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Gosz PLC's Objection to Widely Used Foreclosure Sale Procedure Sustained

Pursuant to Fla. Stat. §45.031(8), a party has 10 days from the filing of a certificate of sale to raise an objection to the foreclosure sale.

In Evans v. Finkelstein, et al., 17th Judicial Circuit case number CACE 11-6244(11), Joe Gosz, representing the property owner defendants, filed what may be a novel objection, objecting to a widely used procedure whereby a Plaintiff's maximum bid is visible to third party bidders prior to the foreclosure sale.

Fla. Stat. §45.031(10) permits a Plaintiff to bid automatically up to the amount of his or her maximum bid, and Joe believed this was a problem when coupled with a Plaintiff's maximum bid being made visible to third parties prior to and during the auction. Judge Joel Lazarus agreed with Joe, who argued that the procedure used created uncompetitive auctions because a third party bidder who is unaware of the Plaintiff's maximum bid might bid on the property, and keep bidding in the face of increasing bids by the plaintiff, until one party finally wins. Such competitive bidding would result in higher sales prices than the procedure to which Joe objected.

When a potential third party bidder sees that Plaintiff's maximum bid is higher than what the third party is willing to pay (especially in cases in which the maximum bid is different from the amount of the judgment), the potential bidder has no reason to bid at all. This procedure results in lower sales prices, and sales prices have legal significance.

Should others successfully use the same objection, it is possible that the sales procedure used for thousands of foreclosures would have to be changed.

To read the Objection and the Order sustainging it, click here: Objection to Foreclosure Sale.

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