Florida Foreclosure Laws and Statutes | FL

Florida Foreclosure is Judicial.

Notice of Foreclosure

Florida foreclosure begins when the lender files a lawsuit (Lis Pendens) against the homeowner. The homeowners must be notified of the legal action pending and must file an answer within a specified period of time. If the homeowner does not respond, the court will make a judgment against the homeowner and set an auction date.

Notice of Florida Foreclosure Sale

The notice of sale shall include at least the following information,:
The name, address and telephone number of the person to contact for information regarding the real estate, the address of the property, a legal description of the property, a description of the improvements, the time and place of sale, the times specified in the judgment, the case title, number, and court which the foreclosure was filed, and terms of the sale

Florida foreclosure law states that the notice of sale shall be published at least 3 consecutive weeks, the last such notice not less than 5 days prior to the sale.

Florida Foreclosure Auction

Foreclosure auctions in Florida typically take place 30 days after judgment is filed, at 11:00 am on the county courthouse steps. Winning bidder is required to have 5% down and the balance is due by the end of the day. Upon payment in full of the amount bid, the person conducting the sale shall issue a Certificate of Sale and give to the purchaser.

Redemption Period

Florida foreclosure law states that the homeowner has the right to redeem the property anytime before the day of the sale. After the Certificate of Sale has been issued, there is no right of redemption.

Equity

All mortgages shall be foreclosed in equity. In a mortgage foreclosure action, the court shall sever for separate trial all counterclaims against the foreclosing mortgagee. The foreclosure claim shall, if tried, be tried to the court without a jury.

Legal notice concerning foreclosure proceedings

Whenever a legal advertisement, publication, or notice relating to a foreclosure proceeding is required to be placed in a newspaper, it is the responsibility of the petitioner or petitioner's attorney to place such advertisement, publication, or notice. Florida foreclosure law states that the advertisement, publication, or notice shall be placed directly by the attorney for the petitioner, by the petitioner if acting pro se, or by the clerk of the court.

Order to show cause; entry of final judgment of foreclosure; payment during foreclosure

