One of the frequent questions our clients and potential clients ask about the foreclosure process in Florida is, “How long is the foreclosure timeline in Florida once a case has been filed against me?” The short answer is that a wide variety of timelines exist depending on where in the state you are located, what your defenses are, and who the plaintiff and their attorneys are. Many of the basic deadlines for filings in your case are proscribed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Usually, you have 20 days to respond to a foreclosure complaint against you. After that, if no attorney is retained, it is possible for the bank or servicer to proceed fairly quickly against you and get an auction ordered within a few months. When an attorney is retained on your behalf, however, that timeline often expands greatly.
With an attorney retained on your behalf, several factors will affect how long your case might go before you face the possibility of a judge ordering a foreclosure auction. These include your defenses, your discovery, and your attorney’s strategy. First, your defenses will affect how you litigate. If you have many substantive issues and defenses in your case, it may be necessary to go to a full trial, which often takes much preparation and is often scheduled far out in advance. You can educate yourself about some of your possible defenses by moving your mouse over our “News and Notes” tab on this website.
Secondly, your discovery (which includes document requests, written questions, depositions, and requests for admission) will affect how quickly the case will proceed. If the bank or servicer fails to comply with your discovery requests, Florida case law holds that a summary final judgment against you is improper. Thus, it is to your benefit to have an attorney who aggressively pursues discovery. Discovery is the manner in which you may uncover additional defenses, and it will preclude a summary final judgment until such time as your attorney has fully investigated all possible foreclosure defenses.
Finally, the bank or servicer and the attorney they hire will affect your foreclosure timeline. Simply put, some banks and some law firms are more likely to pursue a final judgment against you relentlessly. When you factor in all three of these factors together, the Florida foreclosure timeline, assuming you have a competent attorney, can take as few as 9 months in a case with no substantive defenses, or as long as a few years in very complicated cases.
How Can An Attorney at King, Nieves & Zacks PLLC Help Me With My Foreclosure Timeline Questions?
The Florida foreclosure attorneys at King, Nieves & Zacks have taken cases from pre-foreclosure all the way through final judgments and appeals. After viewing the Complaint and relevant documents in your case, we will be able to give you a better idea of your possible defenses, the in-court strategy we would most likely take, and therefore how long the foreclosure process in Florida may take in your case. This in turn, will hopefully give you some peace of mind while your case is ongoing.
What makes our firm different from so many other foreclosure defense firms is our commitment to an out of court settlement that will best satisfy you. Many other foreclosure defense firms will continually litigate your case at the expense of pursuing a settlement. These firms fail to explain to clients that litigation will most often not result in the optimal solution for your case; rather, settling with the bank or servicer, whether through a loan modification, a short sale, or through some alternative agreement, is the best way to dispose of your case with a solution that can satisfy you. Our aggressive in-court ability is used merely a means to an end; we use our experience to exert leverage over banks and servicers and to hopefully get you the settlement that you want.
No matter what, be sure to ask any Florida foreclosure attorney you are considering hiring how much of their workload is expressly dedicated to settlement. We are proud to say that in cases where clients want to settle, our number one priority is pursuing a settlement that they will like, rather than driving up your costs in endless litigation.