Becoming a homeowner is something many aspire to. No one ever expects that they will need to file for bankruptcy or be foreclosed upon when they purchase their home. However, sometimes foreclosures happen. There are many reasons that may not even be your fault entirely such as job reduction or personal injury that has left you unable to make payments.
The foreclosure process can be long and tedious, whether you have failed to pay your mortgage lender or property taxes. Foreclosure might not be fun, but it also can be not entirely bad. Perhaps no one has told you about surplus funds before. While not every foreclosure sale will have surplus funds, in hot real estate markets there might be.
How can you tell if your home has surplus funds? How do you know if you are entitled to them? It can be confusing to navigate real estate and laws all by yourself. Here are some things you need to know going forward if your home has been foreclosed upon that can help answer some of your questions on this matter.
What are Surplus Funds?
Surplus means extra. You could have a surplus of any material, income, profits, or goods. When it comes to talking about foreclosures and surplus funds, it means the funds that are remaining after all the disbursements required have been paid.
That might sound complicated but it breaks down into something quite simple actually. During the foreclosure process, the property is sold in order to satisfy the mortgage judgment. If the price paid during the sale is more than the amount owed to the mortgage lender, the remaining funds are then referred to as “surplus funds.”
For example, if your home was sold for $150,000 but you only owed $120,000 you could be entitled to the extra $30,000. Who couldn’t use an extra $30,000 in their life? Especially after a foreclosure process. It’s certainly worth looking into since as the most recent homeowner you would be entitled to claim it.
The amount of a surplus will vary considerably depending on the sale price, the original mortgage amount. As well as any fees and tax penalties incurred by your home. Since the surplus funds are the difference between the selling price and any outstanding balance, the exact amount is different for every foreclosure.
It might seem strange to you that a property would sell for more than is owed on it, especially foreclosures which can oftentimes be in disrepair. However keep in mind that property values, especially in Florida have not only stabilized over the past decade but have increased. Foreclosure properties can be thought of as great investments for some.
There are many reasons why a developer, builder, or even a real estate flipper would be interested in spending more money on your foreclosure. This is good news for you because the more a buyer spends the more surplus funds could become available.
If you’re working with an attorney already, it’s likely they’ve already figured out whether or not you are entitled to the surplus funds. It might not be readily clear and you may not be sure whether or not the foreclosure resulted in a surplus, in which case it might be time to contact a lawyer and have them help you figure it out.
It’s important to note that all disbursements, meaning payments, must be completed prior to releasing any surplus. This means if you had a second mortgage or a home equity loan on your property, it will also need to be paid out from the sale of your foreclosure before you can claim any of the leftovers.
It can be disheartening to watch the home you love to go into foreclosure. Having your property be sold at auction can be stressful. The upside is that someone might see so much value in your home that they pay in excess, leaving you the possibility to recoup some of your loss.
Sometimes, the sale of your home that has been foreclosed upon will not have a surplus. That can be disappointing and be an emotionally difficult experience. Never assume there will be a surplus, but don’t miss out on the chance to claim a surplus if there is.
Has it been a while since the sale of your home? As it turns out Florida is a great place to live as a homeowner because as long as you were the homeowner of record at the date of the filing, and sale you are then entitled to surplus funds. But you’ll have to act quickly once you discover the surplus.
How Can I Claim Surplus Funds After a Foreclosure in Florida?
The most important thing to do is to file a claim for the surplus funds. This process is best done with the help of an experienced law professional. It might be harder to find out if there are surplus funds because oftentimes the foreclosure options are held online.
There are a lot of technicalities in the proceedings of collecting surplus funds. Missing one deadline or filing something incorrectly could result in a complete loss of the ability to collect the money owed. And this is why it is recommended to use an attorney as your legal advocate and guide.
The Lopez Law Group has an experienced real estate legal team ready to help you figure out whether or not you have surplus funds to fight for. So reach out to determine whether we are the right fit and can help you with your foreclosure’s surplus funds.
