If you are past due on your home loan payments, you are considered to be in default and the mortgage lender has the right to foreclose on your home. Your lender will typically send you notice of your default and the lender’s intent to accelerate the total amount due on the loan if you do not cure your default within a certain period of time.
If you fail to timely cure your default, the mortgage lender or servicer will refer your loan to an lawyer to pursue a foreclosure action. The lawyer will file a Lis Pendens in the county where the home is located, which provides notice to any other interested parties that there is a lawsuit being filed which impacts title to the property. A Complaint and summons are filed with the court clerk and they will be served on you.
Once you have been properly served, you have 20 days to respond to the allegations in the Complaint. If you fail to do so, the lender can obtain a default judgment against you. If you do respond, you can raise defenses, request documents and information regarding the lender’s claims, and other actions to protect yourself. At this point, the lawsuit proceeds until a settlement or judgment is reached.
If the lender is granted judgment against you, the court clerk will schedule a foreclosure sale. If no objections to the sale are filed, the clerk will transfer title to the property to the party who purchased it at the auction. Once title has transferred to the purchaser, you are no longer the property owner and you can be evicted if you are still living in the home.
The above is a very general summary of the foreclosure process in Florida and it is important to remember that no two cases are identical. If you believe foreclosure is in your future, contact us for a free consultation. The sooner we get involved in your case, the better.