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.