How Does Judicial Foreclosure Work?
In Florida the foreclosure process is judicial. That means the proceedings are held through court. Read below how the process works.
Missing one mortgage payment puts you at risk for foreclosure but generally, most lenders will wait anywhere between three to six months after payments have stopped to file foreclosure. In the United States 24 states use the judicial foreclosure process: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The lender and in this case the plaintiff will serve the borrower notice of the lawsuit through a summons and complaint. This tells the borrow, the defendant, to appear in court. If the borrower fails to appear in court the lender can automatically win by default judgment.
How to Respond
The borrower must respond within a certain time frame. The timeframe given is stated in the summons and complaint letter. This is usually between 15 to 30 days, but it does vary. The borrower will have the opportunity to explain to the judge why he should be able to keep the property along with the reasoning for falling behind on payments and what you plan to do to catch up. The borrower is not required to file a response but if there is no response the lender can quickly move on with the foreclosure with no contest. The lender will still have to prove there is a valid cause for the foreclosure though.
A notice of intent to sell is another complaint that the lender files through the court. This is against the borrower who is in default on their mortgage. After the judgment from the judge, the lender typically sends the letter to the borrower who has typically 10 days to respond. Don’t forget though that the borrower can avoid foreclosure if they are able to pay the entire balance of the mortgage. Generally, though this isn’t feasible as finding yourself facing foreclosure means you don’t have the necessary finances to handle monthly payments. These costs also include all related foreclosure costs such as attorney and court costs. Other options homeowners have are a loan modification, short sale, or even bankruptcy. Learning your options is the best protection against foreclosure.
After the property is lost in court it is eligible to be put up for auction. Usually, the auction price is sold at the minimum sales price or equal to the balance owed. If the property sells but is not enough to cover the debt and fees the borrower will be responsible to pay the difference. If no bidder wins the property the lender becomes the owner by default.
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