Awarded the Best HOA Law Firm 2015 by the FCAJ
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: December 21, 2014
Fernandez Florida Law is pleased to have been voted the Best Law Firm of 2015 by the Florida Community Association Journal.
The entire legal and office team is honored by the award recognizing our work with HOA's and Condo Associations in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
The FCAJ award is presented to Condo Associations and HOA service providers that demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve, an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity.
We look forward to receiving our award at the Florida Community Association’s Education & Expo at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on January 15, 2015.
Fernandez Florida Law’s Condo Association and HOA Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer prides herself in providing legal representation to Condo Association and HOAs with offices in Tampa and Clearwater. Our firm provides individual attention with reasonable pricing. Fernandez Florida Law assists association boards and their management companies with preparing for and conducting board meetings; answering questions about documents and Florida law; enforcing the covenants and restrictions and; drafting and negotiating contracts for provision of services.
Don’t Let Your Condo Association End Up in the Dog House
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: December 21, 2014
Many Condo Association and Homeowner Associations in Tampa and Clearwater have pet restrictions within their community's covenants. Some community associations restrict all pets, while others limit by size or certain dog breeds. Just because a community limits pets, this may not exclude certain animals from residing in their building or community.
Pet restrictions can be enforced, as long as the animal is only a pet and not used for any medical reasons. Questions can arise with boards when faced with a resident that acquires or moves in with an animal. Depending on how the HOA or Condo Board proceeds, the situation could have significant financial consequences.
When faced with an animal in a residence the association board needs to be aware of the law and rules governing the situation. FHA requires exemptions to these rules in certain medical situations. The two federally covered classes of animals are service animals and emotional support animals. It is vital that your board understands the definitions and requirement for both cases.
Service animals are usually dogs, but sometimes small horses, that have received training to provide a specific service or benefit to someone with a disability. Service animals must be allowed under the Americans with Disability Act to accompany people with disabilities in public places and reside in their residence.
Emotion support dogs provide comfort. They do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disability Act, but are covered under the FHA. They can be restricted from public places that don’t allow pets, but are allowed to live in no-pet housing. An HOA or condo association can request medical necessity documentation for an emotional support dog.
Animal owners in Florida have successfully sued boards and respective members over service and support animals. Consulting with your HOA Attorney before making a determination about an animal in a no pet community could save the boards a legal battle and a potently hefty judgment.
The Clearwater and Tampa HOA Firm of Fernandez Florida Law is experienced with pet and service animal issues. Call Fernandez Florida Law for the individual attention that your community association deserves from an experienced lawyer. Email or call to discuss 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough County or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas County to schedule a consultation.
On Our Way to the Coliseum
For The West Florida Property Managers Expo
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: November 06, 2014
Fernandez Florida Law is on their way to the Coliseum in St. Petersburg for the Property Managers Expo West Florida event on November 12th from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
This exciting expo will feature over 75 vendors with business focusing on community association, HOAs, condo associations, property managers and property owners. It will offer the opportunity to meet qualified Florida state-wide vendors and professional service organizations providing information about their companies. Seminars and educational opportunities will be offered including: pool heating, Community Board Certification, Concrete and Hurricane Claims.
If something funny happens on your way to the Coliseum stop by Booth 20 in the South West Corner of the Property Managers Expo and meet Tampa HOA Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer of Fernandez Florida Law to find out the details. She will be discussing the benefits of hiring a HOA law firm dedicated to individual attention for every HOA and Condo Association client with reasonable pricing.
Can’t make it to the Coliseum? Contact the HOA Law Firm Fernandez Florida Law at 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas or by email .
Q: Who’s Your Favorite HOA & Condo Association Attorney in Tampa and Clearwater?
A: Fernandez Florida Law
by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: November 06, 2014
Fernandez Florida Law has been nominated for best law firm of 2015 in the Florida Community Association Journal. The entire Legal and office team is excited about the opportunity to be recognized for our work with Home Owners and Condo Associations in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
The FCAJ award is presented to Condo Association and HOA service providers that demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity. The winners will be announced at the Florida Community Association’s Education & Expo at the Palm Beach County Convention Center on January 15, 2015.
HOA and Condo Association Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer of Fernandez Florida Law prides herself in providing legal representation to Condo Association and HOAs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, focusing on individual attention with reasonable pricing. Fernandez Florida Law assists association boards and their management companies with preparing for and conducting board meetings; answering questions about documents and Florida law; enforcing the covenants and restrictions and; drafting and negotiating contracts for provision of services.
