As a Florida foreclosure surplus lawyer for ten years, I would estimate that less than 5% of foreclosure auctions have surplus funds after the foreclosure sale is completed. However, in the cases where there are surplus funds, the first thing people ask me after they have been notified there is a surplus is this, what do I need to do to collect the funds?
Collecting foreclosure surplus funds in Florida is often not an easy task, despite what you may hear from clerks of the court or third party surplus recovery companies. Each case is different with regards to the facts. Specifically, is the person trying to collect the funds a former owner of the property, or an heir of the former owner? Are there subordinate lien holders listed in the case, and have they properly responded to the Complaint or made a claim to the funds? All of these questions must be asked before something is filed.
Once I receive this information, I prepare a Motion to Release Surplus Funds from the Court Registry. However, it is never a boiler-plate, one fits all motion that I file. I make several different arguments depending on the facts explained above. For example: if I am representing heirs of an estate, and a probate has not been completed to transfer ownership rights to the heirs, I will argue that the transfer of the surplus funds rights is involuntary at the time of the decedent’s death. I will use case law to “bolster” out claim, as well as Florida Statute 45.032, which governs all surplus funds law in Florida.
Once the motion is filed with the court, we set it for a court hearing in front of the presiding judge. At this hearing, I personally appear and argue the facts, and legal arguments in the motion. If the judge agrees with my motion, he or she will sign an order granting the Motion I filed, and directing the clerk to send out the funds to my clients. Depending on the county, the funds will arrive within 1-3 weeks.
If you have a foreclosure surplus case in Florida, feel free to call us today for a free consultation. I will assess your case, and tell you exactly what needs to be done to put you in a position to collect and Florida Surplus funds.