For many homeowners facing foreclosure, the uncertainty of what will happen after the foreclosure sale can be more frightening than the foreclosure itself. This can often be attributed to a lack of knowledge regarding the steps that follow foreclosure. To help those undergoing the foreclosure process better understand what happens after the process’s conclusion, our attorneys have outlined the five primary steps that will occur.
1. Foreclosure Auction Concludes
The after foreclosure process in Florida officially begins with the completion of the foreclosure auction. Most often, this will mean the home has been sold to the highest bidder. However, in some instances, the lender may end up with the home if an acceptable bid was not made. Regardless of the auction’s outcome, this step causes the clock for eviction to begin ticking.
2. Explore Options to Stay in the Home
Once the foreclosure has been completed, the home is no longer yours. However, there are still options available that may allow you to keep it. In the state of Florida’s Statutory Right of Redemption, debtors have 10 days from the foreclosure sale to pursue a post-foreclosure redemption. This would involve purchasing the home for its sale price, plus any applicable interest and fees. If you are unable to redeem the home and the lender was unable to sell it at auction, you might also consider attempting to lease it back. Some lenders offer programs that allow debtors to remain in the home after foreclosure, at least until it is able to be sold.
3. Move Out of the Home
If there are no viable options for remaining in the home or you simply do not wish to explore them, the next step in the after foreclosure process will be to move out. Typically, you have three days to vacate the property voluntarily, and doing so will allow you to avoid an eviction lawsuit. In fact, under Florida’s Cash for Keys program, the lender or new owner may be willing to pay you to do so. If you do not leave the property voluntarily, a writ of possession will be filed with the court. After the writ is issued, you will have just 24 hours to leave without the sheriff’s interference.
4. Deficiency Judgment Could be Filed
In Florida, the after foreclosure process does not necessarily conclude one you’ve vacated the home. If the foreclosure auction failed to satisfy what was owed on the mortgage, the lender may pursue a deficiency judgement for the remaining balance. The right foreclosure defense attorney will prepare for this possibility in advance, ideally drafting an agreement with the lender that allows you to avoid it entirely.
5. Rebuilding Your Finances
The final step for moving on from a foreclosure is to begin repairing your finances. Needless to say, this will not occur overnight. Your credit score will have taken a serious hit by this point, whether due to the foreclosure itself or the many missed payments leading up to it. However, with proper planning and diligence, you can put a foreclosure behind you in the years to come. The event will be wiped from your credit report in seven years, and with thorough budgeting and savings you can stay on top of your debts to ensure history does not repeat itself.
Looking to learn more about foreclosure in Florida? Our foreclosure defense attorneys are here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.