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Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds: What is an Evidentiary Hearing?

In Florida, if there are multiple claims made by parties looking to recover the same foreclosure surplus funds, after the recent Foreclosure sale of a Florida property, a Judge will require what is known as an “Evidentiary Hearing” before allowing the Clerk of the Court to disburse said funds to the parties that have filed timely claims. Florida Statute 45.032(3)(b) specifically states that “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, the court shall set an evidentiary hearing to determine entitlement to the surplus.”

You may now be wondering who, other than myself, can file a claim for my surplus funds? Well the answer to this question is: Subordinate Lienholders. However, according to Fla. Statute 45.032(1)(b), Subordinate Lienholders are only able to file a claim for your Florida foreclosure surplus funds if they are “the holder of a subordinate lien shown on the face of the pleadings as an encumbrance on the property”. Therefore, meaning that if a “Subordinate Lienholder” files a claim and they did not have a recorded lien on the subject property at the time that the Foreclosure case was initiated, and the property sold at auction, then they are not entitled to any portion of the Florida foreclosure surplus funds.

During an Evidentiary Hearing, a Judge will determine who is entitled to the Florida Foreclosure surplus funds and will also determine the priority, in which, these funds are to be disbursed. There are many factors that can affect how a Judge may rule during an Evidentiary Hearing. A couple of the factors that can affect a Judge’s ruling are:

  1. Whether or not there is a legitimate Subordinate Lienholder that has filed a timely claim for the Florida foreclosure surplus funds.
  2. Competing claims from multiple heirs of the deceased “Owner of Record”.
    1. “Owner of Record” is defined by Fl Statute 45.032(1)(a) as “the person or persons who appear to be owners of the property that is the subject of the foreclosure proceeding on the date of the filing of the lis pendens.”
  3. Competing claims from parties that are the result of a divorce.

As you can see, filing a Homeowner’s claim for Florida foreclosure surplus funds can be a complex process especially if there is an Evidentiary Hearing set by the Court. This is why I always recommend that former Homeowners consult with an experienced Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds Recovery Attorney before they file their claim for their Florida foreclosure surplus funds. If, you are a former Florida Homeowner who is looking to file a claim for their Florida foreclosure surplus funds, or are facing an upcoming Evidentiary Hearing on your already filed claim, please give me a call and I will personally give you a free consultation. During our consultation, I will describe the claim filing process and will also advise as to whether, or not, an Evidentiary Hearing will be needed in your particular case.

At Haynes Law Group, P.A., we have experienced Attorneys who are well versed in the Florida statutes governing former Florida Homeowners claims to mortgage foreclosure surplus funds, and have helped to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars for former Florida Homeowners. We represent former Homeowners all over the state of Florida, no matter what county they are in, and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the Gold Standard of Legal Service. Best of all, we represent our Clients on contingency which means we don’t get paid unless you do!

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