Florida is a Judicial Foreclosure State
States across the U.S. have varying law requirements when it comes to foreclosures. In most areas, banks and mortgage holders can directly carry out a foreclosure without necessarily going to court. Florida, on the other hand, is a judicial foreclosure state—which means that the bank or the mortgage holder is obliged to take the case to court so that they can acquire a foreclosure judgment. While it may seem like a more complex process, judicial foreclosure actually works to the advantage of the property owner in that it gives you the opportunity to make your case and provides more time to save your home from foreclosure.
Essentially, the bank will initiate the process by filing a pending lawsuit (lis pendens) against you, after which you will be served with a summons and complaint. Following the state's 20-day rule, you must be able to file a response to the complaint within 20 days of the summons; otherwise, the bank can obtain a judicial default
Tactical Defenses Against Judicial Foreclosure
Contesting foreclosure in court can be done using different strategies. This may include disputing the facts of the case or forcing the bank or the mortgage holder to prove that it owns the mortgage in the first place. It is often impossible for banks to produce the necessary documents to prove its lien on a property because a huge percentage of mortgages are bundled together and traded as mortgage backed securities. Here at The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A., we make sure to look at all the angles of your case to find the best approach to use to help you avoid a foreclosure sale.
Right of Redemption
If the court rules for the foreclosure to proceed, you can practice your right of redemption until the foreclosure sale date. You can stop the foreclosure from moving forward if you can come up with the amount stated in the final judgment. However, if you can't repay the specified sum, the bank has the right to sell the property at Auction.
Deficiency judgments are also allowed in Florida. This means you may be obliged to pay the deficiency in the event that the foreclosure sale is not able to raise enough funds to satisfy the outstanding balance of the loan. That is why consulting with a Jacksonville Foreclosure Defense attorney can be helpful so you know what options are available to you.
Finding a Solution
It is verily possible to prevent your mortgage holder from obtaining a deficiency judgment. Loan modifications, Short Sales and Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure are all options that can help you avoid foreclosure. Additionally, chapter 7, chapter 11 and chapter 13 bankruptcy protection is also an option.