The Foreclosure Department of the Clerk’s Office is pleased to offer the following information about the foreclosure process. For additional assistance you may reach the Foreclosure department at (904) 255-2000.
Viewing the Case Online
For your convenience, you can view the foreclosure case information online at the Clerk Online Resource ePortal (CORE). A case number or Plaintiff or Defendant name will be needed to search and locate the case. The defendant’s name may be found by searching the real property on the Duval County Property Appraiser’s online search tool. If you have any question or concerns about CORE, we invite you to email the CORE Helpdesk at CORE@duvalclerk.com.
What is a Foreclosure? What is a Foreclosure Auction?
A Commercial or Residential Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has failed to live up the obligations agreed to in the loan contract. To do this, the lender, through a foreclosure, is asking the court to force a sale of the property, such as real estate, that was used as collateral for the loan.
A Lien Foreclosure is a legal process in which a party that has filed a lien against a property attempts to recover the balance claimed in a lien from the property owner by forcing the sale of the property.
A foreclosure auction is the actual court-ordered sale of the property that was used as collateral for a loan or upon which a lien has been filed. This is done after a court has determined that a borrower or property owner has failed to live up the obligations agreed to in a contract relating to the property.
The Clerk’s Office processes foreclosure cases and conducts foreclosure sale auctions, as directed in Chapter 45 of the Florida Statutes. The borrower or property owner facing foreclosure is called the Defendant. The party that has filed a foreclosure lawsuit against a borrower or property owner is called the Plaintiff.
Facing a Foreclosure
Borrowers or property owners facing foreclosure are not required to be represented by an attorney. If you need legal advice or additional information, you may need to consult an attorney licensed in the State of Florida. The Florida Bar offers a Lawyer Referral Service that may be of assistance. If you can’t afford an attorney, you may contact the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid for possible legal assistance. You may also find the Law Library of the Duval County Courthouse helpful.
Please understand that the law prohibits the Clerk’s Office from giving legal advice.
Being Served Foreclosure Lawsuit Documents and Answering the Complaint
A borrower facing a Commercial or Residential Foreclosure will be served with legal papers by a law-enforcement officer or a process server. Included in the documentation will be a Summons, a copy of the Complaint and, in some cases, an Order to Show Cause.
Once the borrower is served with these documents, he or she has 20 calendar days from the day of service to file a written response or answer with the court. A copy of the answer must be mailed to the attorney for the lender or lien holder. Tenants in the property will also be served with these court papers and will have 20 days to respond. There is also a Notice of Tenancy that tenants can file as well.
If the borrower fails to respond, a default can be entered. It’s important to understand that when a default is entered, the borrower is considered to have admitted to all of the allegations. As a result, she or he will lose the right to defend against the foreclosure.
Answers to the Complaint can be filed in person at Windows 23-25 in the West Lobby (First Floor) of the Duval County Courthouse. The answer can also be filed by mail at the office address below.
After the lender or lien holder files all the required documents with the court, a Motion for Summary Judgment will typically be filed. The borrower or property owner should receive a copy of it. A hearing will then be scheduled, which the borrower or property owner can attend.
As a result of that hearing, the Judge will determine whether to foreclose on the property. If the judge decides that the property should be foreclosed, he or she will sign the Final Summary Judgment. This will state the amount owed to the lender or lien holder and the date and time of the sale, which will be at least 20 days after the hearing but typically not more than 35 days later.
All foreclosure auctions are held online at the Duval County Real Auction Website. The sales are conducted Monday through Friday (except legal holidays), with the first sale starting at 11:00 a.m.
If the property proceeds to auction it will be sold, if no one bids against the lender or lien holder they would be the successful bidder. Following the sale—if proper documentation has been submitted by the winning bidder and if fees are paid—a Certificate of Sale will be issued. This certifies that a completed, successful sale has occurred. The certificate of title is issued to the buyer 10 calendar days after the Certificate of Sale was issued, if fees are received. Please understand that the new owner cannot take possession of an occupied property without a writ of possession. If the property is vacant, the new owner may legally take possession of the property after the certificate of title is issued. If the property is still occupied, a Writ of Possession may be issued and served by the Sheriff’s Office and requiring all remaining occupants to vacate the property within 24 hours of being served.
If you have an objection to the sale, you can file it within 10 calendar days after the filing of the Certificate of Sale. The judge will determine the validity of the objection and will then direct the Clerk’s Office on whether to issue the Certificate of Title.
Right of Redemption
According to Florida Statute 45.0315, the borrower or property owner may redeem the property by paying the amount owed as specified in the Final Summary Judgment. This right of redemption ends when the Clerk’s Office issues the Certificate of Sale following a successful auction sale. The borrower or property owner must contact the Foreclosure Department to redeem the property and pay the amounts due.