Condo Association Lawyer Nicki Fernandez Asmer also believes education is instrumental when for everyone in the community association arena. The firm created a law blog and sends frequent emails to educate HOA and condo board members about the latest law changes and legal rulings impacting their Florida communities.
HOA Attorney Asmer also realizes the importance of property managers in Tampa Bay understanding their legal responsibilities, so she became certified in offering property managers CLEs. She recently offered a Lunch and Learn opportunity for the Tampa Bay property managers of Ameri-Tech Property Management in Clearwater.
The annual award is tabulated by votes at the FLCAJ website, so please show your support for Fernandez Florida Law in the Legal Services category. If you are not a property manager or board member, please choose “other” when voting. Thanks much for your support and wish us luck!
Vote for Fernandez Florida Law here!
Is your HOA or Condo Association in need a an experienced law firm that provides prompt and individual attention? Call Fernandez Florida Law with office in Tampa and Clearwater Florida 813-412-5605 in Hillsborough or 727-282-1910 in Pinellas or by email .
Tampa Foreclosed Home Owners - Heard about the Great Securitization Swindle?
Poster Profile:Name: BityBit
Brittany is a child of the internet. Her early days of multi-tasking included IMing, texting and blogging at the same time. Now her tasks still involve blogging, but chasing around two muchins has been added to the list.
by: BityBit posted: November 06, 2014
I was recently retained by a client who had a mortgage foreclosure case, where the original lender was America’s Wholesale Lender. I’d never heard of this lender and did some research on the internet (not legal research) to determine whether this was a legitimate lender. Something just didn’t seem right. The note and mortgage were supposedly transferred to Countrywide Mortgage and then Bank of America.
I stumbled upon hundreds of articles regarding securitization scandals orchestrated by Countrywide over the last decade. It appears Countrywide falsely created 3.5 million loans at the taxpayers expense, which blows my mind because it was such a simple, yet undetected scam that went on for so long.
In 2003, Countrywide tried to dominate the housing boom, but they needed a way to get around the licensing fees in each state, corporate taxes, and regulatory costs required to business. That's when the Securitization Swindle was born. Rather than becoming licensed and registered in every state, they created the trade name (DBA) "America's Wholesale Lender," and registered in every state. They hoped this would slide under the radar of the regulators and collect billions of dollars in loan fees. Their plan worked and nobody realized that America's Wholesale Lender wasn't a registered or licensed corporation to do business in their State. Countrywide went on to make 3.5 million loans across every state in the country under the DBA "America's Wholesale Lender".
However, a DBA such as America's Wholesale Lender is not a legal entity and cannot own property, file lawsuits, or hold a security interests. Some local regulators started to catch on and refused to record the loans because the lender was only a DBA and wasn't licensed in the state.
Countrywide then decided to commit more fraud by listing the lender on their mortgages as "America's Wholesale Lender, a Corporation organized and existing under the Laws of New York". They resubmitted the loans and it went through without a problem. No one realized that America's Wholesale Lender wasn't actually a registered corporation or lender.
Instead of selling the loans to a securitized trust per pooling agreements, Bank of America (BOA) now controlled them. BOA was collecting the payments and foreclosing on loans even though it never owned or funded any of the actual loans.
In 2008, the matter was brought it to the attention of the US District Court, alleging that BOA was foreclosing on loans that it didn't own, and that the loans were made by a corporation that BOA didn't hold an interest in. The District Court dismissed the case as irrelevant and BOA continued with the fraud.
Bank of America immediately tried to prevent AWLI from making claims on their loans. They got MERS to create an assignment on behalf of AWLI to send a loan to Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank, or US Bank. Like in my client’s case, the Plaintiff bank attached the assignment to its foreclosure complaint, hoping to push the case through to foreclosure sale without anyone noticing. My client had been in foreclosure since 2012 without anyone raising suspicion of the issue involved.
Here’s the really annoying part: These fraudulent loans have been repaid with taxpayer money in the TARP bailout, as well as by the insurance companies who insured these supposedly securitized trusts.
With the right legal team on your side, these homeowners can get the justice they rightfully deserve.
If you know anyone with a loan from America's Wholesale Lender or facing foreclosure from other mortgage lenders, contact our Tampa Foreclosure Attorney at 813-412-5605 or email. Our experienced foreclosure lawyer, with offices in Tampa and Clearwater, and team specialize in exposing exactly this sort of fraud. Our Attorney has the leverage to get the banks negotiating on our terms. It doesn't matter if the homeowner has already been foreclosed on, we still might be able to help.
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.