Supreme Court Issues New Foreclosure Rules

Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Largely Derived From Recommendations of the Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases.

Some of the changes are as follows:

Verification of Mortgage Foreclosure Complaints:  This requires the Plaintiff (lender) to attest to the truthfulness of the allegations in the complaint.  It is intended to minimize erroneous filings, conserve judicial resources by reducing the number of cases with “lost note” issues and provide the court with greater authority to sanction lenders that make false allegations.

Changes the Affidavit of Diligent Search:  When the defendants cannot be served personally, the law allows the foreclosure case to proceed after publication of a notice.  This new form requires the person that conducted the search to sign the Affidavit (instead of the lender) and to provide more information about the search.

New Form – Motion to Cancel and Reschedule Foreclosure Sale:  Associations wait and wait for a lender to foreclose and then wait for the sale to bill the new owner (whether lender or third party) for the appropriate amount.  More importantly, Associations need the property to be sold to start collecting assessments from the new owner going forward.  The number of sales canceled at the last minute seems to be on the rise.  This new form requires the lender to explain why they want to cancel the sale.  It also directs the Court to set a new sale date, rather than keeping properties in an “extended limbo between final judgment and sale”. [Quote from Task Force]

There are some slight changes to the Final Judgment of Foreclosure that weren’t published before so interested persons have sixty (60) days to comment before they become final.  All of the other changes are final and in effect.

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