In Florida, unlike many other states, banks must utilize the court system in all foreclosures. In other words, if a bank wants to take your home, they must file a lawsuit against you. As a result, the foreclosure process may actually afford the homeowner with additional opportunities, and time, to remedy the situation.
It should be noted that many Florida banks hired several high-priced lobbyists recently in an effort to persuade our legislators to implement non-judicial foreclosures in Florida. Fortunately, the high-priced assault on homeowners, and their legal rights, in Florida failed. Therefore, foreclosures in Florida will continue to move through our judicial system.
It is therefore important to consult, and hire, an experienced foreclosure Defense attorney to defend your rights. An experienced foreclosure Defense attorney will be able to assess and evaluate what defenses you may have during the foreclosure process, and aggressively advocate your positions in the foreclosure.
For instance, the very first thing that a bank must do to formally initiate a foreclosure proceeding against you is to properly file a foreclosure complaint. Recent changes to our Florida Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that the banks must provide certain verification, under the penalty of perjury, that they actually own the note in question in order to properly file a foreclosure complaint. Failure to do so may result in the dismissal of the bank’s case against you.
Additionally, often times banks are required to send you written notification of the default at least 30 days prior to the filing of the foreclosure lawsuit against you. Failure to adhere to this condition precedent may result in the dismissal of the bank’s lawsuit against you.
When a foreclosure lawsuit has been filed, a process server will typically come to your home to serve you with the necessary legal papers. Often times, the process server may leave the papers on your doorstep when no one was home, or leave it with a housekeeper, or other person, that does not reside at your home. While the aforementioned circumstances certainly present the opportunity to raise a valid defense that you were not properly served with the foreclosure complaint, it is of critical and paramount importance that you respond within 20 days nonetheless. Even if you believe that the papers were not properly provided to you, if you fail to respond within 20 days you will be in a default situation where your defenses may be all waived and it will be difficult for you to assert any valid defense that you may have to defend the case.
Therefore, and upon receipt of the foreclosure complaint, irrespective of the manner in which you received it, it is critical to consult with an experience foreclosure Defense attorney to begin the process and developing a plan to defend the case and save your home. We have been successful in defending many foreclosure cases when given an opportunity to develop a plan to properly defend the foreclosure.
If you are on the brink of foreclosure, and need to assess your legal rights, please contact our office today.