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The new Florida Fair Foreclosure Act is designed to ensure that homeowners have the protections they need against unfair foreclosures while speeding up a process that often takes years to complete in the state. One of the largest benefits of the law to homeowners is the shortening of the length of time that a lender can go after them with a deficiency judgement. Previously, after a foreclosure sale, a lender could pursue someone for the difference of the value of the home compared to the sale for up to five years, and now it has decreased to only one.

Another benefit of the act to borrowers is that lenders now have to prove they have ownership of a mortgage. It has been problematic in the past for lenders to find paperwork that showed they owned a mortgage, and these documents are now required to move forward with a foreclosure.

However, the law also has some downsides for homeowners. One of these is that a lender will be able to obtain a foreclosure judgement in just 45 days following the service of a complaint. Further, homeowners are now unable to challenge the sale of their home if the appeal period from the judgement has run out. Some are concerned that if homeowners do not act quickly enough to protect their rights, they may end up running out of time to save their home with the new process.

If someone is being foreclosed upon, they have legal rights and options that may be able to help them save their home. A lawyer could help someone understand the law related to foreclosure and assist them in ensuring that lenders are following the law.

Source: NuWire Investor, “Florida’s New Foreclosure Law“, Martin Schwarts, September 26, 2013