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Will I have to leave my home immediately after foreclosure?

Hearing the term "foreclosure" can send any homeowner into a panic. Indeed, the legal process of foreclosure is a serious one and should be taken as such by anyone who is at risk of foreclosure or has been notified that a foreclosure claim has been filed.

However, it is important to understand that you as a homeowner have rights and options to avoid and/or defend against foreclosure. Further, you should know that, while it is important to take action right away, you have a little time to stay in your home and assess your options.

If you have received a notice of foreclosure, it does not mean that you will need to pack up and move out right away. The process can take quite some time; typically the Florida foreclosure process takes about 180 days.

Homeowners will receive a Demand Letter after the third month of missed payments and you will have 30 days to resolve any payment issues. If you cannot do this, the foreclosure process will move forward and you will be notified of the date your home will be sold at auction. At this point, you still have the right to stay in your home to pursue potential defenses to foreclosure.

If your home is sold at auction, Florida laws dictate that you will have just 10 days to challenge the foreclosure based on elements including improper proceedings. At the end of this time period and if the sale is confirmed, the title will pass to the new owners.

While it may seem like you have quite a bit of time to stay in your home after the process of foreclosure has begun, the clock is ticking. You will need to act fast to protect your home and your rights as a homeowner. If you are at risk of foreclosure or a claim has already been filed, it can be crucial to discuss your options with an attorney sooner, rather than later.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, "Are you at risk of foreclosure and losing your home?" accessed on Jan. 4, 2016

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