How soon can we foreclose?

We sold a property that we owned free and clear. We owner financed it and now the people are 2 months behind and have stopped communicating with us. They have paid late since the beginning. How soon can we foreclose?…or is there another option?

Asked on August 24, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the financing agreement between you and the buyer specifically gives you the right to foreclose in the event of nonpayment, you can begin foreclosing as soon as they miss a payment, but must first send them a notice of intent to foreclose, giving them a chance to cure or correct the default. Because foreclosure is very technical and minor errors in notices or procedure can stop you from foreclosing (or at least delay it until you fix the defect), you are advised to retain an attorney to help you. But again, in terms of your question, you don't need to wait:  you can begin once.they default.
Bear in mind that you can only foreclose if the financing agreement said you could. If the agreement did not reserve the right to foreclose, all you can do is sue for the money.

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