In Florida the primary instrument of security is the Mortgage, in a residential property, and the Security agreement in a commercial property. In some instances both these instruments of security are combined. The mortgage agreement is the legal entity which is used to secure the underlying loan by making the actual property the security. As this is the case, Florida foreclosure laws dictate that a judicial process is required. A judicial foreclosure process is a process which takes place through the courts.
The Florida Circuit Court is the court with jurisdiction over foreclosures. It is here where the final judgment is issued to the lender who pursues foreclosure as legal recourse to recover the debt owed on a defaulted mortgage. Once this has taken place the property is sold at a public auction sale on the courthouse steps.
Unlike with a non-judicial foreclosure the court processes in Florida, take a long time to finalize. The court schedule play a deciding factor in that it depends on how busy they are. It can take as long as 180 – 200 days to reach completion and even longer these days as the courts process more and more foreclosures. The borrower is allowed to contest the foreclosure action and if this occurs the process will take even longer. When the borrower is filing for bankruptcy the foreclosure takes even longer to reach finality.
Florida laws do allow for rights of redemption; however there is a time limit during which this must take place, and the borrower has to repay the full debt amount. A deficiency judgment may be granted to the lender for any outstanding debt owed to the lender if there is a discrepancy between the loan amount and the amount the property was sold for at auction.