Deficiency Judgments “Are a Comin”… Say it “Ain’t So”:
You can run but you can’t hide from Florida’s deficiency judgments….
While it’s now well accepted that 98% of Florida homeowners in foreclosure are just walking away and putting their head in the sand, it is now becoming apparent that while these folks can run, but they probably can’t hide.
Definition of a deficiency judgment according to Wikipedia:
A deficiency judgment is a judgment lien against a debtor, defendant or borrower whose foreclosure sale did not produce sufficient funds to pay the mortgage in full. This option may or may not be available to the lender, depending on whether they have made a recourse or nonrecourse loan.
Until now, there was some uncertainty whether the banks were going to pursue deficiency judgments from Florida homeowners. Well the evidence is becoming clear that many banks will pursue and ARE NOW pursuing these Florida judgments post-foreclosure.
For the uninitiated, in Florida and other “recourse” states, a Bank would be entitled to obtain a judgment against you for the difference between the mortgage amount and the value of the property. In other words, if your Florida real estate property is worth less than the mortgage the Bank can come after you for the difference. In non-recourse states, like California, the Banks can not do that. Florida is a recourse state and the Banks may have up to five years to bring the action. Although if the Bank doesn’t bring the action within one year after the Florida foreclosure sale, it can be argued that the Bank failed to diligently pursue the case and the Court “could” in theory dismiss the action for failure to prosecute. I say good luck on that one!
Thus, that is why we have been so aggressive in defending Florida foreclosures. A settlement, short sale, modification, deed-in lieu, mediation, bankruptcy or a creative combination of these options, is still better than a bank pursuing you and trying to hunt you and your assets down for 20 years! That’s right 20 years!
So its simple, act like an ostrich… put your head in the sand… deny the facts or fight back! I guess as a kid from the Bronx I know what I would do… “cause you ain’t seen nothing yet”. LOL
Roy Oppenheim Florida Foreclosure Defense Attorney From the Trenches