Foreclosure Terms & Definitions

Florida Foreclosure Definitions

Many terms are used to describe properties in foreclosure. Here are a few definitions to help you along your journey through foreclosure sale investing.


The legal process in which a bank or lender sells or repossesses a parcel of real property after the owner has failed to comply with an agreement between the lender and borrower. Commonly, the violation of the mortgage is a default payment of a promissory note, secured by a lien on the property. When the process is complete, the lender can sell the property and keep the proceeds to pay off its mortgage and any legal costs, and it is typically said that “the lender has foreclosed its mortgage or lien.


This refers to the period after the lender has filed the original complaint and filed a lis pendens on the property indicating the intent to foreclose. At this time the property is still controlled by the seller, but the lender may be involved, too. Lenders do not want to foreclose on property and will often work with the seller and buyer to put together a transaction at this stage. Usually the property is still listed with a local Realtor. And, both the seller and the lender are motivated to avoid an actual foreclosure.

Court-Ordered Auctions

To complete the foreclosure process, the local clerk of court auctions the property to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps. In Florida, this foreclosure sale is the final step in the process. Usually, the lender ends up with the property, but others may bid on the property at this time. The highest bidder must close immediately usually the same day with a cash sale with no contingencies.

Bank Owned Properties (REO)

Another name for bank owned properties is REO, an acronym for “real estate owned.” This refers to property that has come into the possession of a bank or lender, usually through the foreclosure process. Most lenders and banks are not in the business of managing and holding real estate and want to move the property as quickly as possible. Many banks turn their REO properties over to large asset management companies for disposition. Usually these properties are then listed with Realtors.

Short Sale

A lender of a property allows the property to be sold for less than the remaining balance on the mortgage loan.

Deed In Lieu Of Foreclosure

A deed instrument in which a mortgagor (i.e. the borrower) conveys all interest in a real property to the mortgagee (i.e. the lender) to satisfy a loan that is in default and avoid foreclosure proceedings. The deed in lieu of foreclosure offers several advantages to both the borrower and the lender. The principal advantage to the borrower is that it immediately releases him/her from most or all of the personal indebtedness associated with the defaulted loan. The borrower also avoids the public notoriety of a foreclosure proceeding and may receive more generous terms than he/she would in a formal foreclosure. Advantages to a lender include a reduction in the time and cost of repossession. Both sides must enter into the agreement voluntarily and in good faith.


Property information provided by the REALTOR'S® Association of Franklin and Gulf Counties, Inc.. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers personal, non-commercial use, and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.

©2024 Coastal Realty Group. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy Site Map ADA Compliance DMCA Notice