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Why do I need an Attorney for a Short Sale?

by: Law Informer posted: March 17, 2014

Why do I need an Attorney for a Short Sale?

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.

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Bankruptcy Question of the Week: #2

How to Understand Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

by: Law Informer posted: February 17, 2014

Guy with head in hands at Fernandez Florida law Lawyer in Tampa, FL

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

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

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.

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Filed Under Tags:  Bankruptcy News

Bankruptcy Question of the Week: What is the Purpose of Bankruptcy?

by: Law Informer posted: February 17, 2014

Fernandez Florida Law - Bankrupcty Attorneys Tampa & Clearwater

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.

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Filed Under Tags:  Bankruptcy News

Tampa Foreclosure Trends

by: Marielis posted: December 27, 2013

Tampa Foreclosure Trends from Fernandez Florida Law

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.  

Contact Fernandez Florida Law at 813-412-5605, fill in our Confidential Contact Form or email us to review your choices in the New Year.

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Filed Under Tags:  Foreclosure News

Understanding Foreclosure in Tampa

by: Law Informer posted: December 09, 2013

Understanding Foreclosure in Tampa

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.



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Filed Under Tags:  Foreclosure News

Medical Bankruptcy in Tampa

  • Niurka F. Asmer, Esq.

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by: Niurka F. Asmer, Esq. posted: November 21, 2013

Medical Bankruptcy in Tampa Info from Fernandez Florida Law

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.

You can also email the office at or just fill in the Contact Form and Fernandez Florida Law will help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

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Filed Under Tags:  Bankruptcy News

Tampa Attorney Nicki Fernandez on the Real Estate Quarterback Show This Saturday

by: Marielis posted: October 24, 2013

Tampa Attorney Nicki Fernandez on the Real Estate Quarterback Show This Saturday

Fernandez Florida Law is excited to announce that consumer protection attorney, Nicki Fernandez Asmer, will be the featured guest on The Real Estate Quarterback Show starting this Saturday, October 26th, 2013. Tampa Attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer will discuss short sales, loan modifications and foreclosure options. She also explains the Mortgage Debt Relief Act and how it may affect your tax liability in 2014. Other topics being covered include loan modification success rates in bankruptcy court, new laws affecting the speed of foreclosures, and how a short sale can get you cash for keys.

The Real Estate Quarterback Show is a radio program on Clearchannel’s WHNZ 1250 AM and it is hosted by Real Estate agent, Brandon Rimes. His weekly talk radio show features questions and answers with local Real Estate, mortgage and business experts in Tampa Bay. A few politicians have also joined the Saturday 1 - 2 pm program to discuss the Tampa / St. Petersburg Real Estate climate, including Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, Bob Henriquez, and Bill Foster, who is the Mayor of St. Petersburg, FL.

The dedicated attorneys of Fernandez Florida Law, with offices in Tampa and Clearwater, have extensive experience in not only short sales and loan modifications, but all aspects of Real Estate law.  Combined with their years of helping local families through bankruptcy, these Tampa Bay attorneys are equipped to offer the best solutions when faced with foreclosure. For questions about foreclosure, loan modifications, or short sales, call to talk to an attorney at 813-412-5605.

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Filed Under Tags:  News and Events

Condo Commandos

by: Marielis posted: October 13, 2013

HOA Board of Directors Putting Their Heads Together with Fernandez Florida Law

I am often approached by various members of HOA and Condominium Boards around Tampa Bay who are unhappy with other Board Members and want to have them removed.  There is normally a difference of opinion or a Condo Board Member who is acting beyond the course and scope of their role as a member of the Board.  As I would normally call them the “Condo Commandos.”

Florida Statute 718 and 720 have provided for many years that removing a member of the Board of Directors from office, which is also called a “recall,” can only be done by a vote of a majority of the entire voting interests . . . not just a majority of those who vote.  The laws have been amended a few times over the past decade to permit removal of HOA or Condo Board Members for other reasons, including for reasons pertaining to financial delinquency and felony convictions.

