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.
Tampa HOA Attorney Explains Recent Florida Law Changes
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: July 08, 2014
There are new laws affecting homeowners’ associations in Florida. Specifically, HB 807 has been signed by the Florida governor and became law on July 1, 2014. As an HOA attorney in Tampa and Clearwater I am asked by homeowners associations and condo associations every week about the impact of the new Florida HOA laws. So I decided to share with my clients and friends a brief break down of the changes impacting community associations.
Certain Emergency Powers
Handicapped Individuals Access to HOA Board Meetings
Mailing Out Amendments to Governing Documents
Marketable Record Title Act
Why do I need an Attorney for a Short Sale?
by: Law Informer posted: March 17, 2014
What is a short sale?
So you want to sell our house but you owe more on your mortgage than what it is worth.
What is involved in a short sale?
First, the home needs to listed for sale with a Realtor. I always advise my clients to choose a Realtor with previous experience in selling properties involved in a short sale. You could be wasting valuable time by taking low ball offers, or not listing the property for what the correct fair market value is. This is where an experienced Realtor comes in. Fernandez Florida Law works with many experienced Realtors and investors to help make this process run more smoothly.
Next, a buyer is interested in the property and makes an offer. The bank stands in your shoes and has the authority to accept, reject or counter the offer. Once a contract for sale is signed, financial documents must be provided to the bank and a short sale negotiator is assigned to your file.
Why you should use a Short Sale Attorney:
The Short Sale Attorneys at Fernandez Florida Law in Clearwater and Tampa help homeowners through this difficult and timely process. Our firm will assist in obtaining all the required financial documents, uploading them to Equator and negotiate with your lender on obtaining an acceptable offer with a waiver of deficiency. When the bank approves a short sale, you must have an attorney review the approval letter as there are legal consequences involved in a short sale. You will also want to speak with an accountant to determine whether you will have any tax implications from a short sale.
Using an experience attorney to purchase a home in Tampa or Clearwater will save you headaches, time and money. Fernandez Florida Law can aid buyers in the closing process and review all legal closing documents to ensure clear title is provided and all documents are legal sufficient.
Real Estate Agent
Realtors that use an experienced real estate attorney at Fernandez Florida Law in Tampa for their short sale listings will save precious time. Obtaining short sale approval is time consuming and tedious. Realtors should focus their attention on what they do best - Selling homes
Questions about a short sale? Call Fernandez Florida Law 727-282-1910 with offices in Clearwater and Tampa to find the answers.
Bankruptcy Question of the Week: #2
How to Understand Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
by: Law Informer posted: February 17, 2014
Bankruptcy Chapter 7 versus Chapter 13
Deciding to file bankruptcy in Clearwater or Tampa can be a difficult decision. Many people face the option after a loss in income, home foreclosure, unemployment, underemployment, growing credit card debt of health problems. Filling for bankruptcy can reduce your financial stress and create a plan for a debt free future.
Deciding which type of bankruptcy to file should be a discussion between you and your bankruptcy attorney. Below are some guidelines to improve your understanding of yor bankruptcy options in Tampa Bay.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy usually is best suited for someone with a large amount of unsecured debt (credit cards and medical bills) It can be an option if your monthly expenses total more than your income. Although you may not qualify of your income is too high.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, sometimes called liquidation bankruptcy, limits the amount of property that you can keep but also limits your repayments. This option can be better if you don't have many assets like a home, stocks, and property. For more information read Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.
Chapter 13 can be a better idea if you make more money a month than you owe, if you owe the IRS, if your home is in foreclosure, if you have levies if you have larges amounts of secured debt. Secured debt can be a mortgage or auto loan, both have an item available for collateral, the lender can foreclose or repossess the item if the payments are not made. .
Chapter 13 sometimes called reorganization can allow you to keep make up payments to your house, property and vehicles. Your creditors will be paid in part of full with a monthly payment plan. Income above your monthly expenses will do toward your creditors for 3 to 5 years with most unsecured debt discharged at the end. For more information read Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Deciding on bankruptcy filling options are problems the attorneys at Fernandez Florida Law handle everyday. Call 813.412.5605 or email to set up a time to discuss your bankruptcies options and reduce your financial stress. We offer 2 convenient bankruptcy consultation locations in Tampa and Clearwater Florida.
