If Not Paid, Legal Steps

What the Legal Steps are for YOUR Attorney.

The steps below are for Florida. Other states can and will differ but the general idea will be similar. Our intention is just to familiarize you with the procedure.

What forms do I need?

The forms you will need are in our Sample Forms Downloads section under ‘Mortgage Foreclosure (Examples from Florida)‘. Quick links to these forms listed below:

Do a title search

You need to foreclose out anyone who may have a legal interest in the property. This will include tenants, holders of 2nd and later mortgages, spouses, judgment debtors etc.

File a notice of Lis Pendens at the court house

This is a legal notice of action and it serves to warn anyone who may be about to deal with the property. A new lender or buyer who perhaps might not be told a foreclosure action is in progress.

Advertise the action to foreclose

Usually in a small circulation newspaper. This can be a legal requirement.

Serve a Complaint, Summons

Have the borrower (and others who may have a legal interest) served with a Complaint, Summons and the Fair Debt Collection Notice. The borrower usually has 20 days to answer the complaint. if they don’t your attorney can file for a default.

If borrower answers the complaint

If borrower answers the complaint your attorney will usually file a Notice of Hearing and Motion for Summary Judgment. This basically says that the borrower owes the money, no real facts are in dispute and the judgment should be given.

Prepare an Affidavit of Indebtedness

Your attorney will prepare and you will swear to an Affidavit of Indebtedness. This basically says that they owe you the money you say.

Affidavit of Non Military Service

There will probably also be an affidavit of Non Military Service.


Hopefully then you will be given a final judgment and a sale date will be set. Usually no sooner than 30 days from the date of the judgment.

This is a judicial sale at the courthouse. A member of the public can bid on the property now. If the bidding isn’t high enough, you get the property and a Certificate of Sale.