If I Lose My Home to Foreclosure in Florida, Can I Get It Back?

Does Florida have a redemption period for foreclosure? No, Florida doesn't provide a post-sale redemption period. But you can redeem your home before a foreclosure is final.

By , Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

In Florida, you can't redeem your home after a foreclosure is over. But you have a short amount of time after a foreclosure sale, up until the later of when 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 your house.

What Is the Right of Redemption After a Foreclosure Sale?

In about half of the states, homeowners get one final chance to save their home, even after a foreclosure sale. The right to redeem the property after a foreclosure sale is called a "statutory" right of redemption because it's set out in the state statutes (laws).

Suppose your state provides a statutory right of redemption. In that case, you get a redemption period, which is a limited amount of time to repurchase the home from the person or entity that bought it at the foreclosure sale. Depending on state law, you must either reimburse the purchaser for the price paid at the sale or pay off the full amount you owed on the mortgage loan, plus foreclosure fees and costs.

Basically, the redemption period gives you some additional time after the foreclosure sale to find funding to buy your home back. The length of the redemption period following the sale, if available, varies widely depending on state law and the particular circumstances.

Right of Redemption After Judicial and Nonjudicial Foreclosures

In some states, foreclosures are always judicial, which means they go through the court system. In others, the foreclosure process is typically nonjudicial (out of court), although these states also permit judicial foreclosures.

Right of redemption in judicial foreclosure states. States that use a judicial process to foreclose often give homeowners the right of redemption after a foreclosure. Even if state law doesn't provide an actual redemption period after the sale, some states allow a very limited amount of time for the homeowner to redeem until certain post-sale formalities are completed. For example, the homeowner might be able to redeem up until the court confirms the foreclosure sale.

Right of redemption in nonjudicial states. Except for a few states, there is generally no redemption period after a nonjudicial foreclosure. States that allow nonjudicial foreclosures sometimes have more than one law for redemption periods—one that applies to nonjudicial foreclosures and another to judicial foreclosures. In general, these states tend to provide a redemption period following a judicial foreclosure but not after a nonjudicial one.

What Are the Rights of Redemption in a Foreclosure in Florida?

Florida foreclosures are judicial. Unlike many other judicial foreclosure states, Florida law doesn't provide a specific redemption period for foreclosed homeowners after the sale.

However, under Florida law, the court clerk must promptly file a certificate of sale after the foreclosure sale takes place, usually within one day of the sale. (Fla. Stat. § 45.031(4)). You can redeem the home at any time before the later of:

  • when the clerk files the certificate of sale (again, this usually happens within a day of the sale) or
  • the time stated in the foreclosure judgment, order, or decree. (Fla. Stat. § 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 redeem your house after this time.

What Costs Are Involved in Redeeming a Foreclosed Home in Florida?

To redeem, you must pay the full amount of the unpaid loan as stated in the judgment, order, or decree, including interest, attorneys' fees, and costs. (Fla. Stat. § 45.0315). If you want to redeem but no judgment, order, or decree of foreclosure has been rendered yet, you can pay the full amount due under the mortgage terms plus foreclosure expenses.

To find out the exact procedures for redeeming your home, check with the court or consult with a Florida attorney.

Right of Redemption Before a Foreclosure Sale

No matter your state, you get the right to redeem the home before a foreclosure sale occurs. This right is called an "equitable right of redemption." It's based on the idea that it's fair to let a homeowner keep the home if they pay off the mortgage debt even if they're already in default and the lender has initiated foreclosure proceedings.

What Happens If I Can't Afford to Redeem My Home in Florida?

Most homeowners going through a foreclosure don't have enough money to redeem either before or after a foreclosure. You might have other options for saving your home besides redeeming the property, but you must do so before the sale.

For example, rather than counting on redeeming the home, you could catch up on past-due payments before the sale to reinstate the loan. While Florida law doesn't provide a statutory reinstatement right, many mortgages, like the uniform Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage, provide the borrower the right to reinstate. Check your loan documents to find out if you get a reinstatement right and, if so, the deadline to do so. Or your lender might agree to let you reinstate the mortgage. Call your loan servicer to find out.

Or you might be able to arrange a foreclosure alternative with the lender, such as a mortgage modification or repayment plan, that would allow you to stay in the property. The Florida foreclosure process can take a significant amount of time to complete, but you still want to explore alternatives to foreclosure well before the sale because the loss mitigation process can take a long time.

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Talk to a Florida Foreclosure Lawyer

If you're behind in mortgage payments and worried about foreclosure, you might have more options than you think. Consider talking to a foreclosure attorney to learn about alternatives. A lawyer can advise you about loss mitigation options, your legal rights in a foreclosure, and defend you against a foreclosure in court.

Also, consider contacting a HUD-approved housing counselor if you need more information about loss mitigation options or want help with the application process.

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