How Long Does a Foreclosure Take in Florida?
If there is to be any good news in a foreclosure situation, it’s that the process is lengthy – generally lasting more than a year. That’s good news because it gives homeowners time and opportunity to mount a strong defense and fight to keep their home.
Here in Florida, a wave of foreclosures will be coming given that the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures has been lifted and the economic impact of the pandemic continues to be felt by homeowners. This expected influx of foreclosure proceedings will jam the court systems and cause further delays – which in terms of defense-building, is a good thing.
Here is a closer look at the general timeline for foreclosures in Florida:
Pre-foreclosure – Florida homeowners who default on their loan (meaning they’ve missed 3 consecutive months of payments) will receive a letter from their mortgage servicer notifying them that they have 30 days to pay their mortgage or they will be serviced with foreclosure. Once the timeline expires, the bank will file the lawsuit.
Filing and serving the foreclosure – In a foreclosure lawsuit, there are a series of documents the lender or bank must prepare in order to pursue a mortgage foreclosure: a complaint, a summons, and a notice of lis pendens.
The complaint spells out the claims of the lawsuit. The summons informs the defendant of the lawsuit and gives them just 20 days to file a response with the court. The notice of lis pendens declares that a suit is pending and puts on public record that a foreclosure has been filed against the property.
Response and discovery – As noted above, the defendant has 20 days to respond to the summons. Then the discovery process begins, which typically lasts 45-90 days. The goal of discovery is to gain statements, documents, and answers from the opposing side in order to strengthen their case. This is done through formal Interrogatories, Requests for Production, and Requests for Admissions.
Summary Judgment Hearing – When the bank believes it has a strong case to obtain a Final Judgment of Foreclosure, it will file a Motion for Summary Judgment. If the bank wins the case in court, it may request a foreclosure sale date within 35-120 days of the Final Judgment of Foreclosure. To learn more about preparing for a Summary Judgment Hearing, be sure to read this post.
Foreclosure Sale/Auction – At the foreclosure auction, individuals can bid on the property, and the highest bidder will become the new owner. Bear in mind, however, that you still have an opportunity to keep your home up until the day of the sale, including choosing to sell the home yourself as a means of avoiding foreclosure.
If you find yourself facing foreclosure, it’s imperative to get the right legal team on your side as soon as possible. Contact us at Jacobs Legal right away if you are struggling to meet your financial obligations. We’ve been fighting and defeating Goliath banking institutions since the housing crisis of 2008 and have not backed down since.