Can You Sell Your Home in Florida If You Have A Judgment Against You?
Helping Clients with Real Estate Matters Since 1994
The purpose of the homestead exemption in Florida is to protect the family and enable the owner of the homestead to sell the property if necessary to meet financial needs. A property’s status as exempt homestead property is established by the owner’s actual intention to live permanently on the property, coupled with actual use and occupancy of the property. In those situations where the owner has a judgment against him/her, Florida Statute 222.01(2) provides a procedure that prevents the lien from attaching to the homestead allowing the homeowner to sell or refinance the home.
According to the statute, the property owner (who has to be a natural person and not a corporation or LLC) sends a notice to the judgment creditor(s) claiming the property to be protected using the homestead exemption. The creditor then has 45 days after receipt of the notice to contest the claim of homestead. If the creditor cannot prove the property is not the debtor’s homestead then the lien does not attach to the homestead and the house can be sold or refinanced. This procedure cannot be used to remove certain liens which are not protected by the homestead law such as liens for taxes and municipal assessments, liens for labor, services or materials to repair or improve the homestead.
Do You Have a Question?
Please fill out the “Talk With Us” form above to ask a question or you can call us at 954-458-8655
You may also be interested in:
- Anatomy of A Florida Real Estate Closing
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Real Estate Closings
- Duties of a Closing Agent
- Real Estate Pre-Closing Checklist
- Lost or Misplaced Deeds – Do You Need Your Original Deed When You Sell Your Home or Refinance?
- 3 Common Forms of Ownership of Florida Real Estate
- 3 Steps to Adding a Name to a Deed
- 9 Common Real Estate Contract Conditions
- 7 Things to Know About Real Estate Inspections
- 20 Common Problems that Cause the Delay or the Cancellation of a Real Estate Closing
- Time is of the Essence – What it means and cases we may use to win a case.
Related Real Estate Topics
Please feel free to read our other Florida real estate related articles, including:
â†’ READ THE LAW | FLORIDA STATUTE: CHAPTER 222.01 – METHOD OF SETTING APART HOMESTEAD
Florida Statute Relating to a Homestead and Exemptions (Which includes a form Notice of Homestead):
222.01 Designation of homestead by owner before levy.—
NOTICE OF HOMESTEAD
To: (Name and address of judgment creditor as shown on recorded judgment and name and address of any other person shown in the recorded judgment to receive a copy of the Notice of Homestead).
You are notified that the undersigned claims as homestead exempt from levy and execution under Section 4, Article X of the State Constitution, the following described property:
(Insert Legal description)
The undersigned certifies, under oath, that he or she has applied for and received the homestead tax exemption as to the above-described property, that is the tax identification parcel number of this property, and that the undersigned has resided on this property continuously and uninterruptedly from (date) to the date of this Notice of Homestead. Further, the undersigned will either convey or mortgage the above-described property pursuant to the following:
(Describe the contract of sale or loan commitment by date, names of parties, date of anticipated closing, and amount. The name, address, and telephone number of the person conducting the anticipated closing must be set forth.)
The undersigned also certifies, under oath, that the judgment lien filed by you on (date) and recorded in Official Records Book , Page , of the Public Records of County, Florida, does not constitute a valid lien on the described property.
YOU ARE FURTHER NOTIFIED, PURSUANT TO SECTION 222.01 ET SEQ., FLORIDA STATUTES, THAT WITHIN 45 DAYS AFTER THE MAILING OF THIS NOTICE YOU MUST FILE AN ACTION IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COUNTY, FLORIDA, FOR A DECLARATORY JUDGMENT TO DETERMINE THE CONSTITUTIONAL HOMESTEAD STATUS OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY OR TO FORECLOSE YOUR JUDGMENT LIEN ON THE PROPERTY AND RECORD A LIS PENDENS IN THE PUBLIC RECORDS OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE HOMESTEAD IS LOCATED. YOUR FAILURE TO SO ACT WILL RESULT IN ANY BUYER OR LENDER, OR HIS OR HER SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, UNDER THE ABOVE-DESCRIBED CONTRACT OF SALE OR LOAN COMMITMENT TO TAKE FREE AND CLEAR OF ANY JUDGMENT LIEN YOU MAY HAVE ON THE PROPERTY.
This ____ day of _______, 20___ .
(Signature of Owner)
(Printed Name of Owner)
Sworn to and subscribed before me by who is personally known to me or produced ___________________ as identification, this ___ day of _________, 20___ .
(Signature of Notary Public)
(5) As provided in s. 4, Art. X of the State Constitution, this subsection shall not apply to: