How Long does a Foreclosure take in Florida

The Length of the Florida Foreclosure Process Timeline can vary.   Generally, it lasts between 8 to 14 months.   On the other hand, if you hire a Foreclosure Defense Attorney, it can take longer than 14 months.  If you are a in Foreclosure, contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA.

Pre Florida Foreclosure Process Timeline (30 to 90 Days)

From the date that the Homeowner defaults on their Mortgage to the filing of the Complaint is usually 30 to 90 days.  When there is a default, they will receive a letter from the Bank. Thereafter, they have 30 days to pay their mortgage.  If they fail to pay, the Bank will file the Foreclosure.  However, it is rare that they file after the 30 days.  Generally they file 60 days after the 30 days expires from the letter.

Florida Foreclosure Process Timeline

1.  Filing and Serving of the Foreclosure (15 Days)

Once the Bank files the Lawsuit, they will receive a case number.  Thereafter, they serve the Homeowner.  Usually, they will have to try and serve them on more than one occasion since they may not be home.  If they are unable to serve them, they will have try service by publication.

2.  Response (20 Days)

A Homeowner has 20 days to respond.   The Answer must admit or deny the allegations in the Complaint.  In addition, they can file Affirmative Defenses. These allow you to address the allegations and the reasons for denying them.  This is important because it will determine the remaining timeline of the case.  In response to the Defenses,  the Bank will file a Motion to Strike.

3 .  Discovery  (45 to 90 Days)

The Bank or the Homeowner can serve discovery on the other side. The purpose is to try and strengthen their position.  They have 30 days to respond.  Accordingly, if they fail to respond, a Motion to Compel can be filed.

A. Interrogatories.  A List of questions sent to an opposing party that must be answered under oath.

B. Request for Production.   A list of documents requested by an opposing party that the other side is required to produce.

C. Request for Admissions.  These are statements that the Opposing Party is required to admit or deny .

While most Homeowners are not knowledgeable about the Process, is it better that their case is handled by a Defense Attorney.

Final Hearing

4.  Summary Judgment (60-90 days)

Once the Bank believes they can obtain a Final Judgment of Foreclosure, they will file a Motion for Summary Judgment.  This states that there are no issues of fact or law that the Homeowner can allege that would prohibit a Judgment.   At the Hearing, the Bank must produce the Note and Mortgage.   In addition, they will have to disprove any defenses.  If they are successful, the Court will enter a Foreclosure Sale Date within 35 to 120 days.  In the event that they are not successful, they will likely request an Extended Sale Date.

Summary Judgment Hearing

A Summary Judgment Hearing is sometimes the Final Phase before a Foreclosure Sale.

Post Foreclosure Timeline

5.   Foreclosure Sale Date (35 to 120 Days from the date of Final Judgment of Foreclosure)

A Sale occurs within 35 to 120 days.  On the date of the Sale, individuals can bid on the property.  The Highest Bidder will become the new owner.  The only time that the length can be increased is if the Homeowner or Bank files a Motion to Cancel Sale and the Court agrees to it.  However, they should never depend on this Motion.

6.   Certificate of Title (10 Days)

If there are no objections to the Sale within 10 days after the filing of the Certificate of Sale, the Clerk will issue a Certificate of Title.  As a result, the Successful Bidder will become the new owner of the property.  This will also allow them to take the proper steps in securing possession of the property.

How does the New Owner remove the Prior Owner or Tenants?

7.     Writ of Possession (30-60 Days)

Once Title is issued, the new owner must determine if the prior owner or Tenants are still living in the property.  This occurs by sending them a Certified letter.   If the new owner does not receive a response, they can file a Motion for Writ of Possession and set it for hearing.  At the Hearing, the Judge will enter an order directing the Clerk to sign the Writ.  Generally, this takes 30 to 60 days.  The only way it can be extended is if the Tenant or Prior Owner files a Motion to Stay the Writ.  However, without good cause, it is unlikely to be granted.

The Florida Foreclosure Process Timeline is always changing.   However, a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer will be able to guide and help save your property.  Contact the Law Office of Brian P. Kowal, PA at (954) 990-7552 to learn about your options.