No, Florida definitely is NOT a non-recourse state. In Florida, it is quite simple for the mortgage company to obtain a deficiency judgment, and once it has that, it can garish wages and/or levy on non-exempt assets. Worse yet, the mortgage company has 5 years after the conclusion of the short sale or foreclosure to even begin the pursuit of the judgment.
Usually, if you qualify, the best way to avoid the problem is bankruptcy. If you qualify for this and obtain a discharge, it will prevent any pursuit of a deficiency claim.
For starters, contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area to see whether or not you can file a bankruptcy case without any significant risk to assets you have. You can find a geographical listing of bankruptcy attorneys on the web site of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, www.nacba.com
Other options would entail attempting to raise sufficient defenses and pressure on the mortgage company in a contested foreclosure action, in order to force it to the negotiating table. While we do succeed with this sort of strategy quite a bit, it is by no means a sure thing. If you qualify for bankruptcy and have no desire to retain the property, bankruptcy may be your best option.