April 14, 2024


Mad about real estate

Florida Foreclosure Process

Florida performs its foreclosures judicially. Specifically the circuit courts of Florida have jurisdiction for the filing of a foreclosure complaint. There are nine separate steps to the foreclosure process in Florida. They are 1) Breach letter; 2) Complaint to foreclose; 3) Lis Pendens 4) Order to show cause; 5) Judgment; 6) Notice of Sale; 7) The Sale; 8) Certificate of Sale; 9) Certificate of title.

1.) Breach letter

The first step in the Florida foreclosure process is for the lender to notify the homeowner by certified mail that he/she has breached the contractual terms of the promissory note and to notify the owner of its intention to foreclose on the home and seek a deficiency judgment. This letter will be forwarded to the homeowner prior to the filing of the complaint to foreclose. This is the end of the private information which we will only see if we are able to enter the home prior to an auction and purchase the property from the homeowner directly.

2) Complaint to Foreclose

The Complaint to Foreclose is just a lawsuit which is filed in the circuit court where the property is located. The attorney prepares the complaint and attaches the mortgage and the promisory note as part of the complaint. It recites the facts of the breach of contract by the homeowner. There is a great deal of information in the complaint and the team member should always copy the entire file for the file. For instance the complaint will recite the amount of the original mortgage, the current amount that the homeowner is behind on the mortgage and will include all of the other parties of record.

The court action is what is known as an in-rem action based upon equity. Consequently, there is no right to a jury trial and the case is heard by a judge. If the property is located in more than one County, the Lender would have the right to choose which Court he/she would like to file the complaint in. The Complaint to foreclose will be examined by the clerk for its technical accuracy. The complaint must be: 1) verified; 2) allege a breach of the note and mortgage; 3) allege a foreclosure of real property located within the county; 4) state the book and page of the mortgage; 5) will most likely be attached along with a copy of the promissory note signed by the homeowner.

  1. Lis Pendens

A Lis Pendens is filed after the complaint is filed to serve as notice to the world that the lender has an interest in the property.


If the Complaint passes muster the clerk will issue an order to show cause. This order will set the date and time of the hearing to show cause. It will inform the homeowner that it has the right to file any defenses the homeowner may have and that if the homeowner does not file any defenses then a judgment will issue against the homeowner.


The proposed judgment is attached to the notice of show cause and served upon the homeowner no sooner than twenty days after the service of the order if personal service or thirty days if the service is performed by publication. The judgment will detail the amount of money owed to the lender, the date and time of the public sale of the property. The court will require the lender to publish a notice of sale in a newspaper with a general circulation in the county where the property lies once a week for two consecutive weeks.


The notice in the newspaper is required to have the following information contained therein: 1) A description of the property to be sold. 2) The time and place of the sale. 3) A statement that the sale is being made pursuant to a final judgment. 4) The heading of the case. 5) The name of the clerk ordering the sale.

This notice must be published for two consecutive weeks prior to the sale with the last notice not less than five days prior to the sale. If the sale is continued for any reason the continuance and new date must be published in the newspapers where the property is located.

7) Foreclosure Sale

The sale is then held on the courthouse steps on the county courthouse where the property is located. The high Bidder is required to deposit by five p.m. five percent (5{ef6a2958fe8e96bc49a2b3c1c7204a1bbdb5dac70ce68e07dc54113a68252ca4}) of the winning bid by certified check or cash with the clerk of the court. If the high bidder defaults on his obligations to make all payments within the prescribed time the high bidder will lose his/her deposit and the property will be re-advertised for sale.


Upon placing the deposit the clerk completes a certificate of sale and this served upon each interested party. This certificate of sale states the name of the high bidder and the price paid.


If no objections are filed within the next ten (10) days the clerk will file a certificate of title. The property then passes to the high bidder.