Foreclosure is a legal remedy that is available to lenders when a borrower has defaulted on a loan that is secured by a mortgage. In Florida, the lender can attempt to settle with the borrower through a forbearance, reinstatement, modification, short sale or deed in lieu. If the lender is unable to settle or wishes not to settle, it usually will file a foreclosure suit against the owners, borrowers and other persons who have or may have an interest in the property.
HOA and condominium associations can also foreclose. The foreclosure suit is filed with the court and the court determines whether or not the party bring the suit is entitled to a foreclosure, and if so, the result is a judicial sale of the property.
At least 30 days before starting the foreclosure process, the lender mails a letter to the borrower warning of the impending foreclosure. During this pre-foreclosure period, the borrower can prevent the foreclosure by paying off the amount in default. After the period of time to cure the default has passed, under most mortgages, the lender can accelerate the loan so the full amount of the principal is due. This is the first step of the foreclosure.
After the lender accelerates the loan to the full amount, it then initiates the foreclosure through the courts and records a lis pendens (notice of pending lawsuit) with the county clerk.
However, acceleration may be cancelled (in many cases), by paying the full amount of the default plus fees, costs and penalties, before a judgment is entered in a foreclosure lawsuit.
Notice of Sale / Auction
The lender can sue for either the default payments or the entire unpaid principal balance on the loan. The borrower is notified of the foreclosure action in person or by publication if necessary, but notification by publication is the last resort of the lender and is allowed only after a diligent search has been made to serve the summons and complaint. After being notified, the borrower has at least 20 days to respond to the Plaintiff’s attorney as well as the court. If the borrower does not respond, the lender will ask the court for a default which speeds up the procedure by giving the lender an easier path to judgment and – if the lender is prepared to present its required documents -, a quicker date of judgment and sale date of the property.
Attorney Christopher Hittel Can Help
Bradenton Foreclosure Defense Attorney Christopher Hittel has experience with defending foreclosures. He has successfully represented clients in foreclosure cases in the State of Florida in Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Contact Christopher Hittel for a free initial consultation to get answers to your questions about the foreclosure process. Call him today at (941) 746-7777, or via email.