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What is a Deficiency Judgment?
A deficiency judgment is an order by the Court authorizing a lender to collect the amount of money that is still owed by a borrower on a mortgage after their property is foreclosed.
The “deficiency” amount is the amount left after the foreclosure sales price of the property is deducted from the mortgage balance. In order to obtain a deficiency judgment, the lender has to file a motion with the Court, within 1 year from the foreclosure sale, seeking a judgment in the amount of the deficiency – the amount still left on the mortgage.
A Deficiency Judgment under Florida Law
Once the lender files its motion seeking a deficiency judgment and obtains the judge’s signature granting the Order, the judgment then can be used to force the homeowner to pay the bank until the judgment amount is paid in full.
Often times, the bank will file the judgment in the public records to create a lien against other real property owned by the borrower. The judgment can also be used to execute on other assets owned by the borrower, including bank accounts, wages and salary, boats and most other assets owned by the borrower (certain assets can be protected from judgments, including wages and salaries and annuities – consult with a local lawyer to learn more). These collection efforts can go on for years into the future.
Collection efforts can be intense. For more information about collecting on a deficiency under Florida law, read our discussion at “Florida Mortgage Holders: Has Anyone Explained to You About the Collection Efforts That You’ll Face When You Stop Making Your Home Mortgage Payments? Unfair Collection Activities in Florida Mortgage Defaults and Deficiencies.”
Florida Real Estate Hard Hit: Many Florida Property Owners Must Deal With Deficiency Judgments
Since Florida had one of highest foreclosure rates in the United States, Florida homeowners have been impacted more than most by a deficiency judgment. Falling real estate values truly affected Florida real property owners.
If you are going through the foreclosure process, you need a Florida real estate lawyer on your side to protect your rights under Florida law and help prevent a deficiency lawsuit or defend against a deficiency judgment.
Just because a deficiency lawsuit is filed does not mean that you have no legal remedies under Florida law. And if you are facing a deficiency judgment, all is not lost. You may still have defenses and legal arguments to mount against its collection.
Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Deficiency Lawsuit and Deficiency Judgment Help
Broward County real estate lawyer Larry Tolchinsky has handled various real estate matters, including deficiency judgments, for over 20 years as a practicing real estate attorney. To read about Larry’s experience and background, see his bio.
As someone who lives and works in the Broward County area, Larry knows the marketplace and most of the players, particularly the lenders, big and small, and their legal counsel. Each lender approaches deficiencies their own way: it can be surprising to find the small neighborhood bank may be more dedicated to pursuing a deficiency than the big national banks.
Florida attorney Larry Tolchinsky is dedicated to protecting you and your family, and takes pride in being accessible to his clients, always promptly returning phone calls. Larry understands the stress that you’re under when facing a deficiency situation.
However, what really sets Larry Tolchinsky apart from other Florida real estate lawyers defending deficiency cases in Broward County and Fort Lauderdale is his level of experience and knowledge. Larry examines the foreclosure documents to determine whether they provide the lender with the right to obtain a deficiency judgment. He’s probably worked with that lender before, and not too long ago.
Each investigation requires an understanding of timely filing and recording requirements which could potentially bar the lender from obtaining a deficiency judgment. He knows the formalities that a lender must follow to reserve jurisdiction to obtain a deficiency judgment and the potential waiver of those rights if the foreclosure was uncontested, and he knows the particular characteristics of how different lenders proceed in these matters.
Blog Posts Related to Deficiency Judgments (by Larry Tolchinsky):
Larry in the Press Regarding Deficiency Judgments:
Larry Tolchinsky is an experienced Fort Lauderdale real estate attorney, who is here to answer your questions and evaluate your circumstances. Living and working in Broward County, Larry is well acquainted with the current real estate conditions as well as having past experience with local lenders and their attorneys.
When you work with Larry, you can be assured that your matter will be handled with professionalism and compassion. He knows that having to deal with a deficiency situation is stressful and time-consuming for you and your family.
You need closure: deficiency lawsuits and deficiency judgments block you from moving forward. Maybe for years into the future unless you take proactive action.
If you would like more information about Florida deficiency judgment counseling or require the help of an experienced Broward County Real Estate Attorney, contact Larry today. You can contact him by phone at 954-522-0207 or by e-mail through this web site to schedule an appointment and learn more about Florida Deficiency Judgments. He offers a free initial consultation.
Please feel free to fill out the “Contact Us Now” form above for a free case evaluation or to ask any questions.
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DISCLAIMER: This website provides general information regarding legal injuries and their redress as defined by Florida law. This is provided for information purposes only and is not legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.