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Facing foreclosure? The clock is ticking

The threat of losing a home in foreclosure is something that homeowners all across Florida have faced in recent years. On top of the many other financial issues that often come with foreclosure, the chance that you could lose your home can be enough to overwhelm any person. 

Too many people in this situation ignore the situation or assume there is nothing they can do, resigning themselves to the thought that they have lost their home and cannot do anything to save it. However, these can be misguided and costly assumptions to make and by acting fast rather than hiding from the situation, you may be able to save your home and protect your financial future.

There is a clear process in place for foreclosures in Florida and it generally takes at least a few months after the court process begins. This means you won't wake up one morning and learn you have lost your home after missing a mortgage payment. However, that doesn't mean the clock is not ticking.

To begin with, there will be a period time after a foreclosure lawsuit has been filed by the lender in court when the borrower has the chance to respond. This gives the borrower the opportunity to explain the situation in court and could result in judgment in his or her favor. However, failure to respond to the lawsuit in time will generally mean that the courts will automatically rule in favor of a lender.

If the lender is successful, a sale date will be set. Usually this will happen about one month after the court ruling. Fourteen days before the sale, information on it will be published, and a second notice will appear in the week before the sale.

If the home is sold at the auction, there are still 10 days during which disputes can be filed.

The important thing to note about this timeline is that up until the sale of a home, the owner can stop the foreclosure process in a couple different ways. He or she can pay in full the delinquent payments; foreclosure proceedings will also stop if the homeowner files for bankruptcy protection.

Talking to an attorney to discuss your options as early as possible can help you take the steps necessary to protect yourself and hopefully avoid foreclosure.

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