For homeowners facing foreclosure in Florida, the following is a summary of the state’s foreclosure laws:
Foreclosures in Florida are judicial, meaning they are handled by the state court system.
There are no nonjudicial foreclosures in Florida.
Notice of the Foreclosure
In Florida, the bank must file a lawsuit in court to start the foreclosure and serve notice of the lawsuit to the the homeowner with a summons and complaint.
The homeowner has 20 days to respond to the complaint with the court.
If the court determines that the homeowner has defaulted on the mortgage, it will enter a judgment of foreclosure and send a copy to the homeowner. The foreclosure sale must take place 20 to 35 days after the judgment date unless the court order decides otherwise.
The bank must publish a notice of the foreclosure sale in a newspaper once a week for two consecutive weeks, with the second notice five days before the sale.
Florida Foreclosure Protections
Florida law provides protections in accordance with the federal Service Members Civil Relief Act.
Florida law provides protections against foreclosure to active military service members, or to members who were active 30 days prior to the start of the foreclosure
Reinstatement and Redemption
Florida law does not allow the homeowner the right to reinstate before the sale, yet most mortgages contracts allow the homeowner a certain amount of time to reinstate the loan or the bank may allow reinstatement even if the mortgage doesn’t stipulate that right.
In Florida, the borrower can redeem the home at any time before:
- the court clerk files the certificate of sale
- the time specified in the foreclosure judgment, whichever is later.
In Florida, the bank may obtain a deficiency judgment:
- As part of the foreclosure action if the homeowner was personally served the foreclosure complaint
- In a separate lawsuit, unless the court has approved or denied a claim for a deficiency judgment in the foreclosure action.
- The bank has one year to request the deficiency judgment after the court clerk issues a certificate of title to the buyer who purchased the home at the foreclosure sale.
In Florida, the bank usually takes possession in the foreclosure judgment. After the clerk files the certificate of title, the bank can file a motion for a writ of possession. Once granted, the clerk of court issues the writ and the sheriff executes it. For information regarding how to avoid foreclosure in Florida, visit HUD.gov.