DISCLAIMER: The foreclosure process can be very complex in the State of Florida, and your options and results will be largely dependent upon the facts specific to your case. The laws in each state vary, so any information found on this site is specific to Florida and should not be relied upon in lieu of an in person consultation with an attorney to review your case.
What is Foreclosure? – Foreclosure is the legal mechanism that a lender uses to take ownership of property used to secure a loan or other debt which is secured by the property. In Florida this process MUST be done through the court system and the lender cannot take possession of the property without a court Order.
If I am behind on my mortgage payments how long before the bank can or will foreclose on my house? – There is no specific time in which this takes place. Each lender has a different process they follow before a foreclosure is filed in the court. In most cases the lender is required to provide you with a notice of their intentions to foreclose by certified mail prior to taking any legal action against you.
I was served with a foreclosure Notice and a Summons, what do I do? – You should contact an attorney who is experienced with foreclosure defense to evaluate your individual circumstances and provide you with advice and a possible plan of action. Many attorneys will waive or reduce their consultation fees for foreclosure consultations. Our office provides one hour of consultation in foreclosure matters at no charge. This can be accomplished on the phone or in person, though in person meetings are usually more beneficial.
How soon should I contact a lawyer after I receive a Summons? As soon as possible. If you fail to provide a response to the lawsuit the lender could obtain a default judgment against you, proceed to have you removed from the property, sell the home, and in some cases even obtain a deficiency judgment against you.
REMEMBER: The worst thing you can do when you receive a summons is to do nothing at all.
Can I stay in my home while I am challenging the foreclosure? – YES! Until the judge in your case makes a final ruling and issues the Order for you to move you can remain in possession of your home. The lender does not have the right to remove you from the premises prior to the court’s Order.
How long does the process take? – This is one of the most asked questions regarding foreclosure. The answer is that it depends on the facts of the case, the outcome you are trying to achieve, your ability to make future payments, and the ability of your attorney to protect your rights. Some cases have lingered in the court system for several years, but this is not typical. In most cases a resolution is reached within a year or so.