Judicial Mortgage Foreclosure Process in Florida
The summary that follows chronicles the foreclosure process. It arms you with the knowledge of how the legal system works so that you can better triage your clients. Your hard work and understanding of the process could save a home.
Estimated Foreclosure Timelines in the State of Florida
In the State of Florida, it takes about 250 - 290 days to complete the foreclosure process on a home from the first day of delinquency. This is based on the action not being contested, all necessary documents are in order, the servicer has followed the proper steps, and the number of loans in process with the local courts.
The foreclosure timeline below is based on the consumer not applying for assistance under loss mitigation. There is limited communication with the servicer and the consumer answers the summons.
Day 30: Loan is in default of mortgage & note.
Day 60: Collection calls, letters and property inspection.
Day 90: Notice of default is sent to the borrower giving the consumer 30 days to bring
the mortgage current. If the mortgage is brought current at the end of the 30
day period the file is referred to the Foreclosure Department.
Day 120: Foreclosure Department gets the file and prepares to be referred to the attorney to initiate foreclosure. At this point the Foreclosure Department is trying to locate
the original mortgage and note.
Day 130: Attorney orders a title search and examines the title to determine if there are any other liens on the property.
Day 150: Attorney files the complaint against borrower(s)/mortgagor(s) and a Lis Pendens is recorded.
Day 180: Service process is completed, notice served followed by 20 days to file an answer. The serving could be immediately because the borrower is easy to personally serve or it could take some time if they have moved and cannot be found. If the Plaintiff/Lender cannot find the Defendant/Sellers to serve, they will have to publish in the newspaper.
Answering the Complaint may delay the time period for the foreclosure but with no guarantee. When ALL PARTIES (they serve husband, wife, tenants, all other occupants, other lien holders) are served, there is a hearing date scheduled. After the answer period ends (and sometimes even before) the lender's attorney will file a motion with the court to declare summary judgment.
Day 210: There is an additional 20-30 days answer period before the hearing can be held. Defendants are allowed to attend the hearing and speak. It is recommended that an attorney speak for the borrower if they so desire. You should always recommend the borrower attend the hearing and ask for additional time before the judge enters a judgment.
Day 240: At the hearing the judgment is entered and a sale date is set (usually in 30 days).
Then the property is sold at auction to the highest bidder.
Day 270: Foreclosure sales are held.
Day 290: Certificate of Title is issued to the buyer.
After the sale, there is a 10-20 day waiting period after the foreclosure sale before
Clerk issues Certificate of Title. At that time the new owner can have the Sheriff
show up and set the old owner's possession out on the curb. The lock's can be changed and old owner would be trespassing if they go back into the house.
This Information provided here is only for a general view of the state foreclosure law and it is not for legal advice. We highly recommend you to consult legal professional or licensed attorney for advice in any legal issues related to the timeline in your area. We recommend that you contact ‘We Help CDC’ at 561-992-5854 with questions and for help in having your mortgage modified.
Florida is known as a lien theory state where the property acts as security for the underlying loan. It is also a judicial state so lenders wanting to foreclose on a home after the 90 days must go through the court system. This causes the foreclosure process to take much longer. In a non-judicial state, it can take the servicer 30-90 days to decide if they are going to help the burrower. By the time the servicer makes a decision, the foreclosure may have already occurred. The extra months that it takes to go through the Florida courts gives the counselor more time to negotiate with the servicer on behalf of the consumer.