Surplus Funds from Auction Sale
Any funds remaining after the sale proceeds have been distributed, as ordered in the Final Summary Judgment, become known as “surplus funds,” as stated in Florida Statute 45.032. The owner of the property may file an Owner’s Claim for Mortgage Foreclosure Surplus and a Proposed Order. If the statutory requirements to claim the surplus funds are met, the court may direct the Clerk’s Office to deduct any applicable service charges from the surplus and pay the remainder.
If there is not a claim for the surplus funds within 60 days from the date the Certificate of Disbursements was filed, the Clerk’s Office is required to appoint a Surplus Trustee, as directed by Florida Statute 45.034. Please note that the Certificate of Disbursements is typically filed when the Certificate of Title is recorded.
Information for the Plaintiff
Setting a Hearing
Residential Foreclosures, Commercial Foreclosures and Lien Foreclosures of more than $15,000 are assigned to Circuit Civil judges, who are state-level judges, individually. Lien Foreclosure actions of $15,000 or less are assigned to County Civil judges, who are county-level judges, also individually. To set hearings for these cases, please contact the judicial assistant to the assigned judge.
Filing Documents with the Clerk’s Office
Electronic filing (e-Filing) is now required for attorneys in the state of Florida per Florida Supreme Court Order SC11-399. For more information about e-filing, please visit the E-filing Portal. If you need assistance getting started, please contact the Clerk’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Viewing a Case Online
For convenience, you can view the foreclosure case information online at the Clerk Online Resource ePortal (CORE). You’ll simply need to know the case number or the Plaintiff or Defendant name to search and locate the case. The Defendant’s name may be found by searching the real property on the Duval County Property Appraiser’s online search tool. If you have any question or concerns about CORE, we invite you to contact the CORE Helpdesk at CORE@duvalclerk.com
Filing a Motion
When a motion is filed in a Commercial or Residential Foreclosure case, a proposed order must be provided along with it for the judge to sign. Once the motion has been e-filed, it should be forwarded, along with the Proposed Order and copies with envelopes, directly to the assigned Judge.
If you are involved in a Lien Foreclosure case that will be heard within the county courts, please contact the County Civil Department about filing motions or other pleadings.
Please do not forward proposed orders to the Clerk’s Office.
Public Notice of Sale, Proof of Publication
The Notice of Sale must be issued by the Clerk’s Office for advertisement in the Financial News and Daily Record before a foreclosure auction. Please e-File a blank Notice of Sale with the Foreclosure Department after a sale date has been established. Once issued, the Foreclosure Department will forward the notice to the Daily Record for publication. Please contact the Daily Record to make payment arrangements for the publication.
After it is published, the original Proof of Publication must be forwarded to the Foreclosure Department before the day of the sale. If the Proof of Publication is filed as an electronic copy, it should be indicated within a Notice of Filing. However, please note that the original document MUST still be submitted to the Foreclosure Department PRIOR to the auction. This is important for the purpose of recording it as part of the Certificate of Sale (see Certificates of Sale, Title and Disbursements, below). If the original "Proof" is not received before a scheduled auction, that auction will not proceed.
The Plaintiff in a foreclosure action is required to pay a $70.00 Service Sale Fee and an additional $70.00 Electronic Sale Fee at the time of filing the Complaint. If the case is dismissed before the sale, both $70.00 fees will be refunded. In the event that the winning bidder is not the Plaintiff, only the $70.00 Electronic Sale Fee will be refunded. If a sale was previously held, the $140.00 must be paid again prior to the sale. The auction will not proceed if the payment is not received.
Cancellation of Sale
A sale will be cancelled only if the following conditions exist:
- A written court order, signed by a judge and canceling the sale, is received by the Foreclosure Department clerks prior to the sale
- A Suggestion of Bankruptcy or a copy of the date-stamped bankruptcy petition has been filed in a timely manner
- An Order Setting Aside Final Judgment is filed
- Notice of Voluntary Dismissal is filed
- Property Redemption
Certificates of Sale, Title and Disbursement
To issue the Certificate of Sale, which certifies that the an auction sale was successful, the Foreclosure Department must have, at the time of the sale, the ORIGINAL Proof of Publication. This will be recorded as the second page of the Certificate of Sale.
A Certificate of Title certifies and identifies the owners, or new owners, of real or personal property. It is issued by the Clerk’s Office after 10 calendar days have elapsed from the date that the Certificate of Sale was issued, provided there is no objection or other action pending.
