What to Do After a Receiving a Foreclosure Notice in Florida

Initial Steps You Should Take

Receiving a notice of a foreclosure lawsuit, even if it was anticipated, is undeniably stressful. You may be compelled to panic or accept the seeming inevitability, but it is not too late to save your home or protect against foreclosure’s worst consequences! Below, we break down the initial steps you should take to best protect you and your home.

Step 1: Hire an Experienced Foreclosure Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible

No one wants to receive a foreclosure notice. When you receive the summons, which normally comes by certified mail, you will need to quickly decide on a plan of action. You can choose to go it alone, which is not advisable, or hire a skilled lawyer who will give you the best chance of achieving your goals. The worst possible thing you can do is nothing, as this will expedite the foreclosure process and increase the odds of losing your home.

Always consider a Florida-based foreclosure defense attorney, as out-of-state law firms will not necessarily have the proper knowledge of Florida’s specific foreclosure defense laws, relationships with Florida judges, and knowledge of Florida Consumer Protection law. Be aware that out-of-state loan modification or debt consolidation firms are not the same as a Florida foreclosure defense law firm and will often not act in your best interest. Hiring qualified legal representation as soon as possible is the best way to protect yourself.

“Attorneys are all knowledgeable about the law and not afraid to take on big competitors and win.”

- Jennifer H.

Step 2: In Considering an Attorney, Consider Your Options

Are you still unsure whether to hire an attorney? After all, attorneys cost money you may not have. Some firms will charge exorbitant prices regardless of the level of service they offer, refuse to be upfront about the cost of their services, or even hit you with previously undisclosed fees. You deserve legal representation that treats you fairly.

At Cremeens Law PLLC, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. We can go over the details of your situation and help you understand the legal options we can help you pursue. If you determine you wish to retain our services, we are transparent about our flat fees and will never engage in surprise charges. Our foreclosure defense lawyers empathize with and understand the financial difficulty you are facing, and our goal is to help you out of it, not add to any burden.

Step 3: Do Your Homework

Some Florida Courts will attempt what is referred to as a “rocket docket,” a slate of foreclosure cases that seek to accelerate the pace of your foreclosure lawsuit if you lack legal representation. As you consider your legal options, you should consider the risks of going it alone. Will you be able to identify what forms you need to fill out, how to complete them, where to submit them, and by when? Many do not realize you typically only have 20 days from the receipt of your foreclosure notice to respond to the complaint. If you fail to respond with the proper documentation, you can lose critical foreclosure defense options. Often, even if they do everything right, an individual foregoing legal representation can only delay their foreclosure for 60 to 90 days.

Conversely, an individual who hires an experienced foreclosure defense attorney can gain as many as 12 months as the court considers their case. Our team at Cremeens Law Group PLLC can help you understand what is required of you and assist in the preparation and filing of all relevant paperwork.

Step 4: Make the Most of Your Gained Time

Should your legal representative buy you much-needed time to strategize in your foreclosure defense, you will want to make the most of it. A skilled foreclosure defense lawyer can help you explore numerous options, including:

  • Negotiate a modification to lower your monthly mortgage payment
  • Pay off credit cards or other debts to lower your monthly expenses
  • Apply for a court-ordered repayment plan
  • Write a hardship letter to help with your modification
  • Negotiate for a written deficiency waiver of the loan balance if you are choosing to give up the property

Additionally, you can aim to stay in your home as long as possible without making a mortgage payment. This can help you recoup the down-payment or any other losses you have suffered.

Step 5: Let Your Attorney Work for You

Remember, you not only hire legal representation to assist in your foreclosure defense to benefit from their knowledge and experience. You are also hiring an attorney who will tirelessly advocate on your behalf. Our foreclosure defense lawyers at Cremeens Law Group PLLC aim to shift the burden of experiencing the foreclosure process away from you. Based on our guidance, you can determine a strategy and the steps you would like to take, and we can take care of the rest of the work. You are going through enough: Let us handle the rest.

Additional Things to Consider

Some people may wrestle with the moral implications of staying in the home without the intention of making payments. However, consider that were you not living there, the property would likely sit vacant for months or even years without being sold or occupied. While the property remains locked in a foreclosure dispute or in the portfolio of a bank, many problems can develop, including:

  • Development of extensive mildew from lack of air conditioning and cleaning
  • Bug infestations due to lack of spraying and upkeep
  • Vandalism as a result of animals, criminals, squatters, homeless populations, drug manufacturers, and rowdy partiers
  • General disrepair due to a lack of maintenance
  • Overgrown lawn and plants as a result of no consistent upkeep

All of these problems can negatively affect your neighbors and your community. Remember, this is your home, one you have made every effort to pay for, one that you have made yours, and one you deserve to live in. Staying and continuing to maintain it as the foreclosure process plays out not only honors your rights, but those of your fellow neighborhood residents. Staying can also keep property values from dropping. Lenders accumulate a massive number of vacant properties through foreclosures, and it takes them a great deal of time to manage each one. Giving up and leaving before a foreclosure plays out could mean your home stays frustratingly unoccupied for many years.

Also realize that many lending institutions are not innocent in the events that led to your situation and not necessarily deserving of your total cooperation. Some lenders place people at risk of foreclosure due to:

  • Improperly offering loans to people or engaging in subprime loans
  • Adjustable rates that trap people into high payments
  • Predatory lending strategies
  • Unfair Trade Practices Act violations
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act violations
  • Improper rate adjustments or usury violations

You may also find yourself in a foreclosure scenario due to personal hardship circumstances beyond your control, including:

  • Latent, undisclosed defects in your home that would be expensive to fix, like cracked foundations
  • A hidden or new sinkhole
  • Sudden storm or hurricane damage
  • Flooding or water damage
  • Improperly done construction leading to a shorter life span on your roof
  • Improperly done pipes that burst or leaked
  • Sudden job or income loss
  • Significant, debilitating injury
  • Divorce
  • Death of an immediate family member
  • Home insurance rate hike

The bottom line is this: You have to look out for yourself, not your bank, no matter what they say or what they threaten. The stakes in a foreclosure scenario are high, and you deserve a legal representative who you trust, who cares about you, and who can work to vigorously pursue a favorable outcome in your case. Our foreclosure defense attorneys at Cremeens Law Group PLLC hope to be that advocate for you, and we encourage you to see for yourself by scheduling your initial free consultation.

Do not wait to consider hiring a legal representative in your foreclosure defense case. Remember, the sooner you act, the better! Call (813) 683-8688 or contact us online.

Taking the Burden Off of Your Shoulders

What You Can Expect With Us
  • Experience

    Having worked with both consumers and lenders, we have unique insight for how banks work, providing you with the best strategy.

  • Results

    If you hire us, we will be the attorneys that keep you in your home.

  • Affordability

    With payment plans available and without any hidden or extra fees, our goal is to help you budget when you're dealing with financial issues.

  • Communication

    You will never be kept in the dark. From start to finish, we maintain regular communication about your case.

Ready to Discuss Your Case?

Schedule a free consultation with us today to explore your options.