Real Estate Attorney with THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY

Last night I went to my first (and our area's first) ActiveRain member meeting.  For almost no publicity we had 35 brave souls venture out in the rain to meet mostly complete strangers - and we had a wonderful time seeing fellow bloggers. 

ActiveRain has been a boon to my business and recognition - for example, without ActiveRain the following article would never have included my interview with CNN-Money last week (Thank you Les Christie!) ---

You can link to the article at CNN.COM by clicking on CNN MONEY

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You can link to the article at CNN.COM by clicking on CNN MONEY

Many at the meeting had never signed up with AR or if they did, never bothered to find out how to blog or even set up their home page.  I always invite Realtors that come to my office or that I meet outside to become an AR member - but that is not enough - new members need to take advantage of the power of AR to reach important segments of their market effectively and timely.  This recognition from CNN Money is just one example of putting in some effort - and its FUN!

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 - FLORIDA BAR BOARD CERTIFIED IN REAL ESTATE LAW - We assist Brokers and Sellers with Short Sales and Modifications and Consult with Brokers and Sellers Nationwide!  New Website

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William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Keep telling them!

I may have to do more than click over CNN if they are now talking to people that know the subject.


Feb 03, 2010 03:55 AM #1
Maya Thomas, Broker
Tampa, FL
Please see my client recommendations.

All sellers in a short sale situation should have a lawyer represent them. 

Feb 03, 2010 06:02 AM #3
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Richard,  I am now having sellers email me this article, concerned!

Feb 03, 2010 09:22 AM #4
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Good article Richard. Certainly cause for concern. But what do you do? I agree with Dawn that the sellers are over a barrel. They're screwed if they do and screwed if they don't. Is BofA going to change the language in their letter? I doubt it. How about Chase? I doubt that too.

What if the seller is issued a 1099c? Can the lender still come after them? I have people tell me they can't but I don't believe it.

Maybe the lenders will sign up for HAFA and that will eliminate somne of these issues in the future.

Or better yet.....sellers can just make their payments.

Congrats on the well deserved recognition.

Feb 03, 2010 11:55 AM #6
Richard Zaretsky
THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY - West Palm Beach, FL
Florida Real Estate Attorney

Dawn -

I am not aware the FHA will not pursue deficiency judgments.  In fact the last information I am aware of is there commissioner letter instruction 89-14 which is just the opposite! 

Most lenders do not waive the deficiency in writing.  A borrower doing a short sale needs to consult with an accountant or better yet both an accountant and a qualified attorney to determine ALL alternatives available to the borrower.  "Doing a Short Sale" is not a simple process and there must be a PLAN A, a PLAN B, and maybe even a PLAN C.

Being able to afford an attorney to fight a deficiency is no reason at all in my opinion.  The truth is that if all that is left is a partially unpaid promissory note, there likely is no defense the borrower can interpose to defeat the obligation.  That is why advance planing is so important.

Feb 03, 2010 01:58 PM #7
Sanna K. Thomas
Sellstate Next Generation Realty - Ocala, FL
PA GRI, E-Pro, SFR, AHWD, LH Ocala Florida Luxury

Richard- Thanks for the great information. I have a strong belief that as a Realtor, giving advice on a short sale or deed in lieu is beyond my scope. I refer all of my short sales etc to an attorney. The usual response form the seller is,"I can't afford an attorney". My response is, "you can"t afford not to have an attorney."

CDPE or not, you are not an attorney. This is a huge legal matter that can and will follow the seller for a long time. My Red Flag is  that as a Realtor you are getting paid to sell the house and  negotiate the transaction with the bank. Getting paid to sell the home is one thing, being the negotiator is another. 

 In the future the seller may come back after the Realtor, when the bank pursues a deficiency. At which time the seller may have the money, to hire an attorney, to try to fight the judgment. I don't think that E&O insurance will cover thousands of short sales & foreclosures.

Jul 05, 2010 03:27 AM #9
John Flaniken
American Dream Realty- Broker Associate - Santa Cruz, CA
Realtor Santa Cruz Homes For Sale; Santa Cruz CA

We have been working with Chase and had full approval on the 1st loan (primary residence) but have been told they are unwilling to waive the deficiency.  The seller is not willing to proceed without the waiver.  We are in California, a non-recourse state, and there is really no reason for Chase to not put deficiency waiver verbage in the approval letter.

Does anyone have suggestions on how we can get the negotiator or the the negotiator's supervisor to agree to waive the deficiency? We haven't had much luck.

Jul 20, 2010 07:43 AM #10
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Richard Zaretsky

Florida Real Estate Attorney
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