When a Certificate of Title is recorded, Documentary Stamp Taxes are due and are based on the Certificate of Sale price. To avoid delays, please forward a check with the correct amount of Documentary Stamp Taxes soon after the day of the sale. Forward it along with a proposed Certificate of Title and Certificate of Disbursement, and include all the information pertaining to the specific sale (vesting, legal description, etc.).
If the Plaintiff was the successful bidder at a foreclosure sale, and if the Certificate of Title has not been issued after 10 full days from the date that the Certificate of Sale was issued, please view the Case Docket to see notes about why it has not been issued.
Taking Possession of Property
Once the Certificate of Title is issued, the Foreclosure Department may issue a Writ of Possession upon an order from the court. A Writ of Possession requires all occupants to leave the property within 24 hours of being served . This allows the owner to take possession of the property. There is a $7.00 fee for the Clerk’s Office to issue the writ. If the Plaintiff asks the clerk to forward the writ to the Sheriff’s Office, a check in the amount of $90.00 made out to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, should be submitted along with the writ.
Distribution of Auction Sale Proceeds
The Clerk’s Office will issue a Certificate of Disbursement once the Certificate of Title is recorded. This certifies how the auction sale proceeds are to be distributed. From that point, it takes about 10 to 20 business days for the payment to be mailed to the Plaintiff.
Voluntary Dismissal, Release of Lis Pendens
In order to record a Lis Pendens, a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal and Release of Lis Pendens or a Notice of Release of Lis Pendens, the legal description of the real property must be included. If it does not include the legal description, it will be sent to the pending queue and will not be entered until it is corrected.
Original Loan Documents
The Clerk’s Office will return the original loan document only if there is an order entered in the case directing it to do so and only if a self-addressed stamped envelope has been provided. If the Plaintiff chooses to pick up the original loan documents, please notify the Foreclosure Department 24 hours in advance.
Assignments of Bid
An Assignment of Bid is a legal document that transfers a Property Title to a new owner following a foreclosure auction sale. It can be filed before or after the actual auction sale.
Pre-Sale Assignments of Bid will be accepted up until the date of the foreclosure sale and will be treated as court work. A Pre-Sale Assignment of Bid will not be recorded into the Duval County Official Records.
Please file the original Post-Sale Assignment of Bid with the Recording Department, along with the applicable recording fees, as directed by Florida Statute 695.26. Once recorded, the Assignment of Bid may be submitted to the Foreclosure Department to be filed into the case. To file an electronic copy of the assignment once the document has been recorded, it will have to be filed as a Notice of Filing.
For questions about the recording of an Assignment of Bid, please feel free to contact the Duval County Recording Department for further assistance.
Information for Third-Party Bidders
Foreclosure Sale Process
In actions to foreclose mortgages or liens on real property, the court may order a foreclosure auction sale of the property, which is guided by Chapter 45 of the Florida Statutes. The Plaintiff is automatically credited with a bid equal to the amount specified by the judge in the Final Summary Judgment, plus any additional amounts due to the Plaintiff by court order or affidavit filed with the Clerk’s Office. Foreclosure judgments foreclose or settle the interests of lenders, lienholders and any other people or entities whose interests are legally foreclosed by the court.
But please understand that the title issued by the Clerk’s Office after a foreclosure auction sale is not warranted to be free of any potential claims. Because of this, all properties sold at a foreclosure auction are sold “as is” and are bought “buyer beware.” Bidders are responsible for conducting their own research about the property that is being sold and about any defects in title that may exist.
Viewing Case Information Online
You can easily view the foreclosure case information online at the Clerk’s Online Resource ePortal (CORE). Just be sure to have the case number or Plaintiff or Defendant name on hand so you can search and locate the case. The defendant’s name may be found by searching the real property on the Duval County Property Appraiser’s online search tool. If you have any question or concerns at all about CORE, you can simply contact the CORE Helpdesk at CORE@duvalclerk.com.
If you need legal advice or further information not provided on these web pages, we suggest that you consider consulting an attorney licensed in the state of Florida. You may also seek out some other qualified source, such as a title company or law library.
Please understand that the law prohibits the Clerk’s Office from giving legal advice.
Foreclosure Auction Information
All foreclosure auctions are held online at the Duval County Real Auction Website. The sales are conducted Monday through Friday (except legal holidays), with the first sale starting at 11:00 am.
Auction Training Classes
If you’d like to learn more about the auction process, you may be interested in the training classes given online by Realauction.com. These webinars generally last one hour and specifically cover the use of the software. Attendance is by registration only. For additional information or to register for a webinar, please contact the Real Auction Customer Service Center at (954)734-7401 or toll free at (877)361-7325.
If you’d like to bid in an auction, you’ll need to register online before the auction. There is no fee for this. During this process, you will be given a bidder number. If you need more information, Real Auction’s customer service number and email address can be found under the "Contact us" tab in the top, right-hand section of the website. If you simply want to view an auction, you don’t need to register.
