I receive calls daily from Third-Party Purchasers looking to file a claim for surplus funds after they have purchased a Florida property from foreclosure auction. Each of these calls always begin and end with me advising them that they are not entitled to any portion of the surplus funds that are available. The reason for this is due to Florida Law. Florida Statute 45.032(2) states “there is established a rebuttable legal presumption that the owner of record on the date of the filing of a lis pendens is the person entitled to surplus funds…” The “owner of record” is defined by Fla. Statute 45.032(1)(a) as “the person or persons who appear to be owners of the property that is the subject of the foreclosure proceeding on the date of the filing of the lis pendens.” Ergo, because the Third-Party Purchaser was not the original homeowner, or titleholder, of the subject property at the time the foreclosure action was initiated, they are not entitled to any portion of the surplus funds that are available.
Furthermore, most Florida Court’s adhere to the rule of Caveat Emptor (which translates to “Let the Buyer beware”) when it comes to the purchase of real property at Florida foreclosure auction. In Can Fin., LLC v. Niklewicz (2020), the Trial Court entered an order vacating the Third-Party Purchaser’s purchase of a property at foreclosure auction on the grounds that they did not exercise their due diligence by performing a title search to uncover any additional liens that may be attached to the property prior to their purchase of said property. However, the Fourth District Appellate Court of Florida reversed the Trial Court’s ruling, specifically referring to the rule of caveat emptor as the basis for their reversal.
Thus, if you are third-party purchaser seeking to purchase a Florida property at Florida auction, then I strongly advise that you contact a title company to perform a title search before you purchase said property to ensure that there are no additional liens, or encumbrances, on the property. Performing a title search will prevent you from the headache of having to deal with a potential mortgage or governmental lien popping up after you purchase a property at foreclosure it will also save you more money in the long run.
Moreover, if you are reading this as a former Florida Homeowner and have been contacted by either a Third-Party Purchaser or Third-Party foreclosure surplus recovery company about surplus funds being available after the foreclosure sale of your Florida property, then please give me a call and I will personally give you a free consultation. During our consultation, I will confirm whether there are surplus funds available to be recovered as well as answer any questions that you may have. If there are surplus funds to be recovered, then I will also provide you with a personalized strategy as to how we can assist you with the recovery of your Florida foreclosure surplus funds. Most importantly, DO NOT sign anything that you receive until consulting with an experienced Florida foreclosure surplus funds recovery attorney first.
At Haynes Law Group, P.A., we have experienced Attorneys who are well-versed in the Florida statutes governing Florida homeowners’ claims to Florida foreclosure surplus funds and have helped to recover millions of dollars for former Florida homeowners. We represent former homeowners all over the state of Florida, no matter which county they are in, and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the Gold Standard of Legal Service.