florida real estate attorney: ASSOCIATION FORECLOSURES - FRAUDULENT NON-DISCLOSURE? - 07/16/18 04:25 AM
Homeowner, Condominium and Property Owner Associations have become much more active in proceeding to foreclosure sales on unpaid assessments than in years past.  The reason is the fierce competition for first mortgage foreclosures caused by the quantity of buyers and the relentless bidding by large real estate acquisition funds.  This has forced smaller - usually individual want-to-be foreclosure buyers to the smaller stakes association foreclosure segment of foreclosures.  The risk is typically only a few thousand to $50,000 and the rewards often look like 20 to 200 times the investment.
Many of these investors are self-taught or have "learned" by buying seminars and … (2 comments)

florida real estate attorney: Water Damage Affecting Condominium Homeowners – Who Is Responsible? - 04/12/18 06:56 AM
Here in South Florida a common Condominium water damage issue is who is responsible for water damage to a unit if the leak occurred in another unit or in a wall.  If one of the units touched by such misfortune is not covered by insurance, a huge nightmare can be the result for the owners or the Association.
There are two main factors at work in determining who is responsible for the damage.
First you determine where the leak originated. What is the source of the leak and where it is located?
Second you look to the Condominium (or Homeowner) documents.  Typically this is the declaration … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: SELLING A DECEASED RELATIVE'S HOUSE - 12/02/17 06:45 AM
What happens when a home is left to a child or other relative of a deceased parent or uncle or aunt or grandparent?  Who owns the house?  Can the house be sold?  Can the relative use it as their own?
These issues are always present.  The primary part of the issue that most people do not understand is the issue of ownership.  When an owner dies and there is a Last Will and Testament, just being named as the successor heir to the house does not transfer the title to the house.  If the house is to be sold - who sells … (17 comments)

Several association boards of directors have problems understanding the homeowner association lien rights and how the Florida “safe harbor” exemption to payment works. This article applies to when the investor makes a loan and then forecloses it and gets title at the foreclosure sale.
An important Florida case came out this past Spring that gives a good example.
Here there were two associations – the homeowner association and the community association. There was a foreclosure sale which was going to wipe out the liens of the associations.
The foreclosure action was filed by the lender (who was not the original lender that made the loan) … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: ASSOCIATION CANNOT CLAIM ASSESSMENTS WHILE IT IS THE OWNER - 06/13/16 01:38 PM
Under Florida real estate law the new owner is liable for the old past due assessments from the prior owner.  The typical facts are that the homeowner stopped paying the association and the mortgage. The association then forecloses first and often the association is the winning bid at their foreclosure sale for their lien.  But then the lender forecloses on its mortgage and there is a buyer at that mortgage foreclosure sale. Real Estate investors who purchase Florida condominiums or other association homes at real estate foreclosure sales now have been given guidance on their liability to the condominium association (or homeowner … (4 comments)

florida real estate attorney: YOUR EMAIL IS BEING WATCHED = YOUR CLIENTS VICTIMIZED : THE HACK STORY - 02/28/16 10:40 PM
There are people out there that are looking for your email address but they are neither buyers nor sellers.  Their goal is for YOU to help them steal money from YOUR client. They are thieves, crooks, scoundrels, terrorists, and intentioned with the worst of motives. Why do I know about this - I just saw it happen!!
Let’s say you are a real estate agent and you publish your email address on your website.  Everyone knows your email address – essentially when I say everyone, I mean anyone looking for a real estate agent could find you and your email address.  We all love for … (67 comments)

florida real estate attorney: TITLE INSURANCE REFERRAL KICKBACK SCHEME COSTS $200,000 - 10/21/14 01:10 PM
On September 30th the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - created under the sweeping Dodd Frank Act - showed it is continuing its campaign to penalize violations of kickback schemes in the real estate industry.
Citing illegal quid pro quo referral agreements as being a violation of RESPA, it sanctioned Lighthouse Title in Michigan for providing something of value to a person with an agreement or understanding that the person will refer real estate settlement services to the agency.  The CFPB stated in its news release that:
Lighthouse Title entered into marketing services agreements (MSAs) with various companies, including, for example, real … (48 comments)

