Have you ever faced a foreclosure? Foreclosure can be a very painful experience for any homeowner. This is when lenders have to take possession of a mortgaged property when the person who mortgaged the property cannot keep up with the payments.
Understanding the foreclosure concept is relatively straightforward; however, each state and region may differ in its laws. In this article, we will be looking at how to go about foreclosure in Florida and looking at how it goes for the borrower of the property.
Foreclosures in Florida
In the past, many states, including Florida, had state laws that usually worked in favor of the foreclosing lender. Today, a lot has changed in regulating loan services and the processes behind foreclosing. This has made massive provisions to protect both lenders and borrowers.
When it comes to a foreclosure taking place in Florida, there are laws in place that lenders and borrowers need to comply with strictly. Initially, the borrower will be served with loss mitigation opportunities, and each foreclosure step will need to be accounted for.
The borrower will have certain rights in such cases, and these include:
- Receiving a breach letter before having the property foreclosed.
- Being afforded the chance to apply for loss mitigation.
- Receiving a notice regarding the foreclosure and having a fair opportunity to respond in court.
- Not have the foreclosure sale continue if the borrower can get current with the loan payments.
- Being offered special protection in the case of the borrower being in the military.
- Settle the loan balance if the borrower wishes to stop the sale.
- File for a bankruptcy report.
- Receive any excess funds after the foreclosure sale.
What to Expect From a Foreclosure?
After missing your first repayment, you can expect a few days in which the lender will issue you with a grace period to settle the missed payment. During this time, a fee is charged, and each time you miss a repayment, this fee amount will be charged in addition to the repayment amount. For information on how much this fee is, take a look at the promissory letter you signed.
Another cost that you can also expect to be charged is a drive-by property inspection. Once the loan goes into default, an inspection will be ordered automatically. You can also expect to face fees related to broker price opinions and costs related to property preservation.
You should expect communication from the servicer if the property being foreclosed is your main place of residence. This can be done through a phone call, and during this call, the borrower can expect discussions to be around any loss mitigation options. This has to be done within 36 days after missing the payment.
Before the 45th day of missing the repayment, the servicer will issue the borrower with written information regarding the loss of mitigation options and inform the borrower about any other options they could explore to avoid having the property foreclosed.
A breach letter is a letter from the lender which informs the borrower of the loan being in default. This letter has to be delivered before the lender can accelerate the loan or take any other steps in the foreclosure process.
Start of the Foreclosure
In Florida, a foreclosure can only begin once the borrower is overdue with the repayments by more than 120 days. In this way, the borrower will have more than enough opportunity to submit the loss mitigation application.
What Steps Are Part of the Process?
First off, the lender will file a lawsuit in requesting the court to approve a foreclosure sale. The lender is then responsible for a notice of the sale once a week for two weeks in a newspaper. The second publication has to take place at least five days before the sale. The sale will take place between 20 to 35 days after the date issued by the court. After this, a bid will then be placed for the property, and the highest bidder will receive the certificate of title.
Know your rights if you are currently in the process of facing a foreclosure. Remember that you do also have alternative options to explore if you wish to stop the foreclosure. This includes reinstating the loan, redeeming the property before the sale, and filing for bankruptcy.
When in doubt, seek help from the servicer or lodge your complaints with the court.