“SOLD TO THE PLAINTIFF FOR $100” – a phrase that is all too common at our courthouses. This is typically how a foreclosure auction ends, well, at least when COVID isn’t around. Since April 2, 2020 this phrase has not left the mouth of a single clerk at a single courthouse in the state of Florida.
Executive Order 20-94 Extended April to July
On April 2, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-94 which suspended and tolled any statute that provided for mortgage foreclosure for a period of 45 days – which was set to end on May 17, 2020. However, on May 14, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-121 which extended the suspension and tolling until June 2, 2020. Most recently, at 7:06 p.m. om June 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis once again extended the suspension of foreclosures, this time set to expire on July 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m as fully spelled out in Executive Order 20-137.
Residential and Commercial Foreclosures Covered
Importantly, for this discussion, the executive order from Governor DeSantis does not differentiate between a commercial foreclosure (like Publix or Walmart) or a residential foreclosure (like your house or mine). Rather the Governor has given a blanket suspension to all, and he means all, foreclosures in the State of Florida.
Now, this suspension and tolling does not merely prevent a foreclosure from being filed or tried, but also includes the sale of a home at public auction. For instance, my client had consented to a final judgement of foreclosure sometime during February 2020 and the Court set the foreclosure auction for June 18. Because of Governor DeSantis’ executive order, my client’s home will not be sold at a foreclosure auction on June 18. Thus, for nearly three months, no foreclosures have occurred in the State of Florida.
While Governor DeSantis has taken a very humane stance to the novel COVID virus, the downside is the tidal wave of foreclosure filings that await judges across the state once his Executive Order Expires.
Real Estate Legal Help During COVID-19
If you are a borrower or a lender faced with riding the tidal wave of incoming foreclosure lawsuits, contact the attorneys at your Legal Team For Life. We have spent countless hours reviewing Governor DeSantis’ Executive Orders, the Federal CARES Act, and have over 45 years’ experience serving our neighbors in the community.