Today I’m sharing a quick walk-through of the typical foreclosure process in Florida.

Today I want to talk about the foreclosure process: what it is, how long it takes, and important things to know. First of all, every foreclosure timeline can be different. Today’s information is meant to be general and will be a good, average timeline here in Florida when it comes to foreclosure.

The first thing that happens is that you’ll get behind on your mortgage payments. People ask all the time, “If I get a month behind on my house payment, are they going to foreclose?” The answer to that question is generally no, but of course, there are exceptions.

If you have tons and tons of equity in your house and the mortgage company thinks they can foreclose and get all their money back, they will do it sooner rather than later. If you’re upside down on your mortgage, meaning you owe more on your home than what it’s worth, then you might be able to get further past due on your house before they ever look to foreclose on it. I’ve heard stories of people being over two years past due on their house before foreclosure ever took place, and I’ve also heard the horror stories of somebody being only 30 to 60 days past due, so it all depends.

“You have 20 days to respond after receiving your letter of foreclosure.”

Next, the mortgage company will file the foreclosure lawsuit, and you’ll be notified of a foreclosure hearing date. That foreclosure hearing date will take place in front of a magistrate or lay judge, in the county you’re located in, about 30 days after you receive the letter.

You have 20 days to respond and either admit or deny the allegations. You’re not required to attend the hearing, but you can sometimes go in and explain your situation, let them know you’re working on a modification of the mortgage, and that you’re trying to sell the property. At times, the magistrate may be willing to give you an extension or a second hearing date. This doesn’t happen all the time though.

At the second hearing, they’re not going to give you another continuance. After the hearing, if the mortgage company believes they can foreclose and the Final Judgement of Foreclosure is approved, they will enter a Foreclosure Sale date within 35 to 120 days. On the date of the sale, interested buyers can bid on the property at the county courthouse, and the highest bidder becomes the new owner.

In the state of Florida, there’s a statutory right of redemption which gives the previous borrower 10 days to buy back the property before the certificate of title is filed. After those 10 days, that ship has sailed, and there’s nothing you can do to get your house back. This would be your final chance to file for bankruptcy if you choose to do so. The time from your initial letter of foreclosure to your actual foreclosure sale date is typically about eight to 14 months.

I am not a foreclosure attorney, but I can get you connected if you need one or just have any questions. If you’re faced with foreclosure and want to know your options, give us a call or send us an email today. We would love to hear from you.