Foreclosures happen in Florida when an individual or group is severely delinquent in payments or can no longer make payments on their mortgage. Any number of situations can contribute to the foreclosure process beginning: an injury preventing work, the loss of a job, a divorce or other financial strains. Foreclosure is the process of the bank or lending institution getting the property back and reselling it to recoup their money.
Florida is a judicial state. This means that all foreclosures must use the court system for processing. Since banks differ and the courts are involved, the foreclosure process timeline varies slightly between individual cases. The average time frame is five to six months from the beginning steps until the finalization of a foreclosure.
Steps Taken to Foreclosure
The first steps fall under the pre-foreclosure period. The mortgage holder is late with payment, but remain in the property while the foreclosure proceedings progress.
Notice of Default
The Notice of Default is the first indication of late payment. It is a written notice sent to the mortgage holder by the mortgage lender. It will state how much money is owed and how late the payment is. A Notice of Default will state what you need to do in order to become current on your payments and prevent foreclosure from happening.
Lis Pendes is paperwork filed by the mortgage lender in the county courthouse. It states their intention to sue the property owners if they do not receive the mortgage monies. The court then creates the paperwork that notifies all parties involved about the upcoming lawsuit and the terms.
Notice of Action is the next step in the foreclosure process. When a mortgage holder cannot pay the terms stated in the Notice of Default and goes further in delinquency, a Notice of Action is posted in the local newspaper. It states the mortgage lender’s written demands to be paid on their loan and their intent to take back the property if the payment is not made.
Once the Notice of Action is posted, the formal foreclosure process takes place.
A foreclosure action, which is a lawsuit filed under the county where the property is located, is made. This states the intent of the mortgage company to evict the residents and take over ownership of the property. They will post the date and time of the auction where the property will be sold, anywhere from three to six weeks in the future.
At any time before the auction of the property, the mortgage holder can take back the property if they can pay off the mortgage in full. If they can pay for the mortgage in full, the proceedings are halted and the mortgage holders can move in and reassume ownership of the property.
The last step of the foreclosure process is the Sheriff’s sale. This is where the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder at the county courthouse. The price is low to begin, but can escalate if it is in a hot location. Once another bidder has won the auction and the property, the former mortgage holder has terminated all of their rights to the property. Within ten days of the successful sale, the title is transferred to the winning bidder.
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