I recently had a case that involved a family who lost their home in foreclosure. To make matters worse, the reason they lost their home was because the husband / father died, and the family could no longer afford the mortgage. We see these situations all too often with families in Florida, and we understand how difficult it can be.
In this case, the family had lived in their homestead property for nearly 30 years paying off the mortgage to their homestead property and building a significant amount of equity in the homestead.
After the foreclosure judgment, the family was in despair and vulnerable. A non-attorney approached the grieving widow and offered to take care of everything if she would just sign over a quit claim deed before the property was sold at the public auction. This widow figured she had nothing else to lose, so she did. She transferred her rights in a quit claim deed in exchange for a promise of hope that this person could save her home.
Unfortunately, this person could not save her home, and the property was sold at the auction a few weeks later. At the public auction, the property sold for significantly more than what was owed to the bank and a surplus remained. However, the city filed a claim for the surplus funds to collect on a lien that would completely exhaust the surplus funds available. This would have been completely devastating to the family because the equity in their homestead was all they had to move forward with.
The city argued that the homestead protection was waived by the family when the widow signed over the quit claim deed, so the city tried to claim all of the funds.
The family hired our firm to help defend her rights. We went to work right away and prepared the necessary paperwork to file in defense of the family’s homestead rights. We fought against the City of Tampa in court, and we won! We were able to protect the more than $50,000.00 in Foreclosure Surplus Funds for this family, and we would be happy to do the same for you.