When you live in Florida, you should definitely get acquainted with the Florida Foreclosure Law. Let’s face it, no one is immune from the risks of foreclosure. According to a survey, more than 90% of pending foreclosure cases in Florida is unintentional. Unless you’ve already paid for your house in full, you can be facing foreclosure charges pretty soon too. Here are tips on how to face foreclosure charges in Florida.
Settle it before the notice gets out
According to the Florida Foreclosure Law, a foreclosure only happens once a notice has actually been released. This can be in the form of a personal letter sent to your home, published in newspapers, or both. A foreclosure notice doesn’t mean a “final judgment” though. The notice just indicates the gravity of the debt, and the schedule of the foreclosure hearing. Foreclosure hearings are usually set 20 days or sooner after the letter has been sent to the debtor. If the notice was promulgated via national publications, the hearing is usually set 30 days or sooner after the release.
What happens if I don’t appear in court?
The foreclosure hearing in court, as stated in the Florida Foreclosure Law, is meant to give the debtor an opportunity to explain the cause of his/her payment delays. Based on past foreclosure cases, these delays or non-payments are caused by sudden family losses, accidents, loss of employment, and more. When the causes are valid, the court and the lender are usually willing to come up with settlements.
The debtor can sell the property and pay the lender his/her debts in whole. If the property sells for a lower price, the two parties will need to undergo a deficiency hearing to ascertain the terms of payment for the remaining balance. According to the Florida Foreclosure Law, the debtor can also transfer the deed of the property back to the lender if s/he has no means to pay for the debt by the end of the 180- to 300-day foreclosure period.
Should the debtor refuse to appear in court after the Notice of Foreclosure has been given out, s/he withdraws his/her right to be heard. No matter how grave the cause may be, his/her home will be put up for bidding once the “final judgment” of the court has been released. The tenants of the foreclosed home will then be evicted from the property under the court of law.
Can they charge for attorney’s fees?
The lender also has the right to charge the debtor for his/her attorney’s fees as long as these fees are not higher than 3% of the mortgage’s actual worth. If the attorney’s fees are unreasonable, a separate trial will be held again, for this settlement purpose. Just like the foreclosure hearings, this will be settled without a jury.
What are the consequences of foreclosure?
Aside from the social embarrassment of being removed from your home, a foreclosure also damages your credit history. If you want to save face, and save your credit score, you shouldn’t try to dodge your lender’s missed payment notices. Lenders only file foreclosure statements when they feel the need to be protected by the court.