If you’re a homeowner in Ft. Lauderdale who has had a foreclosure judgment issued against you, your situation may feel hopeless. Unfortunately, your circumstances mirror that of many other residents in South Florida, but you may not need to give up and move. Instead, several legal avenues might be able to help you keep your home, even if the foreclosure was already granted.
This usually involves appealing the court’s decision. Read on for a brief overview of how you might successfully reverse your foreclosure judgment.
Appealing Final Foreclosure Judgments in Florida
Once a judge has sided with your mortgage lender and granted their foreclosure action, you may be able to appeal this decision under certain circumstances. Keep in mind that in Florida, these judgments are usually considered final ten days after being issued. You can still appeal after this time, but the sooner you do so, the better.
Sadly, not everyone will be able to appeal these judgments successfully. You must provide legitimate grounds for appealing these decisions, which requires significant knowledge of state foreclosure laws.
So, what are some of the grounds a court will consider for an appeal of foreclosure?
Legal Standing Defense
This is a required element of any foreclosure action against a homeowner in the Ft. Lauderdale area. For a lender to repossess your home, they must be legally entitled to do so. Believe it or not, there are situations where you could be in default, but the bank doesn’t have the right to foreclose. This could be due to their selling off your mortgage as part of an investment package.
Lost Promissory Notes
The idea that a financial institution that lends money to buy homes would be careless with paperwork may seem ridiculous. But it happens! In the case of promissory notes (documents with your agreement to make timely mortgage payments every month), they are required to be submitted with the initial foreclosure filing against your property. Failing to do so won’t stop the action from going forward if they can provide it later.
In cases where the note cannot be found or isn’t submitted, a Florida appellate court will likely overturn the judgment against you due to lack of standing.
Proof of Incurred Damages by Your Default
Lenders must show that they incurred damages because you failed to pay your mortgage. To do this, they must file an Affidavit of Indebtedness. This document has several filing requirements that must be met to be valid and failing to do so allows you to appeal a foreclosure judgment. Why? Because the evidence would be considered legally improper.
Improper Business Records Defense
Business records of your loan are required evidence when initiating a foreclosure action against you. However, just like with promissory notes, don’t assume the lender has immaculate record-keeping habits. For instance, if your bank can’t authenticate the documentation submitted to the court regarding your loan agreement, but the court still grants the judgment, you may have grounds for appeal.
Vacating Your Foreclosure
If your foreclosure defense lawyer can show mistakes made during the trial process or found new evidence that has a significant bearing on your case, you may be able to file a motion to vacate.
Why You Need a Florida Foreclosure Attorney ASAP
Acting quickly from the moment you are struggling to make your mortgage payments is essential to protecting your home from foreclosure actions. Typically, you only have 30 days when the final judgment gets entered to appeal the court’s decision.
Your foreclosure defense attorney will need time to analyze your case, including all your loan documentation. However, appeals can’t be rushed and require an appellate brief to be filed, which requires extensive research and preparation. It may even be possible to avoid this process altogether depending on the outcome you are trying to achieve, so don’t wait and contact a reputable lawyer in South Florida right away.
Need Help Appealing a Foreclosure Decision in Ft. Lauderdale?
You need aggressive legal representation from an attorney with significant experience and success representing South Florida foreclosure cases like your own. For over a decade, attorney Marc Brown has provided exceptional legal services and outstanding client experiences to homeowners in Ft. Lauderdale who are struggling to keep their homes. To schedule a no-cost legal consultation regarding foreclosures and deficiency judgments, call the law offices of Marc Brown today.