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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7312
Experience:  Lawyer- Broker 30+years - foreclosure, short sale, liens, title attorney.
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I owned a 50 acre property with 3 rental homes in Florida,

Customer Question

I owned a 50 acre property with 3 rental homes in Florida, eventually I planned on developing the property. I was hit quite hard by the real estate collapse and lost the property to the bank. The property was in an LLC, however they obtained a final summary
judgement of foreclosure against me personally. The following represents the timeline: 9/16/2010: Final Summary Judgement of Foreclosure with a detail of amounts owed and a sale date 10/14/2010: Date of the foreclosure sale, the bank had the highest bid 11/15/2010:
certificate of title is issued to a subsidiary of the foreclosing bank (although I never saw an assignment recorded) 03/31/2011: the bank listed the property and sold it to a third party buyer for substantially less. The parcel consisted of 18 actual parcels
with separate strap numbers. However in the sale they only sold 16 of the parcels, because they had made an error when they foreclosed. Eventually I quit claimed the 2 parcels to the new owner. However, the sales price was substantially less because of the
error. Part of my obligation in the Final Summary Judgement of Foreclosure was to provide a summary of my assets which also included the best offer I could make to have them waive the deficiency. However, they never responded and have taken no actions since
than. The are no other actions on the public record other than the dates mentioned here. Even though the Final Summary Judgement was beyond my means, I chose not to file a bankruptcy. I am unclear about a couple of things, there was never A Deficiency Judgement
pursued or recorded. We are also approaching the five year anniversary of the Foreclosure and I've heard that there is a five year period to pursue a deficiency judgement. However I'm unclear if the Final Summary Judgement of Foreclosure is the equivalent
of a deficiency judgement or does it require an amendment. All of this has been a nightmare and I would like to find light at the end of the tunnel without filing for bankruptcy.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.
I was able to pick this up from a Florida lawyer's website or blog. A new deficiency law was adopted in 2013. it appears to apply to your time frame and the way I read it you may be off the hook. A local lawyer can confirm it for you."While the new law applies primarily to foreclosures and short sales on or after July 1, 2013, it can affect those that took place before July 1, 2013. The old law, giving the mortgage holder five years to seek a deficiency judgment, still applies to prior sales if the time period will expire on or before July 1, 2014. If the time will expire after July 1, 2014 under the old law, the new law shortens the time to July 1, 2014. For example:Your house was sold at a short sale (without a waiver) on October 1, 2008. The old law provided that the lender had until October 1, 2013 to seek a deficiency judgment against you. Since October 1, 2013 is before July 1, 2014, the new law does not apply and the time will still expire on October 1, 2013."(THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE SEEMS TO FIT YOUR CASE EXACTLY)Your house was lost to foreclosure (without a waiver) on October 1, 2010. The lender had until October 1, 2015 to seek a deficiency judgment under the old law. Since this is after July 1, 2014, the new law applies and shortens the deadline to July 1, 2014. " I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating so that I will be compensated for assisting you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Irwin, that could be great news. However there are two questions that I have:
1. In the public records, the only judgement that I can see is a final summary judgement, which preceded the foreclosure. If their rights to enforce a deficiency were still intact, would they still be required to file a separate action to obtain a deficiency judgement after the sale?
2. More importantly, I did read up on the law that Gov. Scott signed in 2013 which gave one year to enforce a deficiency judgement for residential properties up to 4 units. In addition, for deficiency judgements obtained prior to 2013, lenders were given until 2014 to enforce deficiencies. Even though there were rental homes on this property, it was still a 50 acre trac that was intended to be developed. This probably pushed it into the commercial category, which I'm very unclear about. If this were a commercial loan, and if they obtained a deficiency against me personally, is there a different statute that regulates commercial real estate deficiencies?
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 years ago.
Hello again. I've been away from the computer. Your additional information tells me that the 2013 statute applies only to residential foreclosures. It is common in the consumer protection statutes to target residential and not commercial property. I practice in a state where our deficiencies are automatically established by the amount that is bid at the sheriff's sale. The FL law suggests that some action must be taken to establish it within five years from the date of the sale. It is probably by petition filed in the foreclosure action, but I haven't researched that specific point. A FL foreclosure attorney can tell you that very quickly.

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