What is the home foreclosure process in Florida?


Quick Answer

In Florida, when a homeowner misses payments, a lender charges a late fee, warns the borrower, sends a breach letter and then files a lawsuit for foreclosure in state court, as Nolo explains. If homeowners don't provide a valid defense, courts usually grant the foreclosure and often a deficiency judgment.

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Full Answer

When homeowners miss mortgage payments in Florida, the loan servicer is able to charge a late fee after a brief grace period stipulated on the promissory note, according to Nolo. After a few missed payments, the servicer sends warnings by phone and mail. According to federal servicing rules in effect since January 2014, homeowners must be delinquent for at least 120 days before lenders can proceed with foreclosure. After that time, servicers usually send a breach letter specifying that the loan is in default, what action the homeowner must take, a deadline for compliance and a warning of imminent foreclosure.

An attorney for the lender files a complaint in state court that gives the homeowner 20 days to respond before the court grants the lender default judgment, according to Nolo. If the homeowner responds, the lender requests summary judgment or goes to trial. The court often grants summary judgment to the lender if the homeowner has no valid defense for defaulting in payments. In expedited foreclosure proceedings, the court reviews the foreclosure request quickly if the defendant cannot show cause to delay a final judgment. If the court grants the foreclosure, the lender is able to sell the property.

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