Bankruptcy Question of the Week: What is the Purpose of Bankruptcy?
by: Law Informer posted: February 17, 2014
Bankruptcy Question of the Week: What is the Purpose of Bankruptcy?
Bankruptcy gives a person or couple with a considerable amount of unmanageable debt the option of relieving some of their financial stress. Federal Bankruptcy laws were created to help people faced with harassing creditors; overdue loans, past due medical bills and growing debt to obtain a fresh start. The laws were created to help individuals and businesses manage their debt and rebuild their financial burdens in the future rather than face a lifetime of compounding debt.
Many individuals face bankruptcy in Tampa after a job loss, medical or disability issue, injury, vehicle repossession and foreclosure. Often harrassing telephone calls from bill collectors and past due notices for over due bills, the stress can be overwhelming and cause anxiety. Bankruptcy can be a difficult decision to make, but a viable option to resolve these issues. It stops creditors from calling and allows to start fresh, and rebuild your credit.
Using an experienced bankruptcy attorney will help you understand your options. Deciding on which chapter bankruptcy to file, what assets are exempt from creditors and the documentation needed to file bankruptcy are all important information a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney will assist you with. Expert legal advice is critical when determining the future of your financial stability.
Call Fernandez Florida Law today at 813-412-5605 and speak with one of our Bankruptcy Attorneys in our Tampa or Clearwater office. Our attorneys are fluent in English and Spanish to assist its clients make the right decisions regarding the filing of a bankruptcy.
Next Topic: – Understanding Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Tampa Foreclosure Trends
Poster Profile:Name: Marielis
by: Marielis posted: December 27, 2013
Each month the number of foreclosures in Tampa decreases. Unfortunately, Florida is still the top state in the U.S. for the most foreclosed properties in the country. When compared to 2011 and 2012, the housing market in Tampa showed an increase in sale prices and property values. However, hundreds of homeowners in Tampa are still behind on mortgage payments and are facing foreclosure without help.
Many Tampa homeowners are, for the most part, underwater, meaning they have negative equity or are upside down on their mortgage. The terms "underwater," "negative equity," and "upside down" all mean the same thing: that a home is worth less than what is owed on the mortgage. According to recent statistics, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater homeowners ranked second out of the twenty five largest metropolitan areas with negative equity, at almost 34%, which is just behind Miami, at 36.5%.
Last quarter, RealtyTrac announced that the average length of a foreclosure in Tampa, Florida was 2.5 years. On a positive note, recently, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties enacted stricter loan documentation requirements that banks must meet prior to foreclosing on properties, which provides homeowners more assurance that their legal rights will be protected prior to foreclosure.
Homeowners should be aware that they have numerous options available to them prior to a bank foreclosure sale at auction. Do you need a Foreclosure Attorney in Tampa? Do you want a skilled attorney to help you with a Loan Modification? Are you in Tampa, St. Petersburg, or Clearwater and need to know what pre-foreclosure options might help you?
The experienced foreclosure attorneys at Fernandez Florida Law can help answer questions and they will provide assistance with your foreclosure concerns. With offices in Tampa and Clearwater, the attorneys at Fernandez Florida Law help homeowners throughout Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties stay in their homes and fight against bank foreclosures. Fernandez Florida Law attorneys are also able to assist you in negotiating a short sale, filing for bankruptcy, or in finding the best foreclosure defense option for your particular situation.
Understanding Foreclosure in Tampa
by: Law Informer posted: December 09, 2013
Many people currently fear foreclosure in Tampa. Understanding the process and how a Foreclosure Attorney can help is the first step. The entire process from the first missed payment to foreclosure can take months even years. Our Tampa Foreclosure Attorneys want you to understand the process to help you feel empowered to make the right decision for your home and family.
