45.032 Disbursement of surplus funds after judicial sale.
(1) For purposes of ss. 45.031-45.035, the term:
(a) “Owner of record” means the person or persons who appear to be owners of the property that is the subject of the foreclosure proceeding on the date of the filing of the lis pendens. In determining an owner of record, a person need not perform a title search and examination but may rely on the plaintiff’s allegation of ownership in the complaint when determining the owner of record.
(b) “Subordinate lienholder” means the holder of a subordinate lien shown on the face of the pleadings as an encumbrance on the property. The lien held by the party filing the foreclosure lawsuit is not a subordinate lien. A subordinate lienholder includes, but is not limited to, a subordinate mortgage, judgment, tax warrant, assessment lien, or construction lien. However, the holder of a subordinate lien shall not be deemed a subordinate lienholder if the holder was paid in full from the proceeds of the sale.
(c) “Surplus funds” or “surplus” means the funds remaining after payment of all disbursements required by the final judgment of foreclosure and shown on the certificate of disbursements.
(d) “Surplus trustee” means a person qualifying as a surplus trustee pursuant to s. 45.034.
(2) There is established a rebuttable legal presumption that the owner of record on the date of the filing of a lis pendens is the person entitled to surplus funds after payment of subordinate lienholders who have timely filed a claim. A person claiming a legal right to the surplus as an assignee of the rights of the owner of record must prove to the court that such person is entitled to the funds. At any hearing regarding such entitlement, the court shall consider the factors set forth in s. 45.033 in determining whether an assignment is sufficient to overcome the presumption. It is the intent of the Legislature to abrogate the common law rule that surplus proceeds in a foreclosure case are the property of the owner of the property on the date of the foreclosure sale.
(3) During the 60 days after the clerk issues a certificate of disbursements, the clerk shall hold the surplus pending a court order.
(a) If the owner of record claims the surplus during the 60-day period and there is no subordinate lienholder, the court shall order the clerk to deduct any applicable service charges from the surplus and pay the remainder to the owner of record. The clerk may establish a reasonable requirement that the owner of record prove his or her identity before receiving the disbursement. The clerk may assist an owner of record in making a claim. An owner of record may use the following form in making a claim:
(Caption of Action)
OWNER’S CLAIM FORMORTGAGE FORECLOSURE SURPLUS
Under penalty of perjury, I (we) hereby certify that:
1. I was (we were) the owner of the following described real property in County, Florida, prior to the foreclosure sale and as of the date of the filing of the lis pendens:
(Legal description of real property)
2. I (we) do not owe any money on any mortgage on the property that was foreclosed other than the one that was paid off by the foreclosure.
3. I (we) do not owe any money that is the subject of an unpaid judgment, tax warrant, condominium lien, cooperative lien, or homeowners’ association.
4. I am (we are) not currently in bankruptcy.
5. I (we) have not sold or assigned my (our) right to the mortgage surplus.
6. My (our) new address is: .
7. If there is more than one owner entitled to the surplus, we have agreed that the surplus should be paid jointly, or to: , at the following address: .
8. I (WE) UNDERSTAND THAT I (WE) AM (ARE) NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE A LAWYER OR ANY OTHER REPRESENTATION AND I (WE) DO NOT HAVE TO ASSIGN MY (OUR) RIGHTS TO ANYONE ELSE IN ORDER TO CLAIM ANY MONEY TO WHICH I (WE) MAY BE ENTITLED.
9. I (WE) UNDERSTAND THAT THIS STATEMENT IS GIVEN UNDER OATH, AND IF ANY STATEMENTS ARE UNTRUE THAT I (WE) MAY BE PROSECUTED CRIMINALLY FOR PERJURY.
Sworn to (or affirmed) and subscribed before me this day of , (year) , by (name of person making statement) .
(Signature of Notary Public - State of Florida)
(Print, Type, or Stamp Commissioned Name of Notary Public)
Personally Known OR Produced Identification
Type of Identification Produced
(b) If any person other than the owner of record claims an interest in the proceeds during the 60-day period or if the owner of record files a claim for the surplus but acknowledges that one or more other persons may be entitled to part or all of the surplus, the court shall set an evidentiary hearing to determine entitlement to the surplus. At the evidentiary hearing, an equity assignee has the burden of proving that he or she is entitled to some or all of the surplus funds. The court may grant summary judgment to a subordinate lienholder prior to or at the evidentiary hearing. The court shall consider the factors in s. 45.033 when hearing a claim that any person other than a subordinate lienholder or the owner of record is entitled to the surplus funds.
(c) If no claim is filed during the 60-day period, the clerk shall appoint a surplus trustee from a list of qualified surplus trustees as authorized in s. 45.034. Upon such appointment, the clerk shall prepare a notice of appointment of surplus trustee and shall furnish a copy to the surplus trustee. The form of the notice may be as follows:
(Caption of Action)
NOTICE OF APPOINTMENTOF SURPLUS TRUSTEE
The undersigned clerk of the court certifies that he or she disbursed the proceeds received from the sale of the property as provided in the order or final judgment to the persons named in the certificate of disbursements, and that surplus funds of $ remain and are subject to disbursement to the owner of record. You have been appointed as surplus trustee for the purpose of finding the owner of record in order for the clerk to disburse the surplus, after deducting costs, to the owner of record.
WITNESS my hand and the seal of the court on , (year) .
By (Deputy Clerk)
(4) If the surplus trustee is unable to locate the owner of record entitled to the surplus within 1 year after appointment, the appointment shall terminate and the clerk shall notify the surplus trustee that his or her appointment was terminated. Thirty days after termination of the appointment of the surplus trustee, the clerk shall treat the remaining funds as unclaimed property to be deposited with the Chief Financial Officer pursuant to chapter 717.
(5) Proceedings regarding surplus funds in a foreclosure case do not in any manner affect or cloud the title of the purchaser at the foreclosure sale of the property.
History. s. 2, ch. 2006-175; s. 1, ch. 2007-106.