How Are the New Foreclosure Laws Impacting Florida?
by: Law Informer posted: September 23, 2014
Florida topped the list of everything negative pertaining to the housing bubble: mortgage fraud, foreclosures and lengthy court waits for foreclosure proceedings. This has spelled more turbulence in the housing market, a lingering property value recovery, and uncertainty for homeowners.
The average foreclosure time in Clearwater and most of Florida is almost two and a half years. Florida passed House Bill 87, referred to as the Florida Fair Foreclosure Act last year. Governor Rick Scott signed it with the intent to speed up the foreclosure court proceeding. Florida still has the largest back log of foreclosed properties in the country and one of the longest times to foreclosure. The dockets in foreclosure courts in Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Broward counties are full. Numerous special judicial appointments were made to hear the backlog of cases with some judges hearing over 50 cases a day.
Opinions of the Florida foreclosure law have been mixed. The law aims to speed up the foreclosure process, now any lien holder can request a more rapid trial process giving the homeowner less time to attempt a short sale or negotiate a loan modification. It also make the foreclosure lawsuit final, any attempt to set aside or challenge the final judgment is reduced to financial damages. Even if the case was fraudulent, the foreclosure judgment still holds if the lender meets a few stipulations.
A victim of a fraudulent foreclosure in Tampa or anywhere in Florida will not get their home back if: the homeowner was properly served, the final judgment was entered, the appeals time has run out and the home was purchased by someone not related to the lender or former homeowner.
The law does benefit Tampa homeowners facing foreclosure by requiring lenders to produce the original promissory note. It also reduces the statute of limitations of a deficiency judgment from 5 years to 1 year.
Hiring a foreclosure lawyer in Tampa when faced with a pending lawsuit can shed light on your options.
If you want to fight the foreclosure the Foreclosure Attorney at Fernandez Florida Law can:
- Create a foreclosure defense
- Negotiate with the Lender for a loan modification
- Work on a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure
- Negotiate with homeowners associations and condo associations with liens against your property
If you want to proceed with the foreclosure the Foreclosure Lawyer at Fernandez Florida Law can:
- Negotiate the deficiency judgment to reduce the amount that you owe
- Explain bankruptcy options for debt relief
Facing a foreclosure or considering a short sale? Contact Fernandez Florida Law with offices in Tampa and Clearwater, we can help you navigate through a foreclosure and help provide solutions. Contact our Tampa Foreclosure Attorney at 813-412-5605, our Pinellas Foreclosure Attorney at 727-282-1910 or by email .
Short Sale or Foreclosure?
A Tough Decision
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: September 08, 2014
Many homeowners in Tampa, and the entire State of Florida, are behind on their mortgage payments or underwater on their property value. Tampa Foreclosure defense Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer can help struggling homeowners determine the best resolution for those faced with foreclosure or properties with negative equity.
Trying to sell your home when the outstanding mortgage balance to the bank exceeds the property value is very difficult. When you are underwater or upside down on your mortgage, facing a potential foreclosure, can no longer afford to make your mortgage payments, or need to move out of your home in order to lower your monthly living expenses, then a short sale may be an option.
To qualify for a short sale the bank will require that you demonstrate a financial hardship: loss of income, divorce, increased financial burdens, medical issues, etc.
Our experienced Tampa short sale attorney can explain the options that you have available and negotiate directly with your lender, a feasible short sale approval with a deficiency waiver. Normally it is within the best interest of both parties (you and the bank) to complete a short sale than have a foreclosure judgment entered. With a short sale, the bank avoids a lengthy and costly court battle, and it will recoup a portion of the debt owed on the property prior to the foreclosure sale. It will also be quicker to short sale the property then to risk the continuing depreciation of value on the property to locate a new potential buyer.
The benefits to the homeowner can vary depending on your circumstances. A short sale versus a foreclosure allows for easier credit repair, normally a deficiency waiver under one of the federal short sale programs and the avoidance of a foreclosure judgment on your credit.
Facing a foreclosure or considering a short sale? Contact Fernandez Florida Law with offices in Tampa and Clearwater, we can help you navigate through the complex legal process of foreclosure and help provide solutions. Contact our Tampa Foreclosure Attorney at 813-412-5605, our Pinellas Foreclosure Attorney at 727-282-1910 or by email .
Tampa Foreclosure Attorney Nicki Fernandez Celebrates a Win
by: Law Informer posted: August 13, 2014
Yesterday Tampa Foreclosure Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer of Fernandez Florida Law, PA. celebrated another win for a homeowner at the Hillsborough County Courthouse. Nicki forced the bank to dismiss its foreclosure case after four years of harassment against her clients for wrongful foreclosure.
