I have handled hundreds of Florida foreclosure surplus cases. There has been a continuing theme from former owners that I have witnessed over the last nine years: does a former owner need to hire a lawyer to win their owner’s claim for surplus funds? In short order, yes.
Do you have to have a Florida surplus lawyer to collect foreclosure overage funds? No, it is not required by Florida law. However, I have seen many owners lose all of their surplus money because they have handled their case by themselves, or assigned it away to a surplus recovery company.
Let me give you a specific example. I had a foreclosure surplus hearing last week in Broward county Florida. While I was waiting for my hearing, another surplus hearing was being held on a different case. In this other case, the former owner represented himself. The homeowners association foreclosed on the property for unpaid assessments. After the foreclosure auction, there was nearly $120,000.00 left in surplus funds!
Florida law is very clear, specifically Florida Statute 45.032, which allows a subordinate lien holder to claim surplus funds within one year after the sale. In the fact pattern I witnessed above, the first mortgage filed a motion for the surplus funds as a lien holder. However, they were not named as a party to the lawsuit. Specifically, the first mortgage was not named because they were not a subordinate lien holder, but they were a superior lien holder.
The first mortgage should not have been able to collect a single penny from this HOA foreclosure surplus case. However, due to the lack of knowledge and experience of the previous owner, the judge gave the mortgage company ALL of the surplus funds. I sat there, waiting for my hearing to be called after this one, flabbergasted that a former owner lost nearly $120,000.00 due to not having an experienced Florida foreclosure surplus funds attorney representing him.
After I won my hearing that day, my client collected the full amount of his surplus funds, even after objection from the third party purchaser.
I write these blogs to help people become educated on Florida surplus law, but also to find good Florida surplus lawyers who can actually help them collect these funds. As I continually proclaim, this isn’t as simple as holding your hand out and the judge handing you a check.
If you are looking to hire a Florida Foreclosure surplus lawyer for your case, give me a call. I will personally give you a free consultation and let you know what needs to be done to win your money! Call us at 1-888-252-8754.
-Benjamin C. Haynes-