I own a home in Florida that I’ve lived in for many years. About a year ago I went through a divorce and fell behind on my mortgage since my spouse stopped contributing to the payments. The house is now in foreclosure. I want to keep my house and am wondering if there is some way for me to get it back after the foreclosure. I just got promoted at work and got an increase in my salary. I heard that I could "redeem" the home even if I lose it to foreclosure. Is this right?
No, you can’t get the home back after the foreclosure is over. However, you have up until the court clerk files the certificate of sale, or until the time specified in the foreclosure judgment, to pay off the full amount of the unpaid loan and keep the house. This is called “redeeming” the home and is explained in more detail below.
When You Can Redeem Your Home in a Florida Foreclosure
Florida foreclosures are judicial, which means the lender files a lawsuit in court to foreclose your home. Under Florida law, the court clerk must promptly file a certificate of sale after the foreclosure sale takes place (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 45.031(4)). This usually occurs within one day of the sale.
You can redeem the home at any time before:
- the clerk files the certificate of sale, or
- the time stated in the foreclosure judgment, whichever is later (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 45.0315). (You’ll get a copy of the foreclosure judgment from the court by mail. In most cases, the judgment will state that your right to redeem ends when the clerk files the certificate of sale.)
You won’t get an opportunity to get your house back after this time. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.)
How Much You'll Have to Pay to Redeem Your Home
In order to redeem, you must pay the full amount of the unpaid loan as stated in the judgment, including interest, attorney's fees, and costs (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 45.0315). To find out the exact procedures for redeeming your home, check with the court or consult with a Florida attorney.
Take Action to Save Your Home as Early as Possible
If you want to remain in the house, there may be other options available to you besides redeeming the home. For example, you could:
- pay off the past-due amounts to reinstate (catch up on) the loan, or
- try to work out an alternative to foreclosure that will allow you to keep the property, such as a mortgage modification, forbearance agreement, or repayment plan.
Since you went through a divorce (which qualifies as a hardship, one of the requirements to qualify for an alternative to foreclosure) and have a good job (which may show that you can afford a modified monthly mortgage payment), you could very well be eligible for a mortgage modification or a repayment plan.
In Florida, the foreclosure process can take a year or more to complete, but you still want to explore alternatives to foreclosure well before the sale because the process can take a significant amount of time. (To learn more about foreclosure laws and procedures in Florida, visit Nolo’s Florida Foreclosure Law Center.)
Finding Florida’s Redemption Law
To find the statute that discusses your right to redeem the home in a foreclosure in Florida, go to Title VI, Chapter 45 of the Florida Statutes.