If you believe you have been wrongfully foreclosed, contact our firm for a free consultation.
Also if you are facing foreclosure, considering a short sale, interested in a loan modification Fernandez Florida Law with offices in Tampa and Clearwater can help you navigate through the complex legal process and provide solutions. Contact our office at 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough, 727-282-1910 in Pinellas or by email .
Have You Received a Letter From Dyck O’Neal About A Past Foreclosure?
Our Tampa Foreclosure Attorney May Be Able To Help
by: Law Informer posted: August 13, 2014
Many individuals in Tampa and Clearwater have received letters in the mail from Dyck O’Neal and other companies about mortgage deficiencies from their past foreclosure. You need to take these letters seriously.
Why is the Bank coming after me now?
After recent law changes banks that had a foreclosure judgment against a homeowner any time prior to June 30th, 2013 had until July 1st, 2014 to file a deficiency lawsuit. According to Florida Law after July 1, 2014 a deficiency judgment suit has be filed against the homeowner within one year after a foreclosure judgment.
What is a deficiency Claim or Judgment?
A deficiency is the difference between the total balance owed to the bank minus the fair market value of your home as of the date of the foreclosure auction or sale. The bank that held your mortgage or a third party debt collector (Dyck O’Neal) that buys the deficiency debt can file a deficiency claim in court. Years after your foreclosure judgment they can attempt to collect. If they succeed with the deficiency claim in court you could be faced with a deficiency judgment owing tens of thousands of dollars.
Who is Dyck O’Neal?
This Texas based debt collection company started buying deficiency from banks in 1988, filing hundreds of deficiency lawsuits in Florida this year.
They claim to be ‘The leading nationwide purchaser, collector and servicer of real estate loans since 1988’. Rather than file the lawsuits and incur the costs themselves banks sell the deficient accounts to Dyck O’neal and other collections agencies for a fraction of the debt. They are experienced, ruthless and will use aggressive techniques to collect.
Why should you need to take this seriously?
If you are sued for a deficiency judgment after a foreclosure by Dyck O’Neal or another collection agency, you will be required to repay those funds. This deficiency judgment could exceed $100,000 depending on the amount of your loan. They could then collect monies from you by garnishing your wages, repossession of your car or boat, cease your bank accounts, take your property or liquidate your assets, even seize your tax refund.
What can a Foreclosure Attorney do to assist you?
You may have legal defense options available against a deficiency claim. One defense is the statute of limitations in which to bring the action against you. Our lawyers will research all possible avenues to resolve your case. If a strong defense is not available then we will offer to settle the deficiency for a discounted amount, potentially saving you thousands. If you have no funds to settle, then bankruptcy may be an option to discharge the debt.
Don’t wait! Contact a Tampa Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Attorney at Fernandez Florida Law today to fight a deficiency claim against you. For more information - email or call 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas..
Lunch And Learn - CLEs for Property Managers at Ameri-Tech
Sponsored by Clearwater Community Association Attorney at Fernandez Florida Law, P.A.
by: Law Informer posted: July 31, 2014
Property Manager CLEs
Condo and HOA Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer provided CLE credits to Florida property managers Friday at Ameri-Tech Property Management in Clearwater. The law firm of Fernandez Florida Law, with office in Tampa and Clearwater, sponsored a Lunch and Learn to provide property managers at Ameri-Tech Community Management, the opportunity to learn about the financial impacts on community associations in this ever changing real estate market. The CLE also provided managers with critical information on how to assist their communities generate revenues with a real estate market that is still recovering, along with recent changes to Florida Laws that impact their community associations.
Everyone left the lunch with a greater understanding of the legal obligations of property managers in Florida. Nikki J. Rushka, Staff Accountant at Ameri-Tech Community Management, stated “Everyone thought it was great and is talking about how informative the Session was.”
Fernandez Florida Law Provides a wide spectrum of legal services to condominium associations, homeowners associations, property management firms and master associations. Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer assists association boards and their management companies with preparing for and conducting board meetings; answering questions about documents and the pertinent law; enforcing the covenants and restrictions and; drafting and negotiating contracts for provision of services. She provides individual attention, fast responses and reasonable charges per service to all of her community association clients.
Do your Property Managers Need CLEs? Does your HOA in Clearwater or Condo Association in Tampa need a new attorney? Contact Fernandez Florida Law for more information - email or 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas.
No More HOA Declarations Under the Marketable Record Title Act
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: July 25, 2014
The recent Florida HOA laws changes to the Marketable Record Title Act in HB 807 removes the requirements to publish the revised HOA’s declaration in the newspaper.
