States’ Rights – Florida v. Georgia

If you missed the game on Saturday, so did Georgia.  What Florida lacks in kudzu they made up for in score. The Florida-Georgia rivalry has historic roots, dating back to the colonial days.  When Florida was a Spanish colony, it used to scrimmage with its British neighbor to the north.  When Florida was a British colony, it dealt with raids from Georgia during the American Revolution.  Though these two neighboring states are now part of the same country, they still have their differences, and it goes beyond football. Georgia has non-judicial foreclosure, which means the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale).  For the homeowner who does not really care, […] Read More

Foreclosure on My Mind…In Georgia

Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, which means home foreclosure is on the fast track in the Peach State—the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present. It has to do with how property is owned.  In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale). The up side of non-judicial foreclosure is that it speeds up the process.  It reduces the judges’ workload, and for the homeowner who does not really care, it ends the foreclosure quickly.  The problem is that there are people who do care, but who do not know any better. What Florida lacks in kudzu it makes up for in opportunity to defend a home foreclosure.   The Florida foreclosure process gives homeowners greater opportunity to review […] Read More

Home Advantage of Florida

Florida and Georgia do have their differences…more than football.  Florida is a judicial foreclosure state; Georgia is not.  The home advantage is with the primary resident (and not the lender) in Florida in cases of foreclosure. In Florida, a homeowner owns their home even while they are paying off what they borrowed to buy the home.  If they miss a mortgage payment, they still own the home.  If they miss two mortgage payments, they still own the home.  If they have a foreclosure complaint filed against them, they still own their home.  A Florida homeowner owns his or her home all the way through the foreclosure process up until the Certificate of Title is issued (which typically happens about ten days after the foreclosure sale). Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state.  Homebuyers there do not own their homes until they have paid off their home loan.  Thus the bank can move quickly to foreclose on property it owns and without judicial oversight. The Florida foreclosure process gives homeowners greater opportunity to review their legal choices so they can pursue a strategy to their best benefit.  Seek competent legal counsel to help you review your personal situation and set your goals. Read More

How Long to Live in Foreclosed Home?

What is the life sentence on Foreclosure Avenue?  Say you are a homeowner who has not made mortgage payments in a while, and say you have been served notice of foreclosure, how long do you have to live in your house?  Say you are a tenant, how long do you have to live in your leased space once you receive a foreclosure notice?  These questions recently came up on the radio show ‘Land Title Talk.’ The key to foreclosure is that you are the owner of your home until the Certificate of Title is issued by the Clerk of Courts. Unlike Georgia, Florida homeowners remain homeowners throughout the foreclosure process, even through the foreclosure sale at the courthouse steps.  Usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale ownership transfers when the Clerk of Courts issues a Certificate of Sale. If you are NOT the homeowner, but a tenant in the home, you may have some rights.  Provided you have a bona fide lease, you may be able to finish the term of the lease or have 90 days. ‘Land Title Talk’ airs on the first and third Thursdays of each month from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on 1240 News WFOY […] Read More

‘Watch Man Fighting to Keep Home’

Once upon a time there was a man literate only enough to sign his name.  He needed a loan to help him pay his property taxes; what he got was a lease with an option to buy back his homestead at interest rates well over criminal usury.  This is no fairytale.  See a First Coast News clip about the case at http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid2857356515001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAACCo2HcE~,Xq6bv4z8O3WrBlTuUCc4XcMYQJmz5JX6&bclid=0&bctid=3386650672001. Read More

Fast-Track Foreclosure in Jax

NASA has due process.  They go through thousands of steps before they evict an astronaut from his home atmosphere.  Home foreclosure is not rocket science, but each step provides an important checkpoint for homeowner rights. The Rocket Docket is back in orbit around homeowner distress in Duval County.  This foreclosure court spotlighted in Rolling Stone was criticized for lack of due process and was suspended for lack of funding.  Now the budget has come back on-line and retired judges are on the bench again. The early part of this century saw a new dawn of the real estate bubble that rose to eclipse the sum of what many homeowners could afford.  Lenders wrote mortgages for anyone who could breathe, and paperwork was done quickly and not necessarily correctly.  The mortgage mills of the early 2000s led to foreclosure factories, like that of David Stern’s office.  Banks have admitted to creating a whole bunch of bad assignments and Lenders forged documents to speed up foreclosures.  Add that to a benchmark of retired judges mandated to keep things moving and the Rocket Docket may launch an assembly line of injustice. The advantage of the Rocket Docket is that it accelerates the process; […] Read More