Foreclosure Defense

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In the state of Florida, lenders must comply with judicial procedures to be able to foreclose on a home, which means
they must first initiate a foreclosure lawsuit against the borrower in court.


What does this mean for you?

Because the lawsuit process typically takes several months or more, you can gain more time in the home to evaluate loss mitigation options as well as save money for future living expenses. Another advantage of this process is that it allows you to raise legal defenses to the foreclosure in court without having to file your own lawsuit.

The Law Office of Vanessa Gonzalez-Vinas, P.A. can defend you throughout the foreclosure process, ensuring you more time in your home by providing competent legal representation. We will also analyze your individual case to determine what, if any, foreclosure alternatives might be available to you.

If you have already received a summons and complaint for your foreclosure, call or contact our office immediately to speak with the attorney.

 

For more information on the foreclosure process, read the Foreclosure Process Summary outlined below:

Foreclosure Process Summary

A foreclosure lawsuit usually commences once you have fallen behind on your monthly mortgage payments. A mortgage holder can begin foreclosure procedures if you miss even just one payment, but they will typically wait at least 90 days

  1. The lender sends you a Notice of Intent to Foreclose. The lender may send you a Notice of Intent to begin foreclosure proceedings. The notice generally informs you that you may avoid foreclosure altogether by bringing your account balance current, along with attorney’s fees, other costs, and interest owed.
  2. The lender files a lawsuit. If the account balance is not brought current after the date listed on the Notice of Intent , the lender will then file the lawsuit in civil court.
  3. The lender serves you with Notice of the lawsuit. The lender must deliver to you or someone above the age of 18 residing in the home a copy of the Summons, Lis Pendens and Complaint. Failure on the lender’s part to serve you properly violates civil process rules and may result in the foreclosure case being dismissed entirely.
  4. You can file a Response to the Complaint. The summons and complaint give you a period of time within which you can respond if you wish to contest or argue the lawsuit (usually 20 days). Filing a response is your decision (see below), but our firm has been very successful in filing legal responses and obtaining case dismissals or at the least, prolonged time in the case. The burden of proof falls on the lender to show the judge that the foreclosure is justified based on the mortgage terms.

If you choose not to file a response and/or obtain legal counsel, your foreclosure case will probably be settled quickly in the lender’s favor. The court can grant a default judgment and authorize the lender to sell your home at auction.

Responding to the lawsuit gives you the opportunity to plead with the court on why you would have a legal right to remain in the home and that the foreclosure lawsuit is unjustified.  A qualified foreclosure attorney will provide extensive legal defenses that will effectively prolong the process in court. However, a dismissal of a foreclosure case may result in the lender refiling a suit after correcting whatever caused the dismissal.

  1. The lender sends a Notice of Sale. If the judge grants the lender a judgment, the lender will usually schedule a sale date on the property.  The sale date typically takes place 30 days from the date of entry of the judgment.  You may still be able to redeem the mortgage by paying off the balance in full, along with attorney’s fees and other costs incurred by the lender.
  2. The Foreclosure Sale. If there is not a buyer at auction, the home automatically goes back to the lender.

 

The entire foreclosure process will typically take three and a half months if you do not respond to the complaint, but it can be delayed significantly by hiring an experienced foreclosure attorney.

After the Sale. Once the auction has been held, you may not be required to move out right away until you receive an official, written eviction notice. However, you will have to deal with any deficiency balance owed on the mortgage, especially if the sale amount at auction is significantly less than what you borrowed from the bank. Many people have had to file bankruptcy due to a deficiency amount from foreclosure – please speak to a qualified foreclosure and/or bankruptcy attorney before your home is sold to discuss how this may affect you financially.