WHAT IS A FORECLOSURE?
Foreclosure is the process the bank uses to take your home from you when you are behind on payments. The bank files a lawsuit against you in the county you live and asks the court to award them a judgment in the amount of all the money due. Once the bank has their judgment the court puts your home up for sale at the county foreclosure auction. Sometimes investors will pay cash for your home at these auctions, but usually the bank buys the title to your home. Once the foreclosure sale is over you could be evicted from your house within 11-14 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
I received a letter from my bank
If you received a letter from you bank giving you a payment deadline this means the foreclosure is going to start soon, possibly within 60-90 days. This is a good time to call our law firm.
A process server came to my house and dropped off papers.
This means you were served with the foreclosure complaint. You now have 20 calendar days to file a response with the clerk of courts. We recommend that you call our lawyers first and not file your own response. This is an official court process and filing your own response doesn't buy you more time, it usually does the opposite.
What happens if I don't respond to the complaint?
If you don't respond to the complaint within 20 days then the bank may enter a default against you. This means it may be harder and more expensive to defend your case. Your lawyer will have to ask the judge for special permission to start your foreclosure defense.
Do I have a defense?
Maybe. Every foreclosure is unique and the particular facts and circumstances surrounding your case make a difference.
I want to save my home, what do I do?
If the goal is to save the home then our lawyers will work fast to determine whether or not a reinstatement or loan modification is possible. If you want to save your home then delaying your case too long will make it more difficult. The longer your case is delayed, the more you will have to pay back in past due balances which may make the home unaffordable.
I want to delay the foreclosure to figure out my options?
This is a realistic strategy for many people. Often times, people need some time to get the money together to save the home or maybe look for a new home to rent or purchase. Some people consider bankruptcy as part of their foreclosure defense strategy.
I want to go to trial.
Our lawyers will take your case to trial. Our lawyers review all of the evidence, bank records and documents as part of every foreclosure case. If we believe that the bank cannot prove their case we will tell you.
I want to win my home free and clear, is this possible?
No. There is almost no scenario where you win your home free and clear. Even if we win your trial the bank is usually given unlimited chances to refile the foreclosure case and try again.
What is a deficiency balance?
The deficiency is the difference between the value of your home and what you owe at the time the bank takes possession of the home.
Am I responsible for the deficiency?
Yes. Unless the bank agrees to waive the deficiency you will be responsible for the amount of the final judgment minus the current value of the home.
Can I sell my home?
Yes. You can sell your home at any point during the foreclosure process. If the home is worth more than you owe then you call sell the home and keep the profit. If the home is worth less then you owe then this is known as a short sale. Our firm will negotiate this sale with the bank.
How long does the foreclosure process take?
Depends. If you don't have an attorney then it might only take 4-6 months in some counties. If you have an attorney then it can take much longer.
Can my homeowner's association or condo association foreclose my home?
Yes, if you don't pay your HOA or COA dues then they can foreclose your home. If you are defending your foreclosure and planning on staying in the home for any amount of time our lawyers recommend that you keep paying your HOA or COA dues. If not, we can defend these cases as well.
OVER THE YEARS
Over the years we have seen a number of foreclosure defense lawyers get arrested or lose their license to practice law. The common theme is they sell people on stories that are too good to be true and then the lawyer spends all of their time trying to scam people out of their money or home or both. If someone tells you a story that's too good to be true, that's because it isn't true. Our consumer lawyers have spent the last 20 years working throughout the State of Florida helping consumers find real solutions to their financial problems. Don't become another victim. Call us today.
If you're facing foreclosure and want to discuss your best options please complete our free case review form.
Florida Consumer Lawyers will review your claim and discuss the matter with you for free.