The Florida Supreme Court recently issued an opinion amending the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and adopted several new forms to be used in connection with foreclosure cases filed in Miami-Dade County, and the state of Florida as a whole.
The most significant change is the amendment to Rule 1.110(b) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. That rule was amended by the Florida Supreme Court to now require that all residential foreclosure complaints be verified. Verification requires that a bank representative sign the lawsuit under penalty of perjury attesting that all facts within the lawsuit are true to the best of the lender’s knowledge and belief. This new change is aimed at addressing the “lost note” defense, and potentially eliminating that defense all together.
Indeed, the Florida Supreme Court noted that this new requirement is being implemented in order to “(1) to provide incentive for the plaintiff to appropriately investigate and verify its ownership of the note or right to enforce the note and ensure that the allegations in the complaint are accurate; (2) to conserve judicial resources that are currently being wasted on inappropriately pleaded ‘lost note’ counts and inconsistent allegations; (3) to prevent the wasting of judicial resources and harm to defendants resulting from suits brought by plaintiffs not entitled to enforce the note; and (4) to give trial courts greater authority to sanction plaintiffs who make false allegations.”
The other changes made by the Florida Supreme Court include a change to the necessary affidavit of diligent search and inquiry, a form used by banks when they are unable to find or serve the lawsuit on the borrower. And an effort to have all motions to cancel the and re-schedule foreclosure sales uniform in an effort to potentially streamline the foreclosure process.
These are significant changes to the legal foreclosure landscape. Therefore, if you are served with foreclosure papers, please contact our office today.