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What are my rights as a homeowner in foreclosure in Florida

If you are facing a Florida foreclosure, you still have many rights as a homeowner. Here are a few important rights that all Florida homeowners enjoy, even while in foreclosure.

1. You have the right to live in your home. Many people think that just because they have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit they can't live in the home any longer. This is false. Every homeowner in Florida has a right to homestead protection under Article X, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution. The bank can not force you to leave your home until they prove in court that they have a legal right to foreclose on your home and the court enters a final judgment of foreclosure setting a public sale date for the home. Then they buyer at the auction must obtain a certificate of title and ask the court for a writ of possession to have you removed if you don't leave voluntarily. We have heard from clients that the bank has told them that they have to leave even before the court says so. We have also caught banks lying telling them they have a sale date coming up when they don't. That brings me to my next point.

2. You have the right not to be harassed by the bank. This means that the bank can not threaten you, can not call you repeatedly, and they cannot lie to you. Further the bank can not even contact you at all when you are represented by an attorney. These are all violations of the Florida Consumer Protection Act and/or of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Unfortunately most foreclosure lawyers don't do anything about this when it happens to their clients. They are giving away their clients' consumer rights. We have a department dedicated to suing banks for debt collection violations and we sue banks all of the time for harassing our clients.

3. You have the right to file bankruptcy to either stop the sale of your home or to save your home. If you have a foreclosure sale date coming up on your Florida home, you need to act quick and see a law firm that helps homeowners in bankruptcy, like Loan Lawyers. Filing either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop the sale of your home as long as it is filed before the sale occurs. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy has many tools that can ultimately be used to save a home, such as catching up on missed payments, stripping of a second mortgage, cramming down a first mortgage, and possibly challenging the bank's right to assert a lien on the home in the first place.

4. You have the right to pay off your mortgage in full before a sale occurs to save your home. This is really not an option for most struggling homeowners. If you could pay off your mortgage in full, you most likely would not be in foreclosure in the first place.

5. You have the right to fight the foreclosure. Many homeowners don't realize that you have the right to challenge the bank in court and make them prove their case. This is where an experienced foreclosure attorney in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach county comes in.

Categories: Foreclosure Defense
  • ABC News
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • CBS 4
  • CNN
  • Daily Business Review
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • Florida Trend's - Florida Legal Elite 2014
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
  • NBC News
  • National Consumer Law Center
  • The New York Times
  • Avvo
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