Abandoned Property after a Lien Foreclosure?

What do we do with property left in a unit after a lien foreclosure?

Ideally, after the lien foreclosure is completed, a certificate of title has issued, and the Association has obtained a Writ of Possession, the Association will have the Sheriff come and serve the Writ of Possession, and at that time, while the Sheriff is still on site, all personal property of the unit owner will be removed from the unit to the curb.  However, sometimes personal property is left in the unit and the Board says “What do we do with all this stuff?”

Foreclosure auction signs

Foreclosure auction signs (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

The answer is found in Chapter 715, Florida Statutes.  Although addressed to tenancies, that Chapter provides that a statutory form of notice must be sent to the former occupant describing in detail the property left behind, advising them where the property is being held for storage, and further advising that upon payment of the reasonable costs of storage and advertising, they may reclaim their property.  The notice must further specify that if the property is not claimed within the statutorily proscribed time, the property may be sold at public auction, and the proceeds (after costs) will be paid to the county in which the property is located (which may be claimed by the owner within one year of receiving the money).  If the property is believed to be worth less than $500.00, the notice may also advise that the property may be kept, sold, or destroyed without further notice (after the time to reclaim the property stated in the notice has passed).

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