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A trial date for my foreclosure is scheduled, would it be beneficial for me to attend in attempts to avoid a deficiency judgment

Orlando, FL |

In 2009 after the economy crashed, I lost my job & could no longer afford to pay for my condo. I attempted to short sale & found buyer, but unfortunately the bank turned the offer down. With no other options available I decided to go back to school & let the condo foreclose. The trial date is approaching. I currently have a job, but I could never afford my mortgage & I do not qualify for modification(not a resident of home).
My main concern is the bank going after me for a deficiency judgment. Is it worth me attending the trial? Would it make a difference? Will I have the opportunity at trial to show the bank that I have zero assets/money to go after? Does the bank take this in consideration at time of the foreclosure trial? What is the likeliness that there will be a deficiency judgment?

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Attorney answers 5


You should hire an experienced lawyer to work out either a deed in lieu or other option that can cancel the trial and the deficiency
A trial judgment will leave a deficiency against you
There area many other options


I agree with my colleague. You should consult with an attorney regarding your case. If you want to avoid a deficiency judgment, your best bet is to try to continue the trial and try to work out a deed in lieu with a waiver of deficiency or some other deal in which the bank agrees to waive the deficiency. Many attorneys on here, including myself, offer free initial consultations.

Natalie Guerra-Valdes

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I agree with both attorneys above - hiring an experienced attorney to negotiate a waiver of deficiency is your best bet. If you do not desire to retain an attorney, attending the trial will never hurt. You should find out what attorney is handling your case on behalf of the Plaintiff and speak to them about waiving deficiency in exchange for consent to judgment. There are no guarantees but it's better to attend and ask about options rather than not attend. There are better routes than consenting to judgment and an attorney could help you make that decision. Feel free to contact my office if you're seeking help in this regard. Alternatively, there are plenty of other Orlando based foreclosure attorneys who may be able to help.

The advice above is not intended to be legal advice


I agree with the other attorneys that hiring experienced counsel would be the best idea. You are right to be concerned about being burdened with a deficiency judgment after this is finished. The bank will likely not be concerned about the assets you have (or don't have) since your circumstances could change over time. They may instead base their negotiation decisions on the certainty of their success at trial. Be warned also that, often, there is not a lot of opportunity to speak with counsel at the scheduled court date. If you were hoping to do that, be sure to make arrangements to be there early. Further, if you hired counsel, they could actually attempt to negotiate before your court date an agreement when there is more time to discuss the matter with the bank's counsel.

Jennefer A. Pucylowski, Esq. of Daley Law
(321) 504-9935
Practicing Foreclosure Defense in Orange, Seminole, and Brevard County


The quick answer to your question is that it can't hurt your cause to attend the trial. But it also won't make much of a difference. The deficiency judgment is simply a factor of what you owe less what the bank sells the condo for. It makes no difference that you have no assets or may be otherwise "judgment proof". The above attorneys are correct. Your best bet is to hire an experienced foreclosure attorney who can negotiate the best possible exit for you. If you incurred other debts during your period of unemployment bankruptcy may also be an option to consider. Congratulations on going back to school and best of luck.

The above is opinion based on very limited facts and not legal advice. This is not a substitute for a consultation with an attorney and does not constitute the establishment of an attorney/client relationship.

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