Foreclosure is a complex legal process that can take up to 200 days to complete in Florida. The process involves multiple steps, including the discovery period, which usually lasts between 45 and 90 days. During this time, the borrower still has the option of negotiating with the lender to find a solution, such as a loan modification or forbearance agreement. The lender must publish a notice of the foreclosure sale in a newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks, with the second publication taking place at least five days before the sale.
The foreclosure sale must take place 20 to 35 days after the date of the judgment, unless otherwise specified by the court order. The foreclosure process in Florida can be delayed if the borrower challenges it or if they declare bankruptcy. As long as the national COVID-19 emergency continues, homeowners with a federally backed mortgage loan, regardless of their delinquency status, who are experiencing financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19, can obtain a moratorium. Federal and state laws largely regulate loan management and foreclosure processes and most laws protect borrowers.
Management entities generally have to offer borrowers loss mitigation opportunities, consider every step of foreclosure, and strictly comply with foreclosure laws. When people apply for a loan to purchase residential property in Florida, they sign a promissory note and a mortgage. These documents give landlords some contractual rights, in addition to federal and state legal protections. To find out the amount of the late fee and the grace period for your loan, check the promissory note you signed or your monthly mortgage statement.
The sale is an auction open to the public. In some states, including Florida, when the lender is the highest bidder in the sale but offers less than the total amount of debt, you can get a deficit judgment against the borrower. If the lender is the highest bidder, the property becomes what is called real estate (REO). After ten days, assuming no one objects, the employee confirms the sale and issues a certificate of ownership to the buyer.
However, you can file a separate lawsuit later to obtain a deficiency judgment if the proceeds of the foreclosure sale are not enough to pay off all of your mortgage debt. Some possible ways to stop a foreclosure include reinstating the loan, redeeming the property before the sale, or filing for bankruptcy. Of course, if you can find a loss mitigation option such as a loan modification that will also stop foreclosure. Florida law does not establish the legal right to reinstate the loan before the sale but lenders could agree to allow it.
Call your loan servicer if you want information on how to reinstate your loan. The court has flexibility as to the amount of deficiency which cannot exceed the difference between the amount of judgment and fair market value in case of residential property occupied by its owner. If you're looking for federal laws visit Library of Congress's legal research website which provides links to federal regulations and statutes. To find Florida laws search online for Florida statutes or Florida laws.
Be sure to read most recent official laws usually URL will end in .gov or statutes will be on official website of state legislature. It's important to note that consulting an attorney is recommended if you are facing foreclosure as courts and agencies interpretation and application of laws can change and some rules may even vary within state.