The thought of losing your home has to be one of the most stressful situations
a person can find themselves in. Whether it’s the home you grew
up in as a child, a home you bought for your parents, or what you thought
was the next step towards the America dream, a pending foreclosure action
can loom over you like a storm cloud. Coupled with the anxiety of foreclosure
is the stress of affording an attorney to represent you. Navigating the
legal waters and dealing with the Banks is a challenge of its own, and
you’ll want competent legal professionals to help you along the
way. Thankfully, the law in Florida permits recovering the money you spent
on an attorney after you successfully defended a foreclosure action. While
we’re happy to discuss with you the finer details of the law if
you come in for a consultation, you should know that there are several
laws on point that help homeowners recover the money they spent defending
their home from foreclosure.
Judge CJ Farmer best described the implications of recovering attorney’s
fees under Florida Statutes 57.105(7):
“Unilateral fee provisions are usually seen in form contracts prepared
by commercial entities. Many of these forms govern consumer transactions.
The unilateral fee provision tucked away in the legal text of a form contract
effectually deprives many consumers of access to the courts to redress
contractual breaches. But typically consumers lack sufficient bargaining
power to coax business entities into recasting such fee provisions. And
commercial parties need no leveling in negotiating contract terms. Thus
the purpose behind section 57.105(7) is obviously that the Legislature
found bilateral provisions necessary to enable consumers to have representation
and, thereby meaningful access to the machinery of justice in contractual
disputes affecting important consumer and family interests.”
Mediplex Construction, v. Schaub, 856 So.2d 13, 16.
What Judge Farmer is referring to is often called a “mutuality”
statute. Simply put, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Mortgages that homeowners enter into are often one-sided and lean in favor
of the Banks. The legal terms of the Mortgage often try to prevent homeowners
from being able to recover money they spend defending their home. Florida
Statutes 57.105(7) and other similar laws, help level the playing field
between homeowners and Banks. If the Banks can successfully foreclose
on a home, what can the homeowners do if they successfully defeat the
Banks? Part of the answer is recovering the money a homeowner spend in
attorney’s fees. If a homeowner defends their home from a wrongful
foreclosure, the law states that the Bank should be required to pay the
homeowners’ attorney’s fees.
Going through a foreclosure is a stressful event, but forcing the Bank
to pay your attorney’s fees might make things a little less stressful.
Make an appointment with our office for a consultation and let us help
you try and recover the money you spend protecting your home.