Foreclosure is a legal action taken by a lender or bank to take back property from a borrower that is delinquent on payments. In the State of Florida, all foreclosures are Judicial foreclosures that are controlled by the courts and governed by a set of guidelines. Lenders must abide by a specific process that names actions and timelines.
- Your lender’s attorney(s) will file a Lis Pendens/Complaint with the court. This gives notice that legal action is in the works. You are officially being sued by your lender.
- You will be notified of the action by way of a Summons/Service of Complaint that is personally served or served to a family member in your household who is at least 15 years of age. In some cases, the summons may be published in a local newspaper. You have 20 days to respond to the complaint by filing an Answer to the Complaint. By doing so, you will have a chance to state your case before a judge. However, if you do not respond, the lender may receive a default judgment.
- Once you respond, a Motion for Summary Judgment/Trial will be filed on behalf of your lender. This indicates to the court that a trial is not necessary because you have not disputed any issues of fact. If the judge agrees, a judgment will be entered. If, however, the judge believes that facts have been disputed, he or she will set a date for trial.
- You will initially be sent a Notice of Default. The letter usually asks you to bring your loan to a “current” status by a specific date. If you fail to respond or act on the request, your lender may choose to take legal action.
- With or without a trial, a date and time for the Sale of Property will be set. If the property is sold, the proceeds will go to the lender. If there are no bids on the property, title will be given to the lender who will then be able to sell it on the open market. In either case, you face eviction.
- If the property is returned to the lender and the full amount remaining on the loan is not obtained through resale, the lender has the right to sue you for a Deficiency Judgment. With this action, the lender has the right to collect not only what you owe but also the foreclosure costs by garnishing wages or bank accounts, or by placing a levy upon any and all of your assets.
If you are facing foreclosure, it is in your best interest to contact the attorneys at Parker & DuFresne immediately for a free consultation. Chip Parker is a graduate of the prestigious Max Gardner’s Bankruptcy Boot Camp, which has been featured in Business Week magazine and on ABC’s Nightline.
The attorneys of Parker & DuFresne are armed with the knowledge and resources to fight your mortgage company. They will meet with you to review your foreclosure complaint and discuss your options. Avoiding foreclosure so that you can keep your home is their ultimate goal. Call 904-512-0876.