Defending Yourself From a Florida Foreclosure Part 1
Education and representation
Are we counting down to doomsday?
Sometimes it feels like it. And in the current climate within the court system if it’s not doomsday, it certainly feels like the clock is winding down. 12:01 AM on October 1st, that was the final deadline for the extension provided by Executive Order (EO) 20-211, which was an extension of EO 20-180. This order protected homeowners from foreclosure and renters from eviction if they had been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
From October 1st, we have 45 days for something of a holding period before mortgage foreclosure cause of action can take place. So, we’re looking at mid-November as the real telling time. But in actuality, the court system will most likely be so backed up from foreclosure and eviction cases that most cases won’t see court proceedings until early 2021.
That’s a lot to mull over and none of it is as clear cut as homeowners, attorneys or judges would like it to be. But such are the novel times that we are a part of. All parties involved are just trying to do the best they can with the circumstances.
But what can you, as a homeowner, do if you are facing down a potential foreclosure?
We are here to provide as much detailed information as possible to help you defend yourself from a Florida foreclosure. We have an upcoming 9-part series to address the many trials and tribulations that are no doubt coming to afflict the courts, attorneys and homeowners alike. But our primary focus will be on you: the consumer, the homeowner, the renter, the one with a family to support who was swept over by an unprecedented global pandemic and are now facing the terrible trauma of losing your home.
Where to begin?
We’re going to make this as straightforward and free from jargon as possible so that you can get the help you need when you need it (which is most likely now!)
Step 1. Know your rights.
We’ll go a little deeper on your rights in upcoming blogs, but for now what you can do is:
- Educate yourself on mortgage rights and foreclosure laws in Florida.
- Take a look at your mortgage documents to gain a good understanding of what your lender can do if you fail to make payments.
- Familiarize yourself with EO 20-94 and the subsequent EOs.
- Review Florida laws and pay close attention to Florida Statutes Chapter 702, which deals with foreclosure proceedings.
Step 2. Hire a lawyer.
Florida is a judicial foreclosure state where plaintiffs must seek approval from a judge in a court of equity. In a court of equity, judges are authorized to apply principles of fairness, rather than a pure cut and dry legal defense. This can work in your favor because the judge can consider acts by your bank or lender that would be unfair. This is all very important when it comes to having a good foreclosure defense attorney.
Bankruptcy attorney or foreclosure defense attorney?
There is a time and place for bankruptcy but if you’re facing a foreclosure, only a foreclosure defense attorney can offer you the help you need. They are intimately familiar with the complex landscape of foreclosures and can help you navigate this treacherous territory. Their knowledge and experience will save you time, help you avoid potential traps and give you the best chances for keeping your home.
A good foreclosure defense lawyer knows when bankruptcy might be the best option, but they will only file bankruptcy as a last resort. You have other options like a loan modification, pursuing loss mitigation and raising defenses that they will pursue doggedly.
Foreclosure is a big and scary topic, but we want to make it as simple and understandable as we can for you. As we continue our 9-part series we will take you through everything you need to know to defend yourself from foreclosure. If, at any point, you have questions or concerns, you can always reach out to our team at Jacobs Legal. Let us know how we can take care of you through these trying times.