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Foreclosure FAQ’s

What is a foreclosure?

When a secured creditor, usually a bank, attempts to recover monies owed to them based on a promissory note by selling the collateral. In more simple terms you have probably borrowed money from a bank or mortgage company in order to purchase or refinance a home. In exchange for lending you the money, you made a promise that if you could not pay them back they could take the house back.

Can the bank just come and kick me out of my house?

No. Only an order of the court can force you to leave your home. Ultimately you may be evicted but there are procedures within the court system that the mortgage holder must follow first for the foreclosure and then another set for the eviction.

What are some of the foreclosure steps?

In Florida, the pre-foreclosure timeline is as follows:

Sent by lender to you if a mortgage is in default. This is the first step towards beginning the foreclosure process.
As the Borrower, you have the opportunity to dispute the validity of the debt and/or the default, both of which should be done in writing to the lender at the earliest possible time.
Pursuant to Florida law, you have the right to reinstate your Mortgage by tendering all of the arrearages due on the Mortgage prior to the Lender exercising its option to accelerate.

The terms of the mortgage usually include the lender’s option to “accelerate” the mortgage upon a claimed default. This means that upon written notice to you, the lender can require you to pay the entire balance of the mortgage, not just the arrearages, in order to avoid the foreclosure. In most cases, your right to pay the arrearages and reinstate your mortgage terminates upon acceleration of the Mortgage. If the lender does not officially “accelerate” the mortgage by formal notice to you, the filing of the “Lis Pendens” may be interpreted by the Courts as a de facto notice of acceleration.

How long does it take to foreclose on a property in Florida?

Depending on the court schedule, it usually takes approximately 180-200 days to effectuate an uncontested foreclosure. This process may be delayed if the borrower contests the action, seeks delays and adjournments of hearings, or files for bankruptcy. It will also depend a great deal on your mortgage holder and how aggressively they pursue your case

Once the foreclosure process starts is there anything I can do to stop it?

Yes. If working from your first late payment there are at least 10 or 20 different ways to resolve the situation. The longer you wait, however, the more some of these options will become unavailable.

At what point will I have absolutely no options left?

Never. You have not lost until you have decided the fight is over.