First Missed Payment: Many banks will allow a 10-day grace period for a late payment. After that time they usually start to tack on late fees to your mortgage payment. A missed payment notice will follow with instructions to send the payment right away. The late payment may impact your credit score, but your home is fine as long as the payment is made. Keeping in contact with your mortgage lender at this point may help.
Pre-foreclosure: After a few missed payments you will receive a letter from the lender, either a: Demand Letter, Notice to Accelerate of Notice of Default. The letter will include the amount that your mortgage is delinquent, the time frame that you have to rectify the situation and that the bank will be forced to take further measures including foreclosure if the payment is not made. After you receive this letter the bank is unlikely to accept less than the total amount without arrangements being made. You still have time to work something out with your lender. Contact one of our Foreclosure Attorneys to find out how.
Foreclosure Notice: If your mortgage lender is not satisfied with your response to the Notice of Default. The next step is a Foreclosure Notice. The foreclosure notice informs you that the bank has initiated foreclosure legal proceedings, it will details the amount that you owe and contact information for the lender’s attorney. In Florida the lender must sue the borrower and obtain a court order to foreclose, this can take months to finalize. Find out how our Foreclosure Attorneys can help.
Reinstatement Period: You have 20 days to file a response with the court about your foreclosure. Tampa foreclosure hearings are held at the 13th Judicial Circuit Court in downtown Tampa. When you file an answer this gives you an opportunity to present your side to a judge at a hearing. This may also delay the foreclosure. If an answer is not filed the lender’s attorney will file a motion with the court to declare summary judgment. Other options available at this time could include a loan modification or short sale. Find out about Short Sales and Loan Modifications from our Foreclosure Attorneys.
Foreclosure: After the hearing, if the judge declares summary judgment then your home become the bank’s property. The bank may sell your foreclosed house or hold onto the property. Our foreclosure Attorneys in Clearwater and Tampa can discuss your options.
Eviction: An eviction notice will be served to the property soon after the judgment or if the property is sold. If you do not vacate the foreclosed house the Sheriff may evict you and remove your possessions. Call or email our Foreclosure Lawyers to find out your options.
Foreclosure in Tampa and Clearwater occurs everyday. If you are behind in mortgage payment and have questions on what to do contactour law offices in Tampa or Clearwater to find out if a Foreclosure Attorney can help.
Medical Bankruptcy in Tampa
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: November 21, 2013
Bankruptcy may be an option in Tampa for those faced with mounting medical bills after an unexpected illness or injury that they cannot afford to pay. Unfortunately this is a trend not only in Florida, but also across the US. Over 60% of bankruptcies are filed as a result of medical bills.
Personal Bankruptcy from unpaid medical bills will impact an estimated one million people in the US this year. If you are in this situation, you are not alone, as 15,000 is our estimate of the number people filing for unpaid medical bill bankruptcy in Tampa alone. Many situations start when a medical catastrophe occurs. Then, in order to pay for healthcare services, prescriptions, tests and procedures, credit cards come into use. This results in unmanageable credit card debt, other bills not being paid and short falls when it comes to mortgage payments.
Individuals without insurance face major difficulties. They are unable to negotiate the cost of medical service like an insurance company, and the bills escalate quickly. Many are forced to go uncovered due to the skyrocketing costs of being self-insured with a pre-existing medical condition. The Affordable Care Act attempts to improve these numbers, but for many it is too late.
Many people wonder how their finances could suffer so much after an illness considering they had health insurance. Many healthcare plans today offer large deductibles, co-payments and only cover a percent of the medical services provided. A leading healthcare advocacy company predicts 10 million individuals with insurance will have medical bills that they cannot afford.
If you are facing a mountain of unpaid medical bills, bankruptcy may be a solution. We have bankruptcy attorneys available to discuss your options and help you decide the best course of action to take for your situation. The Clearwater and Tampa Attorneys of Fernandez Florida Law offer free consultations to give you the options you deserve to conquer your medical bills.
When calling our office, you will speak to Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer or Attorney Marielis Rivera. If you call after hours, all calls are returned within 24 hours. 813-412-5605. Press 1 for English; presione 2 para español. To reach our Clearwater office, call 727-282-1910. Press 1 for English; presione 2 para español.