So, you’re a former Florida homeowner and you’ve received a notice from the Clerk of Court’s office advising you that there are surplus funds available for you to claim after the recent Florida Tax Deed foreclosure sale of your property with 120 days for you to file a claim. You may be reading this because you don’t know what to do next or because you want to know what will happen after the 120-day deadline. Allow me to explain why you as the former homeowner have received this notice and how the 120-day deadline to file a claim for the surplus funds pertains to your claim for the surplus funds.
First and foremost, after the Florida Tax Deed foreclosure sale of a property there is a chance that there may be surplus funds available to be claimed by a former homeowner as well as by any subordinate lienholder(s), if there are any, that have an interest in the subject property. If, there are surplus funds available after a Tax Deed foreclosure sale of a Florida property the Clerk will first “distribute the surplus to the governmental units”, if any, “for the payment of any lien of record held by a governmental unit against the property”, according to Fla. Statute 197.582(2). If the governmental lien(s) has/have been satisfied and there is a still an undistributed balance of surplus funds remaining it is further stated, in Fla. Statute 197.582(2), that “the balance must be retained by the clerk for the benefit of persons described in s. 197.522(1)(a), except those persons described in s. 197.502(4)(h), as their interests may appear.” Additionally, Fla. Statute 197.582(2) further goes on to state that “the clerk shall mail notices to such persons notifying them of the funds held for their benefit at the addresses provided in s. 197.502(4).”
Similarly, if there are no governmental liens against a Florida property and there are surplus funds retained by the Clerk after the Tax Deed Foreclosure sale, then the Clerk is required by Florida law to notice the former homeowner(s) and any subordinate lienholder(s), if any, in the same manner as described in the preceding paragraph.
When a former homeowner and/or subordinate lienholder receives the Clerk’s Notice of Surplus Funds from Tax Deed Sale they will see that there is a deadline of 120-days, as mandated by Florida law, for each party to file their claim for said surplus funds. The 120-day deadline is enacted to ensure that the Clerk receives timely filed claims from all parties, with an interest to the surplus funds, so that they can properly disburse said funds amongst the parties that have filed a timely claim. Many former homeowners, who have filed a timely claim for their Florida Tax Deed foreclosure surplus funds, will see this 120-day deadline as a 4-month delay to receive their funds, but what the former homeowners don’t know is that this deadline can also be very beneficial to them.
The 120-day deadline to file a claim for Florida Tax Deed foreclosure surplus funds is beneficial to former homeowners when there is a subordinate lienholder, that has an interest in the surplus funds, who has failed to file a timely claim. Per Fla Statute 197.582(5), “the failure of any person described in s. 197.502(4), other than the property owner, to file a claim for surplus funds within the 120 days constitutes a waiver of interest in the surplus funds, and all claims thereto are forever barred.” Meaning that if a subordinate lienholder, with an interest to the Florida Tax Deed foreclosure surplus funds, file’s an untimely claim (after 120 days), then the Court will not consider said lienholder’s claim and will prohibit, or bar, them from receiving a disbursement of the surplus funds.
On the other hand, should the Clerk not receive a timely filed claim from either party within the 120-day deadline Fla Statute 197.582(9) states that “there is a conclusive presumption that the legal titleholder of record described in s. 197.502(4)(a) is entitled to the surplus funds” and that “the clerk must process the surplus funds in the manner provided in chapter 717”. Chapter 717 is the Florida Statute that governs the disposition of unclaimed property. Thus, if neither the former homeowner(s) or the subordinate lienholder(s), if any, file a claim for the surplus funds within the 120-day deadline, then the unclaimed surplus funds will be forwarded to the State of Florida’s Division of Unclaimed Property.
When it comes to a former homeowner filing their claim for Florida Tax Deed foreclosure surplus funds I strongly suggest that they consult with an experienced Florida tax deed surplus funds recovery Attorney. If you are a former homeowner whose home has been sold at a Florida Tax Deed foreclosure sale and have received a notice of surplus funds from the Clerk of Court, please give me a call and I will personally give you a free consultation. Filing a homeowner’s claim for Florida Tax Deed foreclosure surplus funds can be tricky and stressful, especially when there is a subordinate lienholder involved. My job, as an experienced Florida surplus funds recovery Attorney, is to streamline the claim filing process for you, the former homeowner, and to circumvent any claims made by subordinate lienholders, if any, to your surplus funds to ensure that you receive your money in the quickest and greatest amount possible.
At Haynes Law Group, P.A., we have experienced Attorneys who are well versed in the Florida Statutes governing former Florida homeowners claims to Tax Deed 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!