What Happens in a Florida Foreclosure?

  1. When you are behind in your mortgage payments, your lender may file a "Lis Pendens". The Lis Pendens is an entry in the public records to make it known a lawsuit is pending involving title to your property. An actual suit will be filed with the court and is what initiates the legal proceeding. You will be served a copy of the complaint.

  2. You have 20 days to respond after you are served. If you fail to respond in the time provided, the lender can obtain a default judgment against you. Your answer denies the lender the ability to get the default. The answer forces the lender to take additional steps in order to complete the foreclosure process, and usually forces the need for a final hearing.

  1. At a final hearing the lender will state the debt (including fees, interest, etc.), argue that the debt is valid and is in default, and that the lender is entitled to have the property sold at a foreclosure auction to help satisfy the debt. If the judge decides that the mortgage/note are valid and that the debt is undisputed, then a final judgment would be entered in favor of the lender. The hearing involves both sides and there is a possibility that the lender's request for foreclosure could be denied.

  2. If there is a final judgment of foreclosure, then there will be a public auction at the courthouse in the county where the property is located. The sale date must be at least 20 days after the date of final judgment, but no more than 35 days after the date of final judgment unless the lender agrees to extend the sale.

  1. There is a 10-day period after the auction in which objections may be filed for limited reasons. After that period if there are no objections, the highest bidder at the auction may obtain a Certificate Of Title.

  2. The lender may be able to pursue a deficiency judgment against you after the foreclosure auction. This is a money judgment for the difference between the total debt and the fair market value of the property at the time of foreclosure.

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