Can a former spouse (or their heirs) make a claim to your Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds? This seems like a strange question but claims like this have been made. Let me explain further. I have a client whose mother passed away. His mother’s property was foreclosed on and there are Surplus Funds available. My client, being the only living heir, hired me to make a claim for those surplus funds. After I filed the claim for the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds, my client’s former stepbrother also made a claim for those surplus funds. I say “former” only because the parent’s divorced at one point, decades before the property was sold at auction.
This former stepbrother is claiming that since the respective parents were married at one time, then he is entitled to some of the surplus funds as he is the heir of my client’s former stepfather. Fortunately, Florida has statutes and caselaw that cover this sort of thing. Florida Statute 732.507(2) states that it is deemed “as if the former spouse had died at the time of the dissolution, divorce, or annulment of the marriage.” There is also no recognition of “common law” marriage in the state of Florida after the year 1968. Basically, this means that my client’s former stepbrother has no standing to receive any of the surplus funds.
To further evidence this, the former stepfather’s death certificate states that he was “divorced” at the time of his death. Additionally, my client’s mother’s warranty deed for when she purchased the property stated that she was “a single person”. There is simply no possible relation between the two deceased parties, or with the former stepsiblings for that matter. This means that the former stepbrother will not be able to receive any of the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds and my client will get the maximum amount due to my research and knowledge. This also means that if his father (former spouse of the deceased) were still alive, he would not receive anything either because the divorce. It cuts off any relationship for purposes of probate. This would only be able to be contested if there were specific language in a Will, which there is not.
This is just another of the many reasons I always recommend that you hire a qualified Florida Foreclosure Surplus or Florida Tax Deed Surplus Attorney for your surplus case. The third-party foreclosure surplus companies don’t know the law like I do. I understand the law surrounding just about any scenario you can bring up and I will make sure you get the maximum amount of your Florida Foreclosure Surplus or Tax Deed Surplus you have coming.
If you have Florida Foreclosure Surplus or Tax Deed Surplus funds available to you with your county’s Clerk of Court and some of your family (or former family) are contesting this, please give me a call for a free consultation. I practice Foreclosure Surplus and Tax Deed Surplus in every County in the State of Florida, and I don’t get paid unless you do.