Save Your Home, 1st Step is to Understand the
Critical Foreclosure Timeline
Foreclosure is usually considered the action of last resort for any lender faced with a delinquent loan. Foreclosures are costly to all parties involved, including the lender. A foreclosure action is filed after a borrower has missed a certain number of mortgage payments. The number of payments missed prior to a lender filing varies from lender to lender, however three to four missed payments could be considered the norm.
Preparation of the Complaint and LP
The lender considers filing a foreclosure action and forwards the file to the attorney for their review. The attorney will run a title search in order to determine who the additional defendants in the action might be. Any entity with a legal interest in the subject property should be named in the foreclosure action as well as served with a copy of the complaint. All parties that are named and served will have the opportunity to be heard by the court. Read on to understand how to save your home and how the Foreclosure Process timeline works.
Once the attorney determines all necessary parties he will draft the foreclosure complaint and the Lis Pendens (LP).
The LP is recorded in the public records of the county in which the property is located and puts the world on notice. It advises of pending litigation regarding the subject property. Any and all claims are barred after the LP becomes of record.
The complaint will tell a story. The story will begin on the day the borrower signed the note and mortgage (the day of the closing). The story will document the time the borrower made payments on time and will culminate with the borrower default.
The borrower default will be described and documented in excruciating detail. The complaint will continue by naming all interested parties, judgment creditors, associations, second mortgagees etc.
Foreclosure Action is Filed
Service of Process
Once the complaint and the LP are complete the attorney will head to the courthouse to file the foreclosure action. The clerk of the court will process the complaint and record the LP. The local sheriff (or process server) with be issued a summons to appear in court and a copy of the complaint for service upon each of the named defendants. (10 named defendants 10 summons and complaints)
Now is the first time the foreclosure action becomes public.
Service of Process: Hearings, Defaults
During this the early stages of the foreclosure action, the attorney is mostly concerned with getting all the named parties served. It will be during this time that the borrower, now known as the defendant, will most likely be served as well.
The attorney checks for service and for the filing of answers to the complaint. The summons requires those served must file an answer to the complaint within 20 days or risk being defaulted out. Once a defendant is defaulted out they may no longer receive any pleadings regarding the pending action. There are other possible consequences of not answering a foreclosure complaint, please contact an attorney for a more thorough and legal explanation.
After the expiration of the 20 day answer period the attorney will systematically eliminate defendants and any defenses they might have either by the filing of defaults against those that chose not to answer, or by scheduling hearings in front of the judge to eliminate those that did file an answer.
The time frame as listed at the top of this section must be expanded or shortened because of the number of defendants and/or the number of answers filed. The more answers filed, the more hearing that will need to be scheduled onto an already jammed court docket. It is this writers opinion that the time frame of 15-45 days might be the normal amount of time required for an uncontested (no answers filed) action with 2 or less local defendants.
Service of Process: Hearing, Default
It is during this time that the plaintiff’s attorney makes sure each defendant is disposed of (either by hearing or default) and will look to schedule a hearing for “Summary Judgment”.
A Summary Judgment is sought when the plaintiff’s attorney believes there are no legal issues that can be posed as a defense within the action and asks the court to issue a verdict in their favor. The appearance of a defendant at a hearing for summary judgment may sometimes be enough to convince to court not to enter such a judgment. This is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult a competent attorney for a legal opinion of your situation.
Final Judgment Hearing
Final Judgment is Entered
By now the plaintiff’s attorney has managed to address any and all issues with regard to any defendants (other than the main defendant, the homeowner) and is ready to proceed to judgment. A hearing will be scheduled for the proposed entry of a Final Judgment of Foreclosure. This document will be recorded by the clerk of the court in the public records similarly to the LP.
The final judgment will have in its body, among other legal necessities, the sale date and the terms of the sale. Each county has its own specific way of setting the sale date but most are consistent in that the sale will most likely be set to be held within 30-45 days after the date the judgment was entered.
Foreclosure Auction takes place
During this time period the sale will most likely be scheduled and held. Unless negotiations are successful with the lender prior to this time the title to the property will most likely by transferred to either an investor (who purchased the property at the sale) or the plaintiff (lender).
Only a glitch in the system (failure of the plaintiff to produce a proof of publication) or a bankruptcy filing can avert the sale now. This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact a competent attorney for legal advice.
After a Foreclosure Auction
Foreclosure Auction Concluded
After a foreclosure auction is held and a certificate of sale is issued for any defendant, without the benefit of a good attorney or a reasonable objection, only has a limited amount of time to be in possession of the property.
Florida does not have a right of redemption however, it does have a 10 day objection period in which the court will hear objections to the sale form any interested party. After the 10 day objection period has expired, the clerk of the court may issue a certificate of title to the new owner.
The new owners can request the court to issue a “Writ of Possession” that instructs the local sheriff to forcibly remove any occupants on a given date. Once issued, the sheriff will post it on the front door of the property thereby notifying its occupants that they have 24 hours in which to vacate the premises. Upon the sheriff’s return (usually 48 hours later) he is instructed to use the force and power of the county to remove any and all occupants.
If you are reading this and your property has already been posted simply gather your family and their belongings and move out. There is no need for you or the members of your family to experience this.
House Buyers LLC 954-695-2255 | www.HouseBuyerPros.com | [email protected]