Recently, there have been changes to the Florida statute in 2013, which are technical in nature, and designed to close a loophole in the law, which involves what is known as a “reverse recall.”  Under the statute, if the owners serve recall papers on a Board of Directors, the Board must meet within five business days to either “certify” (approve) the recall or “decertify” (challenge) the recall.  If the recall is challenged, and challenge must specify the legal grounds, then an arbitration proceeding is held to determine the legal validity of the recall.

Working as an HOA attorney, I have handled cases where members have attempted to recall a Director and have served the recall papers on the association, but then the Board would not meet to either certify or decertify the recall.  Under the old law, the Board’s failure to act meant that the recall was certified (approved) as a matter of law, and the Director was removed from office.  In other words, by not following the procedures in the statute, the Board deprived the Director recalled from having a fair hearing on the validity of the recall.  This has been referred to by some as “reverse recall.”

Under the new FL statute, a Director who is the subject of recall is given individual standing to file arbitration proceedings to challenge the recall process, in cases where the Board failed to act, and also in cases where the Board certifies the recall.

The new statute also adds a couple of new procedural deadlines, and further provides that the state agency which referees recall disputes may not accept a case for filing when there are sixty or fewer days until the scheduled re-election of the condo or HOA Board member sought to be recalled.

If your Condo or Home Owners Association is having a similar issue, please contact Fernandez Florida Law, PA with office in Tampa and Clearwater to speak with an experienced HOA attorney on the issue. 

Fernandez Florida Law fights for those in Tampa Bay and the State of Florida who need help.

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.

You can also email the office at or just fill in the Contact Form and Fernandez Florida Law will help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

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Filed Under Tags:  Condo Association Laws

Loss Mitigation and Workout Tools

by: Marielis posted: August 26, 2013

Loss Mitigation and Workout Tools with the Help of Fernandez Florida Law

Loss mitigation is used to help a homeowner through the process of negotiation between a homeowner and the homeowner's lender. Fernandez Florida Law helps use loss mitigation and workout tools to negotiate mortgage terms for the homeowner that will prevent foreclosure.

The most common loss mitigation and workout tools that Fernandez Florida Law uses with their clients to avoid foreclosure include the following:

  • Reinstatement of the loan
  • Modification of the loan
  • Postponement of the foreclosure sale
  • Forbearance agreement
  • Short sale
  • Deed in Lieu of foreclosure

Each tool has its pros and cons and requirements may vary depending upon the lender and its internal guidelines.  Of course, not every borrower will qualify for any or all of these alternatives. All of these options should be put in writing and should be signed by both the borrower and lender.

For more information and help with this process, contact Marielis Rivera at Fernandez Florida Law in Tampa: 813-412-5605.

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Filed Under Tags:  Condo Association Laws

Need a Real Estate Attorney in Tampa for a Closing On Your New Home?

Baseball Legend Gary Sheffield Trusted Fernandez Florida Law

by: Law Informer posted: August 19, 2013

Fernandez Florida Law Real Estate Closing for MLB player in Tampa

Fernandez Florida Law had the pleasure of assisting Gary Sheffield in the closing of his new home in Tampa, Florida. Many people know Gary Sheffield as a record setting outfielder for over 20 years, playing on numerous MLB teams. A Tampa local legend, he started his baseball career as a standout at Hillsborough High School in Tampa.  Thank you to Gary Sheffield for allowing Fernandez Florida Law, PA to assist in the closing of his new Tampa Home. 

Fernandez Florida Law is a full service law firm with offices in Tampa and Clearwater, practicing in the areas of Real Estate Law, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Short Sales, Condo and HOA laws, and Title Closings. The firms' main office is located in Tampa at 113 S. Boulevard, Tampa FL 33606. Call 813-412-5605 to schedule a free consultation.

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Filed Under Tags:  Real Estate Closings
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