Delinquent Taxes and Foreclosure
Foreclosure is the process where a Lender files a judicial action in court to obtain ownership of a home in the event that a homeowner defaults on the provisions of the mortgage and promissory note. Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, rather than a power of sale state. In other words, the lender must go through the court system in order to properly obtain ownership of the home and be able to sell the home. One very common way to default on the mortgage and promissory note, aside from not making mortgage payments, is to not pay real property taxes when they are due. In most cases, the Lender chooses to escrow such payments so that they are included in the mortgage payment, however, in some cases, Lenders do not require such fees to be escrowed. Homeowners who do not have their real property taxes escrowed with the Lender should be aware that they must pay their real property taxes. The real property tax bills are typically available as of November of each year and are paid in a lump sum.
Failure to pay real property taxes when they are due (in the event that they are not escrowed with the Lender) can lead to an event of default. This event of default can and will trigger a foreclosure. Most often, the Lender will pre-pay the taxes for you and then foreclosure on the property for re-imbursement (to keep the property out of a tax sale).
It is important to obtain legal representation quickly since the foreclosure fees can add up quickly and your home can be in jeopardy for fees above and beyond the initial taxes that are due. A knowledgeable foreclosure attorney can assist you with negotiating the tax bill (in the event that you don’t have the funds to pay them and/or interest accrues) and/or assist in placing you back in good standing with the Lender regarding the mortgage and promissory note.
For more information on foreclosure or assistance with a property that is being foreclosed on, contact the attorneys of the Ticktin Law Group for a complimentary preliminary consultation.