Understanding the Process of Foreclosure

Posted on: April 6, 2017 at 1:11 pm

The foreclosure process can be a very frightening and daunting experience.  It is so important to seek the advice of an experienced and qualified foreclosure attorney who can ensure the proper steps are taken to obtain the results you are seeking as it relates to your home or investment property.

The foreclosure process begins with the “first missed payment” and can take months, sometimes years, until the “foreclosure” has been completed.  Our foreclosure attorneys will take the time to help you understand your options and assist you in making the right decisions that can help save your home and ease the stress that comes as a result of missed mortgage payments and the inevitable foreclosure proceedings.

First Missed Payment: Depending on your loan documents, many banks will allow a 10-day grace period before considering your payment to be “late.” After that time, they usually start to tack on late fees and penalties to your mortgage. The late payment may impact your credit score, but you may avoid foreclosure as long as the payment is made.

Pre-foreclosure Notification: After a few missed payments, you will receive a letter from the lender which can be: Demand for Payment, Notice to Accelerate, or Notice of Default. The letter will include the amount that your mortgage is delinquent and the time frame that you have to rectify the situation. If payment is not received by a certain date, the bank will proceed with hiring legal counsel to initiate foreclosure proceedings.  After you receive this letter, the bank is unlikely to accept less than the total amount due without modifying your loan; however, you still have time to work something out with your lender. Contact our foreclosure attorneys at 813-221-9500 to find out how to go about it.

Foreclosure: If you fail to comply with the Default notice and pay your arrearage, the next step is a foreclosure action filed in court against you.  Florida is a Judicial Foreclosure State, which means the bank must initiate legal action against you before it can take your home in a foreclosure.  The foreclosure process can take months, sometimes years to complete, and you need an experienced and aggressive attorney to assist you. Once you are served with foreclosure papers, you have 20 days to file a response with the court or a default will be entered. Depending on your county, it could take several months to even get a hearing date in front of a judge.  For example, in Hillsborough County, it can sometimes take up to 3 months to schedule a hearing in front of a judge.

Filing an answer to the foreclosure complaint gives you an opportunity to present your defenses and tell the judge your side of the story. If a default is entered because you have done nothing, the bank can quickly move to summary judgement and get a sale date to foreclose on your home.  Other options available at this time could include a loan modification, short sale, or bankruptcy to reinstate. Learn more about Short Sales and Loan modifications from our foreclosure attorneys.

SALE DATE: After the summary judgement hearing, the judge will schedule a foreclosure sale. It is usually 30-60 days from the date of the hearing.  Only a bankruptcy can stop a foreclosure sale because an automatic stay is in place.  Our foreclosure and bankruptcy attorneys can discuss your options to avoid losing your home.

Writ of Possession: If you have not vacated the house on the date of the sale, and a certificate of title is issued by the Clerk of Court, the sheriff can issue a writ of possession and have you thrown out of the house in 3-days.  The Sheriff may also remove all your personal property and possessions.

Foreclosure occurs every day. If you are behind in mortgage payments and have questions on what to do, please call FL Legal Group at (813) 221-9500, visit FLLegalGroup.com, or email Inquiry@FLLegalGroup.com to find out how a foreclosure attorney can help.

Author: Nicki Asmer
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