  • (1) After a complaint in a foreclosure proceeding has been filed, the mortgagee may request an order to show cause for the entry of final judgment and the court shall immediately review the complaint. If, upon examination of the complaint, the court finds that the complaint is verified and alleges a cause of action to foreclose on real property, the court shall promptly issue an order directed to the defendant to show cause why a final judgment of foreclosure should not be entered.
    (a) Florida foreclosure law states that the order shall:
    1. Set the date and time for hearing on the order to show cause. However, the date for the hearing may not be set sooner than 20 days after the service of the order. When service is obtained by publication, the date for the hearing may not be set sooner than 30 days after the first publication. The hearing must be held within 60 days after the date of service. Failure to hold the hearing within such time does not affect the validity of the order to show cause or the jurisdiction of the court to issue subsequent orders.
    2. Direct the time within which service of the order to show cause and the complaint must be made upon the defendant.
    3. State that the filing of defenses by a motion or by a verified or sworn answer at or before the hearing to show cause constitutes cause for the court not to enter the attached final judgment.
    4. State that the defendant has the right to file affidavits or other papers at the time of the hearing and may appear personally or by way of an attorney at the hearing.
    5. State that, if the defendant files defenses by a motion, the hearing time may be used to hear the defendant's motion.
    6. State that, if the defendant fails to appear at the hearing to show cause or fails to file defenses by a motion or by a verified or sworn answer or files an answer not contesting the foreclosure, the defendant may be considered to have waived the right to a hearing and in such case the court may enter a final judgment of foreclosure ordering the clerk of the court to conduct a foreclosure sale.
    7. State that if the mortgage provides for reasonable attorney's fees and the requested attorney's fees do not exceed 3 percent of the principal amount owed at the time of filing the complaint, it is unnecessary for the court to hold a hearing or adjudge the requested attorney's fees to be reasonable.
    8. Attach the final judgment of foreclosure the court will enter, if the defendant waives the right to be heard at the hearing on the order to show cause.
    9. Require the mortgagee to serve a copy of the order to show cause on the mortgagor in the following manner:
    a. If the mortgagor has been served with the complaint and original process, service of the order may be made in the manner provided in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
    b. If the mortgagor has not been served with the complaint and original process, the order to show cause, together with the summons and a copy of the complaint, shall be served on the mortgagor in the same manner as provided by law for original process.
    Any final judgment of foreclosure entered under this subsection is for in rem relief only. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the entry of a deficiency judgment where otherwise allowed by law.
    (b) The right to be heard at the hearing to show cause is waived if the defendant, after being served as provided by law with an order to show cause, engages in conduct that clearly shows that the defendant has relinquished the right to be heard on that order. The defendant's failure to file defenses by a motion or by a sworn or verified answer or to appear at the hearing duly scheduled on the order to show cause presumptively constitutes conduct that clearly shows that the defendant has relinquished the right to be heard. If a defendant files defenses by a motion or by a verified or sworn answer at or before the hearing, such action constitutes cause and precludes the entry of a final judgment at the hearing to show cause.
    (c) In a mortgage foreclosure proceeding, when a default judgment has been entered against the mortgagor and the note or mortgage provides for the award of reasonable attorney's fees, it is unnecessary for the court to hold a hearing or adjudge the requested attorney's fees to be reasonable if the fees do not exceed 3 percent of the principal amount owed on the note or mortgage at the time of filing, even if the note or mortgage does not specify the percentage of the original amount that would be paid as liquidated damages.
    (d) If the court finds that the defendant has waived the right to be heard as provided in paragraph (b), the court shall promptly enter a final judgment of foreclosure. If the court finds that the defendant has not waived the right to be heard on the order to show cause, the court shall then determine whether there is cause not to enter a final judgment of foreclosure. If the court finds that the defendant has not shown cause, the court shall promptly enter a judgment of foreclosure.
  • (2) In an action for foreclosure, other than residential real estate, the mortgagee may request that the court enter an order directing the mortgagor defendant to show cause why an order to make payments during the pendency of the foreclosure proceedings or an order to vacate the premises should not be entered.
    (a) Florida foreclosure law states that the order shall:
    1. Set the date and time for hearing on the order to show cause. However, the date for the hearing shall not be set sooner than 20 days after the service of the order. Where service is obtained by publication, the date for the hearing shall not be set sooner than 30 days after the first publication.
    2. Direct the time within which service of the order to show cause and the complaint shall be made upon the defendant.
    3. State that the defendant has the right to file affidavits or other papers at the time of the hearing and may appear personally or by way of an attorney at the hearing.
    4. State that, if the defendant fails to appear at the hearing to show cause and fails to file defenses by a motion or by a verified or sworn answer, the defendant may be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing and in such case the court may enter an order to make payment or vacate the premises.
    5. Require the mortgagee to serve a copy of the order to show cause on the mortgagor in the following manner:
    a. If the mortgagor has been served with the complaint and original process, service of the order may be made in the manner provided in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.
    b. If the mortgagor has not been served with the complaint and original process, the order to show cause, together with the summons and a copy of the complaint, shall be served on the mortgagor in the same manner as provided by law for original process.
    (b) The right to be heard at the hearing to show cause is waived if the defendant, after being served as provided by law with an order to show cause, engages in conduct that clearly shows that the defendant has relinquished the right to be heard on that order. The defendant's failure to file defenses by a motion or by a sworn or verified answer or to appear at the hearing duly scheduled on the order to show cause presumptively constitutes conduct that clearly shows that the defendant has relinquished the right to be heard.
    (c) If the court finds that the defendant has waived the right to be heard, the court may promptly enter an order requiring payment in the amount provided in paragraph (f) or an order to vacate.
    (d) If the court finds that the mortgagor has not waived the right to be heard on the order to show cause, the court shall, at the hearing on the order to show cause, consider the affidavits and other showings made by the parties appearing and make a determination of the probable validity of the underlying claim alleged against the mortgagor and the mortgagor's defenses. If the court determines that the mortgagee is likely to prevail in the foreclosure action, the court shall enter an order requiring the mortgagor to make the payment described in paragraph (e) to the mortgagee and provide for a remedy as described in paragraph (f). However, the order shall be stayed pending final adjudication of the claims of the parties if the mortgagor files with the court a written undertaking executed by a surety approved by the court in an amount equal to the unpaid balance of the mortgage on the property, including all principal, interest, unpaid taxes, and insurance premiums paid by the mortgagee.
    (e) In the event the court enters an order requiring the mortgagor to make payments to the mortgagee, payments shall be payable at such intervals and in such amounts provided for in the mortgage instrument before acceleration or maturity. The obligation to make payments pursuant to any order entered under this subsection shall commence from the date of the motion filed hereunder. The order shall be served upon the mortgagor no later than 20 days before the date specified for the first payment. The order may permit, but shall not require the mortgagee to take all appropriate steps to secure the premises during the pendency of the foreclosure action.
    (f) In the event the court enters an order requiring payments the order shall also provide that the mortgagee shall be entitled to possession of the premises upon the failure of the mortgagor to make the payment required in the order unless at the hearing on the order to show cause the court finds good cause to order some other method of enforcement of its order.
    (g) All amounts paid pursuant to this section shall be credited against the mortgage obligation in accordance with the terms of the loan documents, provided, however, that any payments made under this section shall not constitute a cure of any default or a waiver or any other defense to the mortgage foreclosure action.
    (h) Upon the filing of an affidavit with the clerk that the premises have not been vacated pursuant to the court order, the clerk shall issue to the sheriff a writ for possession which shall be governed by the provisions.

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