An Update to The Most Frequently Asked Questions We Receive About Deficiency Collection Lawsuits.
We have posted before about some of the most popular questions we are asked about deficiency lawsuits. Recently, the most often asked question is whether a Dyck O’Neal’s lawsuit is valid (related to old foreclosure cases) if the home owner is served after the July 1, 2014 deadline. Unfortunately, the answer lies in the question. The July 1, 2014 deadline referred to in the statute relates to the date when the lawsuit must be filed with the Court, and not when it is served. Thus, as long as Dyck O’Neal files its deficiency lawsuit on or before July 1, 2014, the lawsuit can not be barred for being untimely filed.
According to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070, a deficiency lawsuit must be served within 120 days after it is filed. If it is not served within that time frame, a home owner could file a motion to dismiss. However, there is a clause in the rule, which states that if Dyck O’Neal can show “good cause” why the complaint was not served within the 120-day time frame, (like the home owner can’t be found because they now live in another state or country) the time frame to serve the lawsuit can be expanded to accommodate appropriate service.
Unfortunately, this means home owners who thought they were in the clear because they didn’t receive a lawsuit by the July 1, 2014 deadline, still have several months to go before the 120 deadline passes. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t defenses available to these lawsuits. We recommend that you talk with an experienced real estate lawyer to learn about your rights.
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Do you still have questions or comments? Then please feel free to Chat with Larry in the comments below, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (954) 458-8655. If you have a specific or personal situation, please call or email Larry because he can’t answer specific fact questions in general comments.