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How Many Missed Payments Before Repossession of Property in Florida

Florida Repossession Laws: When Can They Take Your Property?

If you’re behind on payments for a financed property in Altamonte Springs, FL, you might be worried about repossession. Repossession laws in Florida dictate how lenders can reclaim possession of your financed property. These properties include your car or other titled personal property, if you default on your loan.

While these laws offer some protections, navigating them during a stressful situation can be challenging. Our article will provide answers to how you can manage your property after repossession.

Quick Summary:

  • Florida law allows lenders to repossess your car or other titled personal property if you default on a loan.
  • Repossession is when a lender takes back financed property (like a car) due to missed loan payments.
  • Repossession and foreclosure are both ways lenders take back property upon loan default.
  • Florida law protects homeowners from foreclosure by offering them options. These options include: catch up on missed payments, fight the foreclosure lawsuit, and limit deficiency judgments.
  • Repossession can lead to foreclosure if the property is used as collateral.
  • In Florida, lenders can repossess your property if you miss the full repayment by the due date and fail to make a payment within 30 days for motor vehicles or 120 days for mortgaged homes, using a licensed repossession agent.
  • Factors affecting property repossession include loan delinquency severity, asset value and equity, state laws, contractual terms, repossession costs, and the debtor’s financial situation.
  • If your property gets repossessed in Florida, understand your rights and contact the lender to possibly redeem your property. Ensure the repossession was lawful, and explore options like redemption, loan modification, or refinancing to get your property back.

Understanding Repossession in Florida: What It Means and How the Law Protects You

Repossession refers to a lender taking back possession of a financed property. This is because the borrower has defaulted on their loan payments. This typically applies to secured loans.

The borrowed money is for a specific piece of collateral, such as a car or other titled personal property. If you fail to make your loan payments, the lender has the legal right to repossess it under Florida’s repossession laws.

Is Foreclosure Related to Repossession?

Repossession refers to taking back property if the borrower defaults on a loan. Foreclosure refers to taking back real estate if the borrower defaults on a mortgage.

Florida Foreclosure Protections

Florida law offers homeowners several protections during foreclosure:

  • Right to receive a pre-foreclosure notice: This notice informs the homeowner they are behind on payments. This also offers options to avoid foreclosure.
  • Applying for loss mitigation: Options include loan modification, repayment plans, or forbearance. It can help the homeowner catch up on missed payments.
  • Chance to respond in court: Homeowners have the right to fight the foreclosure lawsuit.
  • Opportunity to stop the foreclosure sale: Paying the missed amount and any fees can prevent the house from being sold.
  • Protections for military service members: The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides more protections for those serving in the military.
  • Right to redeem the property before the sale: Homeowners can pay off the entire debt to keep the house.
  • Possible limitations on deficiency judgments: The difference between what the house sells for and what is owed on the mortgage. Florida law may limit the amount the lender can sue for in a deficiency judgment.

How Repossession Can Lead to Foreclosure

It’s important to note that repossession of property can lead to foreclosure. This happens if the property is used as collateral for a loan and is repossessed. The lender may be more likely to foreclose on the house if the borrower is also behind on mortgage payments.

How Many Missed Payments Can I Have Before Property Repossession?

Florida law allows title loan lenders to repossess your property under certain conditions. The first condition is failing to repay the entire amount owed by the due date of the loan agreement. This includes any extensions that might have been granted.

Secondly, you must also fail to make a payment within a certain number of days after the loan’s maturity date. Whichever date comes later applies in this situation. For different types of property, there are different durations:

  • For motor vehicles, it takes within 30 days after the end of the loan’s maturity date.
  • For mortgaged homes, the borrower has to be delinquent for more than 120 days.

If both these conditions are met, the lender has the right to take back your titled personal property. But, it’s important to note that they can only do this through a state-licensed repossession agent.

What Factors Can Affect a Property Repossession?

Many factors can affect a property repossession. Some of these factors include:

  • Loan Delinquency: The severity of the delinquency is a major factor. A few missed payments might lead to negotiations. A prolonged absence of payments will increase the likelihood of repossession.
  • Asset Value and Equity: Lenders consider the value of the collateral compared to the outstanding loan balance. If the asset’s value is higher than the debt, repossession becomes less attractive.
  • State Laws: Repossession laws vary by state. Some states allow “self-help” repossession, where lenders can take possession without a court order. Others need judicial proceedings. These legal requirements can impact the speed and ease of repossession.
  • Contractual Terms: The loan agreement itself may outline specific steps. The lender must take this before repossession.
  • Cost of Repossession: Lenders weigh the costs with repossession against the recovery from selling the asset. If the costs seem high relative to the expected return, they might be less likely to repossess.
  • Debtor’s Situation: Lenders may be more flexible if the borrower can prove a hardship. A borrower can also show a clear plan to catch up on missed payments.

What Can I Do if My Property Gets Repossessed?

If your property gets repossessed in Florida, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Understand Your Rights – Familiarize yourself with Florida’s repossession laws. This will give you a basic understanding of your rights and options.
  2. Contact the Lender – Reach out to your lender as soon  as possible. There might still be a chance to redeem your property by paying the outstanding balance. This includes any late fees and repossession costs.
  3. Review the Repossession Process – Ensure the lender followed proper procedures during repossession. Florida law prohibits breaches of the peace. This means the lender couldn’t use violence or threats to take your property.
  4. Explore Options to Get Your Property Back – Depending on the circumstances, there might be ways to get your property back. Here are a few possibilities:
  • Redemption: Florida law allows you to redeem your property at least 10 days before the sale. They can do this by paying the full outstanding loan balance.
  • Loan Modification: Negotiate with your lender for a loan modification that adjusts the loan terms. This makes repayments more manageable.
  • Refinance: Consider refinancing the loan with a different lender if you can secure a better interest rate or more favorable terms.

Understanding Repossession Laws in Florida With Our Trusted Bankruptcy Lawyers Today!

Don’t face repossession alone. Fresh Start Law, P.A.  understands the complexities of repossession laws in Florida. Our Altamonte Springs bankruptcy lawyers understand the challenges of dealing with lenders.

We can help you explore your options, protect your rights, and save your property. We pride ourselves on offering the best client care experience available. Contact Fresh Start Law, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your specific situation. 

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