florida real estate attorney: QUIET TITLE ACTIONS - STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS BECOMING IRRELEVANT - 04/25/14 10:33 PM
A district court of appeal this past week decided that acceleration of a note and mortgage can occur multiple times for different defaults, continuing the decision of sister courts that seems to fly in the face of logical reasoning according to many foreclosure defense attorneys.
In 5D12-3823 U.S. Bank v. Bartram, the 5th District Court of Appeal (one of five second tier appellate courts in the State of Florida), rendered a decision that essentially made the concept of quiet title based upon acceleration of the debt, irrelevant.
The Bartram case had the bank's foreclosure action … (23 comments)

florida real estate attorney: MORTGAGE DEBT RELIEF ACT - SET TO EXPIRE 2013 - REALTOR CALL TO ACTION - 11/30/13 09:56 PM
30 days to go until January 1, 2014 when forgiven debt from the disposition of a principal residence - exempted from income tax since the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 went into effect, will again become taxable.  This is not the first time this law has had to be revised for an extended date, and each time it was extended the extension occurred at the last minute – or even weeks after it expired. 
The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 generally allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage … (60 comments)

For those homeowners and former homeowners that did a “strategic default” or just ignored (OR ARE IGNORING) the mortgage foreclosure filed against their property, a strong wake-up call occurred last month when Fannie and Freddie were told to start collecting on these potential income sources to shore up their own financial condition – that means they need to get deficiency judgments from borrowers that walked away from their homes and collect on them!
Deficiency judgments are available in “recourse” states where a foreclosure occurred and the amount of the value of the property at the time of the foreclosure sale was … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: GRAND CANYON LOOPHOLE FOR TENANTS & LANDLORDS IN FORECLOSURE - 09/22/13 02:59 AM
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 clearly stated that any lease entered into AFTER the notice of foreclosure did not have the protection of the Act to allow the full lease term to run.  But the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act opened up the Grand Canyon of income generation loopholes for Landlords and some greater safety for Tenants involved in a foreclosure!
I talked about the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009  in my article Tenant Eviction Law and Foreclosure Problems back in 2009.  The most important portion of understanding that law for tenants and landlords … (8 comments)

What happens when the lender and the borrower agree to delay the foreclosure trial or delay the foreclosure sale because of a pending modification (as required under the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement) or short sale?  In too many Florida courts – the judge says NO and the borrower loses the home!  Florida Attorney General Pam Biondi sent a letter this week to the State Chief Judges to tell them that they could be violating – or frustrating the intent of the National Settlement Agreement.
“We have done our best to inform the courts about the requirements of the national mortgage servicing … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: WE LOST YOUR DOCUMENTS – LOAN MOD JUSTICE DONE - 06/29/13 12:21 PM
“We lost your documents”  - or, “the documents are now too old, you need to resubmit more recent documents” or worst of all, “We never received the documents we requested so we are closing the file”.  How I hate to hear these words.  We all know that most of the time we were being lied to – but all anyone could prove was incompetence.   Now newspapers have been reporting on how a Bank of America employee has spilled the beans on the bank’s encouragement of employees to undertake acts to delay and eventually deny loan modification applications even for borrowers that … (42 comments)

florida real estate attorney: NEW FLORIDA FORECLOSURE CHANGES – DOES IT AFFECT BROKER ADVICE? - 06/24/13 01:49 PM
If you have a client that has a just filed or soon to be filed residential foreclosure action in Florida, what new timelines can you expect under the new Florida Foreclosure Law?  Effective with all NEW lawsuits filed on or after July 1, 2013 the new streamlined foreclosure procedures law will govern how fast the lawsuit will proceed – or at least that is the theory behind the new law.  Reality can be quite something else.
Under the law as it existed before June 7, 2013 (the date Governor Scott signed the legislation) an uncontested or minimally contested foreclosure action could … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: FORECLOSURE BUYERS GET INTO BIG TROUBLE! - 09/07/11 03:42 AM

Is this becoming an epidemic?  Two foreclosure buyers in less than one week met with me for solutions to problems they discovered AFTER they purchased homes at a foreclosure sale.  The problem is that the foreclosure sale was attractive because the value of the property was far above the amount of the foreclosure judgment.  This is usually the case with the foreclosure of a homeowner / property owner or condominium association lien.

