In Florida, your homeowner rights on a foreclosure are your leverage for defending your home. Predatory lending tactics and violations of the Truth In Lending Act are just a few of the offenses we can assert to successfully fight against the foreclosure and win.
Foreclosure rights for homeownersare as follows:
1) The Right To Defend
Florida is a judicial foreclosure state and all foreclosures are handled through the courts, following a set legal procedure. You won’t lose your home immediately simply because the lender files a foreclosure suit against you.
You have the right to defend your case. The only way you lose your homeowner rights on a foreclosure is to pack up and leave.
Take note: Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. The lenders have attorneys that handle their cases day after day. They aren’t accustomed to homeowners putting up any kind of fight. Fighting back with a foreclosure defense stops the attack on your home. This gives us time to develop strong and legitimate defenses to stop the foreclosure for good.
2) The Right to Discovery
This enables you to request documents from the lender. The main thing to request is the original note (not a copy) that you signed when you bought your home.
Almost always, your note has been sold or reassigned from the original lender to another financial institution in the foreclosure pool. And almost always, this note is lost. Without this originalnote, the lender is forced by law to overcome additional hurdles to prove their right to foreclose.
You can also find out if the lender has violated some rule of foreclosure. Violations are extremely common, and experienced foreclosure attorneys will expose these offenses in court that may force the lender to return to you all sums of money you paid them plus attorneys fees and court costs.
Further homeowner rights on a foreclosure are
3) Right of Proof
The burden of proof is on the lender. This means that the lender (not you) must gather all the evidence and prove every part of their case to the judge. In legal jargon, the level of proof is just a preponderance of the evidence. Preponderance simply means more likely than not. Preponderance is much easier to prove than beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet often it is enough to help you win your case when you have skilled foreclosure attorneys fighting the lenders’ attorneys on your behalf.
4) Right to Counterclaim
As a homeowner, your rights on a foreclosure mean you have the power to counterclaim. Counterclaims work like a counter-lawsuit filed back at the lender or servicer. In Florida, counterclaims may be tried to a jury, rather than having one judge make all of the rulings.
Basically, this allows the homeowner to sue the lender for violations of lending laws. Many laws regulate lending practices, and they are often changing. Consult an attorney and have them take a good long look at your loan to see if you have a case.
As one of Florida’s leading foreclosure defense law firms, our mission at Graham & Associates, P.A. is to provide strong, effective defense for people facing the foreclosure nightmare.