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Requirements imposed on foreclosure complaints

The Florida legislature has established certain requirements that must be met by plaintiffs in foreclosure actions involving mortgages or liens on residential property. The necessary elements are set forth in Chapter 702 of Title XL of the 2014 Florida Statutes and apply to units in cooperatives and condominiums as well as free-standing real estate. Foreclosures of interests in timeshares are subject to different rules.

The complaint must contain a statement that the plaintiff is the holder of the original mortgage note or else state the specific facts by which the plaintiff has the right to enforce the note and pursue foreclosure. If the plaintiff possesses the original note and not merely a copy, then it must file a certification under penalty of perjury indicating such possession. The certification must include the name and title of the individual making the certification, the date and time at which possession was verified, the name of the individual verifying possession and the location of the original note.

If the complaint asserts that the original note has been destroyed, stolen or lost, the plaintiff must attach an affidavit setting forth specific information regarding transfers and endorsements and include as exhibits copies of the note, audit receipts or other evidence demonstrating acquisition and ownership of the original note. Banks and other entities seeking foreclosure of residential real estate must comply with these and other procedural regulations. The failure to comply with any part of the statute may be cause for sanctions against the plaintiff.

Homeowners who are facing such an action may wish to consult an attorney who has experience with foreclosure defense. The attorney can assist a client in determining whether the mortgage holder has submitted all of the proper documentation to the court. If the plaintiff has failed to meet statutory obligations, it may be possible to stop the foreclosure process.

Source: The 2014 Florida Statutes, "702.015 Elements of complaint; lost, destroyed, or stolen note affidavit," Florida Legislature, Sep. 29, 2014

Source: Online Sunshine, "The 2014 Florida Statutes", September 29, 2014

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