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Dyck O’Neal and the Defective Notice: Defending Against Deficiency Lawsuits

Although the worst of the economic downturn appears to be over, many people are still feeling its affects. If you went through a foreclosure and did not get a waiver of deficiency, you may be one of those people. Now that the law has changed and lenders only have a year to file for a deficiency, deficiency lawsuits are becoming more and more prevalent. There are ways to defend against these lawsuits. We recently obtained a summary judgment in favor of our client who was being sued for a deficiency because the lender failed to give him proper notice...

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Anatomy of a Real Estate Closing

What occurs during a real estate closing and why should i consult with an attorney? A closing begins with the contract. A contract consists of an offer and acceptance regarding the material terms of the transaction. Material terms include but are not limited to the price, the closing date, the method and time of payment, and the deposit. For a contract to be valid, there must be a meeting of the minds between the parties on the material terms. I recommend that both buyers and sellers have an attorney review all contracts for purchase and sale. The most effective way to do...

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Condominium and Homeowner Associations: Changes in Florida Law

A vast majority of Floridians live in communities which are governed by condominium and homeowners associations. In July 2010, major changes became effective in the laws affecting these associations. As we speak, the legislature is considering additional statutory changes which could affect the interaction between property owners and these associations. The major changes implemented by the July 2010 legislation address the rights of associations to collect past due assessments. For example, associations can now collect past due assessments directly from tenants who occupy the property subject to unpaid assessments. Associations also now have the power to prohibit owners who are more...

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Short Sales in Florida & the Impact of Proposed Federal Legislation

When properties sell for less than the mortgage amount, this is called a short sale. Ten years ago, nobody was talking about short sales. This is because banks lent only eighty percent (80%) of the appraised value on property and properties values were stable or were increasing. Today, properties have decreased in value so that many are no longer worth even the 80% the banks loaned on them. To sell these properties, therefore, the owners must ask the lenders to accept a short sale. Proposed HR 6133 would require lenders to act promptly on short sale offers, and to either accept...

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Liquidated Damages Provisions Unenforceable: Alternatives

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Published: February, 2011 The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled that a liquidated damages provision similar to that found in the Florida Bar/Florida Association of Realtors Real Estate Contract (the “FAR/BAR Contract”) is unenforceable. The Court in Lefemine v. Baron, held that a liquidated damages clause will not be enforceable if the contract also gives the non-defaulting party the right to bring an action at law for accrual damages. The Court reasoned that providing for an option to seek accrual damages means that “the parties did not have the mutual intention to stimulate to a fixed amount as their liquidated damages in the...

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How To Avoid Losing Your Property In a Tax Deed Sale

INVESTORS BEWARE: HOW TO AVOID LOSING YOUR PROPERTY IN A TAX DEED SALE Many landowners who purchased real property during the years when real estate was the investment of choice are failing to pay the real estate taxes on those properties and are losing them at tax deed sales. Investors may forget about the payment of taxes on these properties and may not receive notice of tax deed sales. This is because notices of past due taxes are often sent to the property address. The property may be vacant land or may be occupied by tenants who do not forward these...

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