A Proper Final Judgment of Foreclosure: Form 1.996(a)
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The Florida Supreme Court has published the proper form to use when seeking a final judgment of foreclosure: Form 1.996(a), Final Judgment of Foreclosure (8-18-20). Form 1.996(a) is incorporated in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure under Rule 1.900. Pursuant to Rule 1.900(b), the Form may be varied to meet the facts of a particular case, so long as the substance is expressed without prolixity. However, varying the form is not required as its content complies with the current statutory requirements contained in Section 45.031, Florida Statutes for an order or final judgment of foreclosure.
Recent Amendments to Form 1.996(a)
In 2010, the Florida Supreme Court made amendments to Form 1.996(a) “in order to bring it into conformity with current statutory provisions and requirements.” In re Amendments to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, 44 So.3d 555. In 2014, Form 1.996(a) was further amended to add titles, update the statutory reference to time for right of redemption, and add a paragraph on attorneys’ fees. Last year, the Form was amended again to add a reference to Section 83.561, Florida Statutes and the rights of a tenant occupying foreclosed residential property.
What Does Form 1.996(a), Final Judgment of Foreclosure, Include?
Form 1.996(a) includes the following information:
- A breakdown of the amounts due and owing to the plaintiff in column format;
- The date and location of the public sale;
- A statement of the property owner’s right of redemption/right of possession, in accordance with section 45.031, Florida Statutes;
- The plaintiff’s right to attorneys’ fees and amount;
- A statement of the property owner’s right to claim any additional money from the foreclosure sale, in accordance with section 45.031, Florida Statutes; and
- A sentence permitting an electronic sale of the subject property, in accordance with section 45.031, Florida Statutes.
The Form must also include the plaintiff’s address in order for the judgment to become a lien on the property once a certified copy of the judgment is recorded, or alternatively, an affidavit with this information may be simultaneously recorded.
Do Some Courts Have Their Own, Different Form?
Some courts have enacted their own, different form that must be used when seeking a final judgment of foreclosure. For example, in Pasco and Pinellas counties, all plaintiffs seeking a final judgment of foreclosure must use Form D – Uniform Final Judgment of Foreclosure. Plaintiffs in Hillsborough county must use the Uniform Final Judgment of Foreclosure form. Therefore, it is important for plaintiffs to check with the court to ensure they are using the proper form when seeking a final judgment of foreclosure.
- Austin B. Calhoun, Esq.
- Melissa Murrin, JD Candidate