Unfortunately, the real scenario is usually not what the bidder expected.  This is the usual background -  The Association does not get paid its assessments and files … (57 comments)

florida real estate attorney: FEELS LIKE BACK IN 1938? WHEN ARE BANKS GOING TO LEND? - 08/19/11 01:33 AM
Now that you are awake this morning, have you wondered what it is with the banks and lending?  I'm not just talking about lending to homeowners so they can buy a home, but lending to the locally owned hardware store, or the new factory or office building that is needed but just can't get financing without the town floating a bond.
Europe this morning is wondering the same thing, with financial stocks being battered and calls to go back to - you guessed it - 1938 banking regulations.  What they are talking about is not DE-REGULATION, but LOOSENING of the REQUIRED … (3 comments)

florida real estate attorney: SHORT SALE OPPORTUNITIES LOST - THE PROCRASTINATING CLIENT - 05/14/11 04:40 AM
Short sale sellers and owners seeking a loan modification need legal representation sooner rather than later in the process.  I have used the example of the sand filled hour glass, with each grain of sand being an opportunity for financial planning, tax planning, strategy creation and fulfillment, and a solution to the financial distress of the seller.  As time goes on, the sand drops to the bottom, and is lost forever.  Often people come to see me with all the sand gone - and I just cannot help them - it's too late.
With very few … (4 comments)

florida real estate attorney: GMAC SUSPENDS FORECLOSURE OPERATIONS - JUDGMENTS MAY BE VOIDABLE - 09/21/10 02:11 AM
The Palm Beach Post reported today that GMAC has suspended all pending foreclosures nationwide because of a practice uncovered in Florida that could lead to VOIDABLE foreclosure judgments - thus creating havoc with foreclosure sales and REO sales.  The article, GMAC Suspends Foreclosure Evictions and Sales of Seized Property, cites the deposition taken by a Palm Beach County law firm that exposed the practice of affidavits regarding the verification of accuracy of a complaint and information about the loan being summarily signed in conveyor belt fashion. In the affidavits the signor is saying he or she has personal knowledge of the … (12 comments)

florida real estate attorney: SHORT SALE LENDER CANNOT REDUCE COMMISSION TO BROKER - 10/12/09 01:25 PM
One of the great drawbacks to a broker taking on a short sale listing is the fear and often the reality that the short sale lender will demand a reduction in the broker commissions.  This has created all sorts of contraptions to make the broker whole.
I have seen contracts that have inflated commissions designed to make the lender reduce it; I have seen deals to have the buyer guarantee the broker commission short fall.  There are more and some not yet invented - I wrote about one 2 years ago in BUYER AGENT REMORSE - PREVENT A COMMISSION REDUCTION ATTACK!  

florida real estate attorney: SHORT SALE AND LOAN MODIFICATION ARTICLES - TABLE OF CONTENTS - 07/14/09 11:27 PM
 Short Sale Loan Modification and Foreclosure Blog Articles A Periodic Listing of Articles
by Lawyer Richard Zaretsky
 ----------------------------------------------Be sure to contact your own attorney for your state laws, and always consult your own attorney on any legal decision you need to make.  This article is for information purposes and is not specific advice to any one reader.
Richard Zaretsky, Esq., RICHARD P. ZARETSKY P.A. ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1655 PALM BEACH LAKES BLVD, SUITE 900, WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA 33401, PHONE 561 689 6660  RPZ99@Florida-Counsel.com - FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED IN REAL ESTATE LAW - We assist Brokers and Sellers with Short Sales and … (19 comments)

Richard Zaretsky, Florida Real Estate Attorney (THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY) Rainmaker large

Richard Zaretsky

Florida Real Estate Attorney

West Palm Beach, FL

More about me…


Address: 1615 Forum Place, Suite 3A, West Palm Beach, Fl, 33401

Office: 5616896660 x 107

Mobile: (561) 329-2279

Email Me

Legal true life experiences, general observations and commentaries for Realtors, Lawyers and Mortgage Brokers - also see our Palm Beach County Short Sales group blog. var _clustrmaps = {'url' : 'http://activerain.com/rpzaretsky', 'user' : 949532, 'server' : '3', 'id' : 'clustrmaps-widget', 'version' : 1, 'date' : '2011-11-03', 'lang' : 'en', 'corners' : 'square' };(function (){ var s = document.createElement('script'); s.type = 'text/javascript'; s.async = true; s.src = 'http://www3.clustrmaps.com/counter/map.js'; var x = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; x.parentNode.insertBefore(s, x);})();




RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog