The Andres Lopez Law Firm

Florida Law Blog

You can defend your Florida home against foreclosure by a lender

Foreclosure is the technical term for the process of a lender reclaiming the collateral in a mortgage. Your home is the collateral for a mortgage instrument, which means that the lender takes steps to become the official owner of your home. That means you lose your place to live and the equity you have built in the property over the years.

Under the terms of a standard mortgage, the bank finances the purchase but reserves the right to foreclose on the property if you do not meet your end of the deal. In most cases, foreclosure efforts by lenders stem from a failure to repay the mortgage as agreed. Homeowners can find themselves struggling to make ends meet, which could result in late or missed mortgage payments.

Stats show Florida homeowners may be on shaky ground

Although by many indications the economy is still booming, there are some signs that trouble is brewing in Florida's real estate market.

Specifically, according to one report, Florida has experienced the largest percent surge in the number of homeowners who have fallen behind in their house payment to the point of getting a delinquency notice from their bank.

Contract disputes aren't just about the businesses

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are run largely by a series of legally binding agreements, or contracts. Any given South Florida business likely has a number of contracts with other firms, including suppliers, creditors and business partners and affiliates.

Likewise, Florida businesses make contracts with their customers and even with their own employees, not to mention landlords and those who provide services on behalf of the business.

Study shows more teen drivers could mean more danger on the road

A recent study by American Automobile Association confirmed what previous studies have suggested about teen drivers, which is that their presence tends to increase the risk of car accidents.

This study was released at the onset of what many experts call the 100 Deadliest Days of Driving. During this time, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the country experiences more traffic fatalities than during other months. Many experts attribute this to a higher volume of teenage drivers being on the road.

Are your business contracts going to stand up in court?

Running a business in Florida means balancing a lot of different considerations. You have to make decisions, keep records and plan for the future. Having enforceable and strong contracts is an important concern for any business that often gets overlooked until a company runs into trouble. You may not stop to consider your contracts until someone breaks one and leaves you in a bad situation.

If you are like most business owners, you probably do your best to keep costs as low as possible. You may have started out using a basic contract template from the internet as a way to start your business without incurring a lot of success. However, eventually, you may learn that fill-in-the-blank contracts don't really protect your company's best interests.

Investors sue major ride-share company

The national ride-share company Lyft is facing a lawsuit in connection with its recent decision to become a publicly traded company. The lawsuit, filed as a class action on behalf or aggrieved investors, stated that the paperwork Lyft filed in order for its stock to be offered to the general public was misleading in several respects.

For example, the lawsuit claimed that Lyft had overstated its market share of the ride-share industry.

Climate change can impact mortgages in Florida

Many things, such as an economic downturn, can impact a homeowner's ability to pay a mortgage and prevent a foreclosure. Climate change may become another obstacle for Florida homeowners and the latest complication for a foreclosure defense.

An expert from the Woods Hole Research Center argued that financial institutions are going to destroy the state's economy if they do not deal with the risk to coastal real estate and slow down their lending. He claimed that home buyers should not receive 30-year mortgages.

Defending against mechanics' liens

A previous post on this blog talked about an unusual foreclosure action in which a municipality is foreclosing on a piece of property because of unpaid fines. This is just one example of a situation in which a foreclosure involves a lien that is not a mortgage. While most foreclosures involve mortgages that have fallen delinquent, there are in fact many other ways in which a person or business can obtain a lien over a piece of property.

As is the case with mortgages, the holder of a lien can elect to foreclose it, meaning the lienholder will, if unchecked, be able to force the sale of the property so it can receive the money it is owed. One common example of these types of liens is a mechanic's lien. Those who work on a home or business property by remodeling, improving or adding to it may prepare, record and, ultimately, foreclose a mechanic's lien if they do not get paid.

What is a shareholder derivative lawsuit?

Like individual Florida residents, corporations in this state have the ability both to sue and to be named as defendants in lawsuits. This means that if an individual, including a corporate officer, director or employee, does something to harm the corporation, the corporation can pursue available legal remedies. The corporation may even be able to demand compensation for its financial losses.

However, sometimes the person who harmed a corporation is in a position of power within the business. For example, a chief executive officer may have stolen money from the corporation, or a member of the board of directors may have engaged in some self-dealing that hurt the interests of the corporation.

Tall grass leads to possible foreclosure

Falling behind on mortgage payments is the most obvious cause of foreclosure. But, a 69-year-old homeowner in Dunedin is engaged in a foreclosure defense against that city's code enforcement board. It is trying to foreclose on his home because he accrued $30,000 in unpaid fines for uncut grass since 2018.

Earlier this month, the board filed the foreclosure action. The city fined the homeowner $500 per day over the summer because his grass was over 10 inches. His house has a market value of $29,833. On the same day of the foreclosure action, the homeowner filed a lawsuit against the city and members of its code enforcement board. He is attempting to obtain nominal damages of one dollar, attorneys fees and injunctions that relieve him of the city's fines. He also filed the lawsuit to end the city's alleged practice of imposing fines without considering a homeowner's ability to pay. He announced the lawsuit in front of his home and its now trimmed lawn.

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