I own a home in Florida that I've lived in for many years. About a year ago, I went through a divorce. I then fell behind on my mortgage because my spouse stopped contributing to the payments. The house is now in foreclosure.
I want to keep my home and wonder if there's 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 I could "redeem" the home even if I lost it to foreclosure. Is this right?
No, you can't get the home back after the foreclosure is over. But you have a short amount of time—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 the house.
This process is called "redeeming" the home and is explained in more detail below.
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, usually within one day of the sale. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 45.031(4)).
You can redeem the home at any time before the later of:
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.
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. Ann. § 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.
If you want to remain in the house, other options might be available besides redeeming the home. For example:
Because you went through a divorce, which typically qualifies as a hardship (one of the requirements to qualify for an alternative to foreclosure), and have a good job (which might show that you can afford a modified monthly mortgage payment), you could very well be eligible for a mortgage modification or a repayment plan.
The Florida 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 loss mitigation process can take a significant amount of time.
If you're facing a foreclosure in Florida and want to learn about potential defenses to a foreclosure and possibly fight the foreclosure in court, consider talking to a foreclosure attorney. You should also talk to a lawyer if you need help redeeming your property.