What can happen to my property if the judge enters a deficiency judgement against me

Asked over 5 years ago - Seymour, MO

My question is this : If the judgement is entered against me in Fl. can the creditor take my other property or put leins against it ,that is owned and paid for in Missouri. This case involves a second mortgage deficiency. and what laws protect me Fl. or Mo. The property I own in Missouri Is my primary residence.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Margery Ellen Golant

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Only an attorney admitted in Florida can represent you in connection with the Florida foreclosures. However, the Florida foreclosure will likely eventually result in a Florida deficiency judgment against you. Once that occurs, that judgment can be domesticated in MO or any other state, and then can be levied upon in that state.

    Speak to an attorney in MO to ascertain what position MO takes regarding what assets are exempt so that you will understand your exposure. Your non-exempt assets there (and anywhere else) will be at risk from a deficiency judgment, the details depending on state law.

    People in many states bought property in Florida, and now many of those are in or will be in foreclosure. It is critical that everyone in that situation understand that Florida law is VERY liberal with respect to the ability to obtain deficiency judgments. Count on the fact that the creditor WILL be looking for deficiency judgment if you do not force them to do otherwise. I am defending some deficiency judgment claims right now and anticipate many more. The climate here is very favorable for Plaintiffs - they have a 5 year statute of limitations post liquidation of the debt. All recently filed foreclosure Complaints, specifically ask the court to reserve jurisdiction for the purpose of entry of a deficiency decree.

    Servicers and foreclosure firms are currently focused on (and gridlocked in) what I call "Phase I" - what they call "liquidating the loan" - by either foreclosure, deed in lieu or short sale. Once they work through that, since they have such a long time here, I am positive they WILL pursue many of them - the numbers are big since so many people are so upside down.

    There are clues that they are focusing on that: the recent policy shift by BoA / Countrywide - now when they give short sale approval, they specifically reassert their right to a deficiency judgment; the feedback I get from those I know who close short sales wherein lenders are including demands that borrowers sign notes for the amount of the deficiency; the now standard request to the court in foreclosure cases to retain jurisdiction for the entry of deficiency judgment. These things point to the fact that they are laying the foundation for pursuit of the excess claims.

    If you properly defend against the foreclosure in Florida, it may well be possible to negotiate an outcome that entails a deficiency judgment waiver, but if you don't, you're toast. Defending against a deficiency judgment claim AFTER they have taken your property is much more difficult at not necessarily possible - harder than to wrestle with them during the foreclosure process, althoug that is still far from easy. Every one I am defending now on a deficiency judgment claim did not defend against foreclosure in the mistaken belief that they had no further exposure. They did - and you will too. These lenders sue over $500 credit card balances, why would they not come after you for a much larger debt ? Answer: they will. Your debt will continue to expand as the case progresses. They will not ignore your obligation.

    The large servicers will probably pursue these themselves, the smaller ones may sell the deficiency judgment claims to debt buyers and let them do the dirty work. One way or another, they are never going to turn their backs on potentially sizeable judgments.

    Our contact information is on our web site, www.golantlaw.com We handle foreclosure defense in Florida, and have expanded the area where we defend these cases throughout many of the counties in the state due to the emergency conditions facing Florida.

    Please note that I do not practice in MO and that the above is not intended as legal advice relative to MO, it is for educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is created or is intended to be created hereby. You should contact a local attorney to discuss and to obtain legal advice.

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