The Florida Foreclosure Process Timeline
Foreclosure is a legal process where the bank or lender terminates the mortgage due to non-payment. Fortunately, for the homeowner, foreclosure is not immediate. There’s usually no packing up and moving out of the home right away because the foreclosure process can take months. Our West Palm Beach foreclosure attorneys provide a short version of the foreclosure timeline.
During the pre-foreclosure process, payments usually stop, or become seriously. The homeowner starts to make late payments while still living in the home. When the homeowner does not make payments as per the agreement by way of the Note, the lender takes legal action by filing a notice of default with the court.
- Notice of Default
The notice of default is the document stating that you’ve defaulted on the home loan. This document initiates the clock for the timeline of the foreclosure process.
- Complaint with Lis Pendens.
Lis Pendens is a Latin term meaning litigation pending. Once the lender files the complaint with lis pendens, this signifies that the lenders intent is to take the home through foreclosure.
- Service of Process
Here, the lender serves the summons and complaint with lis pendens, which starts the lawsuit.
Service of process is usually performed via hand-delivery by the county sheriff or a licensed process server. If for some reason the sheriff is unable to locate the homeowner for service, the lender will resort to additional forms of service such as the local newspaper. Do not think you can avoid the lawsuit by avoiding service, you should speak to an attorney to help you address your options.
This process can take up to 20 days, and some times longer.
- The Homeowner’s Answer
Once the lender/plaintiff has obtained service of the summons and complaint with lis pendens on you, you must take action if you want to preserve your rights. As the homeowner, you must respond to the lender’s complaint within 20 days.
This is where some people frantically search for an attorney to help them with their response. Our knowledgeable West Palm Beach foreclosure attorneys can take measures to stop your foreclosure or work with you to prepare an answer and help you save your home.
The many hearings that may take place in the average foreclosure take time. After the homeowner responds to the complaint, a preliminary hearing is held. The goal is often to get back into a payment plan with the lender, mortgage modification, or simply to give you more time before you must vacate the property. Not responding at all to the complaint makes this process faster, as you will get a default judgment against you.
In a summary judgment hearing, the lender will make its best case against the homeowner by collecting facts and material. This can take up to 45 days. The homeowner and his or her attorney must prepare to dispute the lender’s case by offering evidence such as consistent proof of payment.
Here, the judge will either rule for or against the homeowner. In the event the judge is in favor of the lender, the home can go to a foreclosure sale 30 to 45 days after the judge renders a decision.
Get Help Now with Your Foreclosure Process
If you are in default or your lender is foreclosing your home, contact the West Palm Beach foreclosure attorneys at Kelley, Fulton & Kaplan. We’ll help you navigate this difficult area of the law and work to save your home owner status. For a no obligation consultation, contact our firm at 561-264-6850.