Foreclosure Surplus - What happens where there are lots of heirs to the Florida Foreclosure Surplus funds?

Haynes Law Group

Often, I am contacted by heirs of an estate that is due Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds due to the passing of a relative. This means that a family member has died and their property has gone to a foreclosure sale. After the sale of the foreclosed property, and the plaintiff and all subordinate lienholders (that have timely filed a claim) have been paid, any surplus remaining goes to the owner of record. Many times this owner has died, which resulted in the property going into foreclosure in the first place. Who gets the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds if the original owner has died?

According to Florida Statute 45.033(2)(b), “an involuntary transfer or assignment may be as result of inheritance.” This means that the right to those Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds is automatically transferred to any heirs of the deceased by way of inheritance. What happens if there are lots and lots of relatives? I have handled Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds cases with anywhere from two to twenty or more relatives that all have a claim.

Often these relatives don’t all know about their right to claim these funds. If all of the heirs are on board, then it certainly makes things much easier because I can just get them to each sign up with me and I can request the funds from the Court all at one time. If only a small number of heirs contact me and the others don’t wish to hire me or anyone else, it complicates things a bit.

One of the things that may be necessary is to have an evidentiary hearing with the court and explain my client’s claim to the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds. At this evidentiary hearing, the judge can ask for testimony from any of the heirs that are present. In some cases I have had to create what is called an “affidavit of heirs” that lists all of the potential heirs and is signed and sworn to by someone who is either a member of the family or someone who has intimate knowledge of the family. This affidavit lets the judge know exactly how many heirs there are to the funds, and what percentage they are due. If there are only two or three heirs, this isn’t really necessary because they are usually easy to find. However, if the deceased had ten children and some of those children have also died, then their portion of the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds goes to their children (the grandchildren of the deceased former homeowner). This could be even more complicated if one of the grandchildren has also died leaving a greatgrandchild as an heir. Sound confusing? Imagine if you are a judge and thirty people have been named as potential heirs in a foreclosure case and only a few of them are asking for the remaining Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds.

Once presented with the affidavit of heirs and I let the judge know exactly how many heirs I am representing, then it becomes a simple math problem. What percent of the Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds am I asking the Court to release to my clients? If I represent all of the heirs, then I ask for one hundred percent of the funds. If I only represent a few of the heirs, then I am only able to ask the Court to release their percentage of those funds.

This is one of the reasons it is extremely important to hire a qualified Florida Foreclosure Surplus and Tax Deed Surplus Funds attorney. It is important that the person representing you knows the law and understands exactly what the judges will need for your particular case. If you have either an easy or a complicated Florida Foreclosure Surplus or Tax Deed Surplus case, please give me a call for a Free Consultation. I handle all kinds of these surplus cases in every County in the State of Florida. And I don’t get paid unless you do.

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