Foreclosure is a difficult and protracted process which homeowners hope never to experience. For many, the end of foreclosure is only the beginning of a new nightmare. Many homeowners, for example, leave their homes during proceedings—perhaps on a business trip or to visit family—only to return and find that the foreclosure is complete and they’ve been locked out of their homes.

Often times your lender is legally justified in taking possession of the home. However, the bank must take a number of steps before they are able to bar you from the premises. It is vital that before you walk away from your home or your belongings, you verify whether or not the bank has complied with standard procedure. The following tips should help determine whether your bank has a right to lock you out of your home and keep you from your belongings.

Certificate of Sale

The property remains in your possession until the foreclosure action has been carried through to its conclusion. The title may not be transferred back to the lender until the property has sold and a Certificate of Sale has been issued.

Certificate of Title

Once the sale has taken place and all proceeds are collected, you have ten days before the Clerk of Circuit Court issues a Certificate of Title, stating that the property belongs to the new owner.

Writ of Possession

Even after the bank has sold the property and obtained a certificate of title, in the state of Florida the new owner must apply for a writ of possession. Once the writ is granted, the Clerk issues it, and generally a sheriff will notify you that you’ve been divested of the property and are expected to leave the premises within 24 hours.

Remember, your lender cannot kick you out of the premises before following these procedures so be sure to double check that the all required paper work has been filed and that you’ve received proper notification. If you’ve been locked out of your home, immediately contact an experienced foreclosure attorney and be sure to explain the particulars of your situation.

Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney can help your wade through this process and determine a positive solution. Contact him at 813-549-0096.

The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.