When a Florida property owner fails to make mortgage payments, it can sometimes prompt a lender to take steps to obtain possession of the property in question. Under federal law, however, the lender cannot start foreclosure proceedings unless the mortgage loan is more than 120 days past due. If the mortgagor has no means of doing so, the foreclosure may proceed and the property can be sold at auction pursuant to a judgment of foreclosure.
The judgment would come from a circuit court. If the foreclosure is uncontested, then the entire process may take anywhere from 180-200 days. Contested proceedings are longer.
Florida also allows deficiency judgments. This means that if a foreclosure auction results in a sale that is worth less than the amount owed on the original loan, the person who secured the loan can be held legally accountable for the difference. A threat of foreclosure does not always result in the full process taking place; a mortgagor who understands state and federal laws and knows how to protect his or her rights may be able to save his or her home.
There are often several ways to stop foreclosure, including filing bankruptcy. Any Florida property owner concerned about such matters may want to research various strategies for halting the process and for obtaining debt relief while retaining major assets. An experienced attorney can provide recommendations and support regarding bankruptcy, foreclosure and other debt relief issues. The good news is that most financial crises are temporary and successful outcomes are often possible if one taps into available local resources.