To place a bid in an auction, a deposit equal to five percent of your estimated high bid must be made before the auction starts. Please see “Payment Information” to learn about methods of payment.
Winning Bid, Final payment
If you are the successful bidder, you’ll need to pay the balance of the final bid amount plus the court registry fees. Successful bidders or purchasers must initiate their own Batch Payment online for any property purchased no later than 4:00 p.m. ET on the day of the sale. This will act as a notification that the payment has been made.
Regardless of the form of payment, if the payment batch is not made by such time, the five-percent deposit will be forfeited, and the sale will be declared VOID. A resale will then be scheduled. Please note that the bidder’s deposit is non-refundable and will be used to pay all costs of the resale. Please see “Payment Information” below to learn about methods of payment.
Pay by Wire (Please allow 24 to 48 hours to process)
A wire transfer or "wire" is a funds-transfer system that offers the fastest means of moving money from one bank to another. Wire transfers are virtually instantaneous and provide a secure, timely and automatic way for initiating and transferring immediately available funds between two parties. If you select this payment method, wiring instructions for the Clerk of the Courts’ account will be printed. Then, simply take the wiring instructions page to your bank to initiate the transaction. If you are electing to make final payment by wire, the wire must be initiated with your bank by 4:00 PM the day of the sale to avoid being defaulted.
Pay at Counter (Deposits made via "Counter" will reflect within 10 minutes)
Acceptable forms of payment are certified funds, business checks, money orders and cash. For auction deposits, funds must be delivered to the Clerk’s Office at least one hour before the start of the auction. We ask you to understand that THE CLERK’S OFFICE CANNOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS for any type of foreclosure deposit or payment. If you are electing to make final payment by counter pay, you must bring two separate checks: one for the remaining balance and another for the clerk’s fees and sales fee. The payment breakdown can be found in your winning notification email from Real Auction.
Deposit by ACH/ Electronic Check (Please allow 3 to 4 Business Days to process)
The funds for payments of this type will generally arrive (settle) in the Clerk’s Office account on the fourth business day. If you want to participate in auctions that will close before your funds will arrive, please select the "Wire Transfer" or "Counter Payment" method to make sure your funds are received by the Clerk’s Office in time for upcoming auctions.
The Automated Clearing House (ACH) network is a payment system that allows consumers to make payments without the use of paper checks. Funds must be drawn from a U.S. financial institution. Please note that some types of money-market, brokerage and trust accounts will not accept ACH debits. Please verify with your financial institution that ACH debits are permitted for your account.
Pay by Deposit
If you wish to make final payment with the funds already in your account, you may select “pay by deposit” when creating the batch payment. The funds must be deposited in your account prior to creating the payment. If you bring in a single check for counter payment, it will be deposited into your account and you will need to create a new batch.
For more information, please visit the Clerk’s Foreclosure Auction website.
IMPORTANT: Confidential Information within Court Filings
Please be advised that the Florida Supreme Court has substantially amended Rule 2.420 (Public Access to Judicial Branch Records) in SC11-2466. The Rule involves procedures regarding confidentiality of Court records. The amendment was effective May 1, 2013 and may be accessed at the following website link.
Please take special notice that the Court may impose sanctions under Rule 2.420 (i) for non-compliance.
For your convenience, an interactive form for providing notice of confidential information within court filings is available by following the link below.
Documents & Publications
|Foreclosure w/claim amount up to $15,000.00*||$300.00|
|Forecloure w/claim amount from $150,000 up tp $50,000*||$401.00|
|Foreclosure w/claim amount greater than $50,000 and less than $250,000*||$906.00|
|Foreclosure w/claim amount $250,000 or greater*||$1,906.00|
|Plaintiff's Foreclosure sale fee**||$70.00|
|Successful Bid Foreclosure sale fee**||$70.00|
|Foreclosure cross-claims, counter-claims, third-party claims, counter-petition w/claim amount less than $50,000||$395.00|
|Foreclosure cross-claims, counter-claims, third-party claims, counter-petition w/claim amount greater than $50,000 and less than $250,000||$900.00|
|Foreclosure cross-claims, counter-claims, third-party claims, counter-petition w/claim amount greater than $250,000||$1,900.00|
* This is the base fee for this claim amount. The $140 sale fee will also be due at the time of filing.
** The Plaintiff's Foreclosure Sale Fee ($70) and Successful Bid Sale Fee ($70) are both due along with the filing fee.
Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Duval County Clerk of Courts
Attn: FORECLOSURE DEPARTMENT
501 West Adams Street, Room 1208
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Contact the Foreclosure department
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