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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XL
REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY
Chapter 702
FORECLOSURE OF MORTGAGES AND STATUTORY LIENS
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F.S. 702.036
702.036 Finality of foreclosure judgment.
(1) As used in this section, the term “property” means real property.
(2)(a) In any action or proceeding in which a party seeks to set aside, invalidate, or challenge the validity of a final judgment of foreclosure of a mortgage or other lien, or to establish or reestablish a lien or encumbrance on the property in abrogation of the final judgment of foreclosure of a mortgage or other lien, the court shall treat such request solely as a claim for monetary damages and may not grant relief that adversely affects the quality or character of the title to the property, if:
1. The party seeking relief from the final judgment of foreclosure of the mortgage or lien was properly served in the foreclosure lawsuit as provided in chapter 48 or chapter 49.
2. The final judgment of foreclosure of the mortgage or lien was entered as to the property.
3. All applicable appeals periods have run as to the final judgment of foreclosure of the mortgage or lien with no appeals having been taken or any appeals having been finally resolved.
4. The property has been acquired for value, by a person not affiliated with the foreclosing mortgageholder, the foreclosing lienholder, or the foreclosed owner, at a time in which no lis pendens regarding the suit to set aside, invalidate, or challenge the foreclosure appears in the official records of the county where the property was located.
(b) This subsection does not limit the right to pursue any other relief to which a person may be entitled, including, but not limited to, compensatory damages, punitive damages, statutory damages, consequential damages, injunctive relief, or fees and costs, which does not adversely affect the ownership of the title to the property as vested in the unaffiliated purchaser for value.
(3) For purposes of this section, the following, without limitation, shall be considered persons affiliated with the foreclosing mortgageholder or foreclosing lienholder:
(a) The foreclosing mortgageholder, the foreclosing lienholder, or any loan servicer for the mortgage or lien being foreclosed;
(b) Any past or present owner or holder of the mortgage or lien being foreclosed;
(c) Any maintenance company, holding company, foreclosure services company, or law firm under contract to any entity listed in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or this paragraph, with regard to the mortgage or lien being foreclosed; or
(d) Any parent entity, subsidiary, or other person who directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls or is controlled by, or is under common control with, any entity listed in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c).
(4) After foreclosure of a mortgage based upon the enforcement of a lost, destroyed, or stolen note, a person who is not a party to the underlying foreclosure action but who claims to be the person entitled to enforce the promissory note secured by the foreclosed mortgage has no claim against the foreclosed property after it is conveyed for valuable consideration to a person not affiliated with the foreclosing lender or the foreclosed owner. This section does not preclude the person entitled to enforce the promissory note from pursuing recovery from any adequate protection given pursuant to s. 673.3091 or from the party who wrongfully claimed to be the person entitled to enforce the promissory note under s. 702.11(2) or otherwise, from the maker of the note, or from any other person against whom it may have a claim relating to the note.
(5) If a party seeks relief from a final judgment foreclosing a mortgage or lien, or files a separate action attacking such a final judgment, and the party claims that it holds or held a lien superior in right, priority, or dignity to the mortgage or lien foreclosed in the judgment, the court must award reasonable attorney fees to the party prevailing on the claim. This subsection applies whether the litigation seeking relief from the final judgment occurs in the case in which the judgment was entered or in any separate case or proceeding.
History.s. 4, ch. 2013-137; s. 3, ch. 2023-215.