I have had several Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds consultations where the former Florida Homeowner will ask “whether being defaulted on in their Florida foreclosure case will impact their claim to the surplus funds” (that resulted from the recent Florida Foreclosure auction of their home). The short answer to this is no.
According to Fl. statute 45.032(c), “There is established a rebuttable legal presumption that the owner of record on the date of the filing of a lis pendens is the person entitled to surplus funds…”. Therefore, meaning that the former Florida Homeowner (defined as the “Owner of Record” in Fl. Statute 45.032(a)) who was a Defendant to the Florida foreclosure action, despite being defaulted on, is still able to file a claim to the foreclosure surplus funds.
Furthermore, in Schroth v. Cape Coral Bank, 377 So. 2d 50 (Fla. 2d DCA 1979) it was found by the Appellate Court that the Trial Court had acted “in error when it found that, while the Schroths did have priority over another defendant who had filed an answer in the foreclosure suit that, nevertheless, they had waived their priority by failing to answer.” Thus, the Appellate Court “reversed and remanded with directions to the Trial Court to conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine the rights to the excess proceeds of all claimants who were defendants in the foreclosure suit, irrespective of whether they filed responsive pleadings.” This ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal of Florida further establishes that a Defendant, who is a party to a Florida Foreclosure action, is still entitled to filing a claim for the surplus funds even if they were defaulted on in their foreclosure case.
Moreover, it should be noted that an evidentiary hearing, as referenced to above, is only necessary “if any person other than the owner of record claims an interest in the proceeds prior to the date that the clerk reports the surplus as unclaimed or if the owner of record files a claim for the surplus but acknowledges that one or more other persons may be entitled to part or all of the surplus,” per Fl. Statute 45.032(9)(b). To learn more about subordinate lienholders and how they may affect a Florida foreclosure surplus funds claim please take a look at my prior blog post.
As you can see, if you are a former Florida Homeowner that was defaulted on in your Florida foreclosure case that resulted in surplus funds, after the Florida foreclosure auction of your home, you are still entitled and able to file a claim for these funds. I highly advise that you speak to an experienced Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds Attorney to assist you in the filing of your claim. If you are a former Florida Homeowner seeking assistance in the filing of a claim for Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds, please give me a call and I will personally give you a free consultation.
At the Haynes Law Group, we have experienced Attorneys who have handled the filing of countless of Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds claims and have helped to recover thousands of dollars in Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds for our Clients. We handle Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds claims all over the state of Florida no matter what county they are in and we will work diligently to ensure you receive your funds in the highest amount possible. Best of all, we don’t get paid unless you do!