As the owner of a home in Florida, you always will have certain rights before, during, and after a foreclosure. At The Law Offices of Gary I. Handin, P.A., we have more than fifty years experience in real estate law and can represent individuals facing foreclosure throughout Broward, Miami Dade, or Palm Beach counties. If you’re struggling to keep up with your mortgage or have already fallen behind, contact our Coral Springs office today for legal advice.
What is Pre-foreclosure?
The period after you’re behind on your mortgage payments is known as pre-foreclosure. During this time, the lender can charge you fees, however, most of the time they give you a grace period before this late fee is assessed. A property inspection may also be performed which ensures that a home is occupied and maintained. At this time, they usually will send you a breach letter. This informs you that the loan is in default, and it gives you a chance to remedy this default of payment.
Rights Before Foreclosure in The State of Florida
If you have missed a payment, they must try to contact you within 36 days to discuss loss mitigation. They also must contact you in writing within 45 days (the breach letter). The foreclosure process usually will not start until you are more than 120 days overdue on a payment.
What is a Judicial Foreclosure?
In the State of Florida, foreclosure is known as judicial foreclosure. This process begins when the lender files a lawsuit which asks the court for an order for a foreclosure sale. Usually, 20 days is allowed for an answer to be filed with the court. If there is none, the lender will ask for a default judgment. However, if you choose to defend your lawsuit, the case goes through litigation. Whenever you’re facing foreclosure, it’s important to have a professional Florida foreclosure defense attorney by your side at all times.
Rights During a Foreclosure
Once the foreclosure process has begun, you have a right to take any property before a foreclosure sale begins. Redemption means that you pay off the full amount of the loan (if you redeem the property before the sale) or reimburse the buyer of the home. Redemption includes not only the total balance owed on the principal but also interest and any other costs associated with the foreclosure. This amount can be calculated with a payoff letter or a statement from your mortgage lender.
How Can I Stop a Foreclosure in Florida?
A few ways to stop a foreclosure include selling your property, refinancing your property, redeeming the property before a sale by paying and reinstating a loan, or your last resort should be filing for bankruptcy. Of course, if you’re able to work out a loan modification, this should also stop any foreclosure from happening. While Florida law doesn’t provide a right to reinstate the loan, some mortgage companies allow you to cure your default and reinstate your loan. The terms are determined by the terms contained in the mortgage you signed when borrowing the mortgage money. When you file for bankruptcy, an automatic stay is placed on your credit, which prohibits a lender from foreclosing on your home or trying to collect a debt. However, this is just a delaying tactic, which may allow you to reach an amicable resolution. In the end, the mortgage lender can move to be released from the Court’s stay and proceed with the foreclosure.
Rights After Foreclosure
When a foreclosure sale makes enough money to pay back what is owed on the loan then you have a right to the extra money. This is called a surplus. The opposite of this is a deficiency judgment, which is equivalent to the extra amount that the mortgage company attempts to get from you when the sale doesn’t make enough for the payments owed.
Learn How to Protect Your Home With Legal Help
When you’re facing foreclosure, it’s important to understand all the rights you have before, during, and after the process. With the help of The Law Offices of Gary I. Handin, P.A., we can protect you during this vulnerable time. To learn more about our legal services, visit Gary I. Handin, P.A.’s Facebook page.