Salazar v. HSBC Bank, USA, NA, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D411 (Fla. 3d DCA February 11, 2015)
Seven months after default final judgment of foreclosure was entered against the borrower without post trial motions or an appeal, “[the borrower’s] condominium unit was sold and a certificate of sale was filed by the clerk of the court.” The borrower objected to the sale and moved to vacate the final judgment because the lender told him not to worry about the foreclosure proceedings while negotiations to modify his loan were taking place. The trial court vacated the sale although the borrower’s motion was insufficient. Six months later, the unit was sold again, and the buyer objected and moved to vacate the sale for the same reason as before. Although the trial court denied the objection and motion, it ordered the clerk to withhold the certificate of title until the lender appeared before the court to explain why the loan had not been modified. When the lender failed to appear, the trial court dismissed the foreclosure action and declared the borrower to be the prevailing party for the purpose of awarding attorney’s fees. The appellate court reversed. In the absence of a sufficient motion under Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.530 to amend judgment or a motion under Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.540 for relief from judgment, a trial court lacks jurisdiction to modify a final judgment. “[A]fter the [trial court] correctly rejected [the borrower’s] last motion to set aside the final judgment (and denied his objections to the last sale), the [trial court] had no authority [either to] order [the lender] to explain why it had not agreed to renegotiate [the] loan or to dismiss this foreclosure action.”
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