buyer buys the home directly from the bank for the discounted amount and the homeowner walks away. Short sales are ideal for when you want out of your house and need to sell fast, before foreclosure. Short sales can be the ideal way to get rid of the problem of foreclosure and save both face and your credit rating. We work with clients through the whole process. A professional real estate agent would facilitate the process and will find a buyer. Time is of the essence in a short sale.
Deficiency judgment. Lenders can sue homeowners even after the house is foreclosed on or sold, to recover any remaining deficiency. A deficiency occurs when the amount you owe on the home loan is more than the proceeds from the sale (or auction)—the difference between these two amounts is the amount of the deficiency. In Florida lenders can sue for a deficiency. The benefit of a short sale is that you may be able to get out from under your mortgage without liability for the deficiency.
Loan Modification is a change to an existing loan to a more affordable level by a lender in response to a borrower’s long-term inability to repay it. If you would like to save your home, a loan modification can be a good option. If you have the income to pay a reduced mortgage payment, we can assist with your application for a loan modification. Loan modifications typically involve a reduction in the principal balance, interest rate or an extension of the length of the term of the loan, or a combination of the three. You may qualify if you have recovered from a hardship and can afford the new payment amount. Most lenders can work with homeowners, even if they have poor credit and have a foreclosure date since they do not want your home.
With the experience of our Bankruptcy Lawyers, you too can be sure to properly take advantage of your rights under bankruptcy protection and resolve your debt. Bankruptcy is the legal proceeding involving a person or business that is unable to repay outstanding debts. In times of financial difficulty, bankruptcy may be one of the best options for escaping from overwhelming debt. If the terms of the bankruptcy are met, any remaining debts will be discharged and no longer collectible. All the debtor’s assets are measured and evaluated, and the assets may be used to repay a portion of outstanding debt. All bankruptcy cases in the United States are handled through federal courts. Bankruptcy may be the fastest way to eliminate debt, it is also subject to many rules and exceptions which can either harm or benefit your ability to protect your money and other valuable assets in the process.
Being familiar with Florida Bankruptcy exemptions is critical for you to walk away successfully from your Bankruptcy
Homeowners Association and Foreclosure – OA Litigation Defenses
More Than Just the Mortgage Lender May Be After Your Property.
If you stop paying your property taxes or your HOA/COA fees, you can be foreclosed on by one of those subordinate lienholders. Once your property has sold, the first in priority is still going to be your Mortgage company. Since they provided the money for you to purchase your home, they get paid first. Even if the HOA/COA filed and won their foreclosure case, they are still a subordinate lienholder and get paid second
Foreclosures have placed enormous financial pressure on condominium and homeowner’s associations. In some cases, may even initiate foreclosure actions against a homeowner or even the Mortgage Lender.
Under Florida law, a homeowner or condominium association has the legal right to sue for foreclosure on a property whose owner has failed to keep up with their monthly dues, fees and special assessments. An HOA cannot initiate a foreclosure until 45 days after the homeowner has been provided with a notice of the association’s intent to foreclose and collect the unpaid amount.
In South Florida, recent developments have given more power to associations. A ruling in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court has now allowed associations to take legal action against the property’s lender to get all or part of their past-due fees back. In what is being called a “reverse foreclosure”, an association will file its own foreclosure suit against the property owner and take title to the property. The association will not be able to sell the property because of the lender’s lien on it, but it can relinquish its claim on the property via the courts, and request the courts give the title back to the lender. At this point, the lender becomes responsible for payment of any past due association fees.
- Are you receiving threatening letters from your mortgage company?
- Are you more than 60 day behind on your mortgage?
- Are you embarrassed to talk with your family or friends about your situation of possibly losing your home?
- Would you like to know all your options that will help you keep your home?
- Are you considering bankruptcy?
- The forbearance period of time is up, and the lender requires full payment of all missed payments up front?
- Do you have an auction sale date?
If you answer, “yes” to any of these questions, CONTACT US TODAY.