Just How Long Does a Foreclosure Take?

 

When you miss a Mortgage Payment, how long will it take for the Lendor or Servicer to complete the foreclosure process, which is defined as when a bank takes possession.  Taking Florida as an example, if you live in the Tampa Metro Area, you have 633 days before you have to leave your home.  Remember, you are not making any Mortgage Payments during this time.  Use that money to hire a good Foreclosure Defense Attorney, who can generally get you additional time.

One, Mark Stopa, a Tampa Bay foreclosure defense attorney with about 1,000 clients says none of  his clients have lost their homes yet.  Of course he cautions them to save their money for that eventuality.

Several things have added time to these time lines.  The robo-signing fiasco last year, which lead  to a temporary moritorium on foreclosures, has added 21 days to the period.  “The public has become aware of their rights,” Stopa said. “The banks have been forced to do their job better. It’s just a slow process.”

To make matters worse for the lenders, and better for the homeowners (at least in Florida), the collapse of the Law Office of David Stern, which was handling approximately 100,000 Mortgage Foreclosure cases state-wide, is adding time for homeowners involved with this Foreclosure Mill.  Lenders are having trouble getting files and documents from Stern’s office, and finding new counsel.  Then to add insult to injury for the lenders, Stern recently wrote to the Chief Judge in Palm Beach county.  Stern told judges in a March 4 letter that he simply doesn’t have the manpower to file the correct paperwork to substitute in new counsel.

This places the Courts in a real bind.  If they were to simply follow the rules of Civil Procedure, after giving the banks notice, they would simply dismiss the foreclosure or grant judgement to the homeowner.  However, most judges seem inclined to bend over  backwards to give the banks break after break.

If the homeowner fails to file an Answer or a Responsive Pleading within twenty days of being served in Florida, they lose the case.  Yet when banks fail to comply with Orders of the Court to get new counsel, or file the correct paperwork, they seem to get extension after extension.  There’s clearly a double standard here, but it seems to be changing.

“Florida Rules of Civil Procedure require that attorneys file a proper Motion to Withdraw from any case which they no longer plan to represent,” said Eunice Sigler, a spokeswoman for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. “We are currently researching various options, including any remedies available through the Florida Bar.”

Quoting from the Palm Beach Post, “Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc said this week he’s also trying to figure out how to proceed.

‘Stern has provided notice he will no longer be attorney of record, but the court is unable to recognize it,’ Blanc said. ‘I’m told we’re getting more stipulations of substitute counsel but not anywhere near the number we should have.’

Blanc said he’s never seen a move like Stern’s before – sending a letter to judges that says “treat the pending cases as you deem appropriate.”

“I hate to predict what’s going to happen next,” Blanc said.

The letters included a list of the cases in question. It took a few days for Blanc to get an accurate count of the nearly 9,000 in Palm Beach County.”

Here is a snapshot of the numbers:

States with the quickest foreclosures, in days

Utah 388
Colorado 388
Idaho 381
Alaska 379
Wyoming 367

States with the slowest foreclosures, in days

New York 664
Florida 638
Hawaii 580
New Jersey 563
Maine 551

Florida Metro areas with the slowest foreclosures, in days

Cape Coral – Fort Myers 675
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach 672
Fort Walton Beach-CrestviewDestin 667
Port St. Lucie-Fort Pierce 665
Naples-Marco Island 663
Punta Gorda 661
Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice 660
Tampa Bay 633
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