Property Matters: Prior Owner Won't Leave Home Bought at a Foreclosure Sale

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Property Matters: Prior Owner Won't Leave Home Bought at a Foreclosure Sale

What can I do if the prior owner is living in a house I bought at a foreclosure sale and refuses to leave?

Written by: Michael Dujovne, Esq. | August 25, 2016

See new Florida Statute Section 83.561, Fla. Stat. (effective June 2, 2015) dealing with this situation. The Federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act was not renewed and is no longer law as of January 1, 2015.

Answer: There is a way to require the prior owner to vacate. First, you must be the owner to take any action. When you are the successful bidder, you are not yet the owner! You must receive a certificate of title from the clerk of court, which cannot be issued until at least 10 days after the foreclosure sale. Second, what does the foreclosure judgment say? Most foreclosure judgments will have language dealing with removing occupants. One version states that the clerk of court is authorized to issue a writ of possession ordering the sheriff to remove all persons from the house. A deputy posts the writ and this gives the occupants 24 hours to vacate. If they are not out by then, the deputy will physically remove all occupants. The other version states that a court order is required first. This means that a motion has to be filed and a hearing has to be scheduled before a writ can be issued. The situation is different if the property is occupied by tenants. I will deal with tenants in my next article.

            Michael E. Dujovne, Esq., of Volk Law Offices, P.A., practices in the areas of real estate, business and civil litigation.  VolkLaw office is located at 1901 S. Harbor City Blvd., Suite 700, Melbourne, FL 32901.  VolkLaw's telephone number is (321) 726-8338.  The matters discussed here are general in nature and are not to be relied upon as legal advice in the absence of a consultation with Volk Law Offices.  No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of matters discussed here. Volk Law Offices and its attorneys and other employees make no representations or warranties with respect to the matters addressed.

The matters discussed here are general in nature and are not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every specific legal matter requires specific legal attention. 

The law is constantly changing and matters discussed today may not be the same tomorrow. Legal matters are also subject to different interpretations by attorneys, judges, jurors and scholars. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of matters discussed here. You should consult counsel of your choice if you have any dealings in these areas of the law. Volk Law Offices, P.A. and its attorneys make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the matters addressed.


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