Marketable Record Title Act: “MRTA” is a critical statute for HOA’s because after thirty years, it extinguishes an HOA’s declaration. Section 712.05 of the Marketable Record Title Act was amended regarding technical notice and publications. The new law clarifies that after MRTA paperwork revitalizing the HOA covenants is recorded, it is not required to publish notice in the newspaper.
Has your Home Owners Association updated their covenants and restrictions after 30 years? Does your HOA Board know the requirements under MRTA on how to file your public record? Our HOA and Condo Association Attorney in Clearwater or Tampa can help. Call Fernandez Florida Law for the individual attention that your community association deserves from a local HOA lawyer .
email or 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas
Did Your HOA Board Properly File and Send Their Association's Amendments?
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: July 25, 2014
Tampa HOA Attorney, Nicki Asmer Fernandez, explains the new Amendments to Governing Documents recent law changes for condo boards and HOA boards in Florida.
Mailing Out Amendments to Governing Documents: The current law requires that within thirty days after recording an amendment to the homeowners or condo association’s governing documents, the association must mail copies of the recorded amendments to all its members.
Under the new law, if a copy of the proposed amendment was provided to the members before they voted to pass the amendment, and the proposed amendment was not changed before the vote, the association may provide written notice that the amendment was adopted.
However, this notice must identify the official book and page number of the instrument recorded in public records with the Clerk of Court. The notice should also state that a copy of the actual recorded amendment is available at no charge to the member upon written request to the association. The notice and copies of the recorded amendment can be provided via e-mail to those members that consent to receive notices electronically.
To make sure you HOA amendments were filed and distributed properly call 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough, 727-282-1910 in Pinellas or email Tampa Condo Association Attorney Nicki Asmer at Fernandez Florida Law.
What Does the Official Records Rules Mean to HOA and Condo Boards in Florida?
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: July 15, 2014
This is always a hot topic for debate with Community Boards and HOA Attorneys.
Official Records: Section 720.303(5) of the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act (the “Act”) has been amended. It states that an association may print and distribute a directory containing the name, parcel address, and telephone numbers for each parcel owner. However, an owner may exclude their telephone numbers from the directory if requested in writing to the association. An owner may also consent, in writing, to disclosing other “protected” information, such as e-mail addresses.
How does your Condo or HOA board adhere to the law? Are property owners aware of their rights and how to address them? To make sure your HOA board is acting in accordance with the law contact our Tampa or Clearwater HOA lawyer at 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough, 727-282-1910 in Pinellas or email.
Are Your FL HOA Board Meetings Accessible to Everyone?
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: July 15, 2014
Nicki Asmer Fernandez, Tampa HOA Attorney, explains the new Florida Handicapped Individuals Access to HOA Board Meetings Law.
Handicapped Individuals Access to HOA Board Meetings: This new law does not apply to condominium or cooperative associations. Sections 720.303(2)(a) and 720.306(1)(a) of the Act has been amended in that board meetings must be held at locations that are accessible to individuals who are physically handicapped. This only requirement is mandatory only if a request is made by a handicap person.
Has your Homeowners Association had a request for accessibility? Is your HOA Board able to accommodate a request? Need an HOA attorney in Tampa or Clearwater to review your requests? Contact Fernandez Florida Law by calling 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough, 727-282-1910 in Pinellasor email us to talk to our Community Association Lawyer.
Tampa HOA Attorney Explains Certain Emergency Powers Florida Law Changes
by: Law Informer posted: July 08, 2014
Homeowners’ Associations in Clearwater, Tampa and the entire State of Florida need to be prepared for the new laws affecting them. HB 807 signed by the Governor Scott became law on July 1, 2014. Tampa HOA Attorney Nicki Fernandez wanted to explain to her homeowner’s association clients in Pinellas, Hillsborough about Section 720.316 Certain Emergency Powers.
Certain Emergency Powers: HB 807 Section 720.316 has been added to the Act granting “emergency powers” after catastrophic events. These powers include the authority to implement a disaster plan that may include turning off utilities, and taking action to lessen additional destruction to the community after a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane or other natural disaster.
Our Clearwater HOA Attorney can explain and help your condo board or HOA board understand their obligations under the law and how this will impact the community association. All Homeowners association in Tampa Bay should be prepared for Hurricane season, Florida’s west coast waterfront and coastal properties’ HOAs especially need to have a disaster plan. Call 813-412-5605 or 727-282-1910 or email to talk to a Condo Association Attorney in Tampa or Clearwater.