The new foreclosure bill that went into effect in Florida July 1, 2013 will be a trap for the unwary once the mortgage companies get their cases together and start to file foreclosure lawsuits under the new law. Thy’ve started trickling in, but not enough yet to gain any real publicity on the new procedures.
I’m speaking mostly of the new order to cause procedures. Basically, homeowners who send in their own responses without meeting specific criteria of presenting verified defenses will be caught off guard by the Judge granting final judgment at the first hearing within 60 days of service. And a sale date scheduled 30 days later. For a Florida populace used to months or years going by with no activity, having a sale date in 90 days or less will be a shock.
And once a final judgment is entered at the first hearing, it is very difficult if not impossible to try to get that set aside.
So beware, it is as important as ever to hire knowledgeable foreclosure defense counsel when you are served with a foreclosure summons. Most offer affordable flat fees and can help you negotiate the legal maze. Defenses change rapidly, new appellate cases are decided every day. Something that you read about on the Internet two years ago, may not be a viable defense today.
And please don’t listen to the process server. They are not lawyers. Just this week, I had a process server allegedly tell my client that he didn’t have to respond or do anything other than call his mortgage company when he was handed a foreclosure summons. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. That is also unauthorized practice of law in my opinion.
For more information about foreclosure defense options, please see Christie D. Arkovich, P.A.