The short answer is: most of the time, yes.
The little-bit longer answer is that you should be able to recover your attorney’s fees from the lender if 4 things are true:
- You won the foreclosure case. This means you won either a Final Judgment in your favor or an order of dismissal of the foreclosure case. Generally speaking, only the prevailing party in the litigation will be entitled to recover their attorney’s fees. This means that you either won the whole case or won on most of the issues in the case.
- You are a borrower on the note and mortgage. You see, most mortgages say that your lender can recover its attorney’s fees against you if your lender has to sue you. Florida law says this works both ways, meaning if you get sued by your lender but you win the case, the lender has to pay your attorney’s fees! Florida Statute 57.105(7) provides: “If a contract contains a provision allowing attorney’s fees to a party when he or she is required to take any action to enforce the contract, the court may also allow reasonable attorney’s fees to the other party when that party prevails in the action, whether as plaintiff or defendant, with respect to the contract.”
- You requested your attorney’s fees in your answer to the foreclosure suit. Florida law requires you request an award of attorney’s fees in your answer to the lawsuit or it is deemed waived. See, e.g., Fanelli v. HSBC Bank USA, 170 So. 3d 72 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015).
- You filed your motion for attorney’s fees within 30 calendar days after the filing of the Final Judgment or Order of Dismissal. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.525 provides: “Any party seeking a judgment taxing costs, attorneys’ fees, or both shall serve a motion no later than 30 days after filing of the judgment, including a judgment of dismissal, or the service of a notice of voluntary dismissal, which judgment or notice concludes the action as to that party.”