Having access to those surplus funds could be extremely helpful as you rebuild your life after foreclosure. Obviously, having more money at your disposal can help you move forward on some level. Surplus funds can also help you feel as though some of the equity you put into your home came back to you.
Foreclosure doesn’t need to be the end of a lost battle. The Lopez Law Group is committed to helping those who have gone through a foreclosure process recoup their surplus funds. It is unlikely, but possible, that your foreclosure was done illegally or improperly, and our team will verify your foreclosure process during the surplus funds case to be sure you haven’t been wrongly removed from your home.
Working with a legal representative with experience in recovering excess funds from foreclosed properties is the best way to get back the money from your property. Your legal team will help you verify that no one else can lay claim to the property other than you.
What Are My Rights to Surplus Funds in Florida?
In Florida, you need to act quickly once you recognize that there are surplus funds. If you have received a Notice of Surplus Funds from a city or county tax deed clerk do not wait to contact a legal professional. It is a homeowner’s responsibility to claim the money, no one is going to come looking for you to give you any surplus funds.
Claimants have just 120 days from the date of the notice to submit their notarized claim to a clerk and comptroller. The good news is that most legal practices, including The Lopez Law Group, have a notary on-site so they can help you get all the necessary legal paperwork completed without the hassle of finding someone to notarize your claim.
You will only be able to collect the surplus funds after all junior lienholders have been paid. This process can drag on since all lien holders are entitled to one year before their claim is null and void. But if the end result is surplus funds in your bank account, it might be worth the wait.
If for some reason your surplus funds go unclaimed they will be held for a period of one year before being transferred to the State of Florida for holding. Certainly, the process to claim your surplus funds is easier and faster the sooner you attempt to collect them.
If you are the registered most recent owner of the foreclosed property then you alone are entitled to any surplus funds. (Provided of course all the debt liens, mortgages, and tax debts have been paid first.) You will of course need to provide proof of prior ownership. This will help avoid surplus fund fraud, which does happen from time to time. You will likely also need to prove your identity before your claim is finalized with payment.
The easiest way to prove that you were on the title is by doing a title search. The Lopez Law Group can help you with your title search and verify that you are entitled to the surplus and no one else is eligible. If it turns out there is someone else who could also lay a claim to the surplus funds, for instance, an unknown judgment against you, we can help navigate that situation.
Anytime you need to go to court can be tricky. If you’re prone to freezing under pressure it is definitely in your best interest to work with a lawyer to represent you so you don’t speak out of turn while in the courtroom. Having help with the legal jargon and procedure is in your best interest, and finding the right Florida lawyer for you is easier than ever with The Lopez Law Group.
Leaving all the complicated paperwork and court appearances to a professional is in your own best interest, especially since a foreclosure is emotionally taxing. Even a small mistake can invalidate your claim and that would be a disappointing end to the story. If you have a right to surplus funds in Florida the Lopez Law Group can help you claim them.
Once everything is complete and the funds have been deposited into your account there still might be some remaining paperwork you will need to fill out to complete the process legally. Our team is happy to assist you from the beginning until the very end with no loose ends to leave you with.
One Last Point About Florida Surplus Funds
The real estate market is currently hot, this means that the potential for Surplus funds closure is high. This might not always be the case and there is no guarantee that you will be able to recoup anything from a foreclosure.
If there are surplus funds however be sure to contact a legal representative to help you claim them for yourself. Claiming surplus funds can be a tough battle but also a worthwhile one and you’ll certainly be glad you did once the money is in your account. Having an experienced real estate lawyer in your corner can make all the difference.
Foreclosure isn’t in anyone’s game plan as a homeowner, but if you find yourself in that position don’t lose all hope. With or without surplus funds it’s going to be okay. A foreclosed house is just that: a house, your home is wherever you are. Don’t lose hope, contact a real estate attorney today to be sure your foreclosure is legal and there are no missing surplus funds.