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Questions Answered by Barbara Billiot Stage
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: does a lien on a house, registered in court, for money owed (in FL) loose its validity after some time?

my ex signed a paper, owing me $6000.00 in 2009 and payable in 2014. She kept saying she could not pay until the house was sold. In 2016 I sent here an e-mail that the money was overdue and I would charge her interest.

Now that house got sold for $320.000.00 and I refuse to cancel the lien... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Oct 18, 2021

It depends on the type of lien. If it was a judgment lien it is likely still valid but a lawyer would need to review the lien. Anyone can sue anyone else in the US. The question is whether or not she can win. You need to address this immediately to preserve any rights you have and to avoid... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is foreclosing on a condo hotel unit harder or any different than other real estate?

I'm looking into micro hard lending for smaller condo hotel units as no one finances them and they must be purchased w cash. They will only lend 100k or more which is more than the cost of many units. If I required 50% down this would secure the loan adequately. Are these units treated any... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Oct 15, 2021

You should hire a real estate lawyer, preferably one with condo-tel experience, to review the condominium documents because these types of condominiums a have their own special headaches other than foreclosure and a lot is affected by the Declaration of Condominium and other documents. There is a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How can I change the decision made by my association of HOA regarding my roof that I change an d the color doesn’t fit

We made this without asking for but It was because of misunderstanding by my son we try to apology for our mistake but nothing work we still have to take out the roof

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 28, 2021

The HOA is not likely to approve any variance but it never hurts to ask. Sometimes the board of directors are not aware they can, but are not required to, grant a variance. If the roof is drastically different than the colors that are allowed the board of directors cannot grant a variance because... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What lawyer do I contact? Received a UCC filing because my husband didn't sign closing paperwork on a property.

My husband is a volunteer for our home owners association, he's the President. The association was selling vacant property and there was a company that wanted to purchase it. They agreed on a price, however, at the closing, the realtor had added $500 to her commission and my husband would... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 22, 2021

You need to contact a real estate litigator. There are real estate attorneys who do closings and other transactional business, real estate litigators who do court cases and real estate attorneys who do both. Both is preferable. There are some pieces of information missing from this so it's... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can I sell my condominium if the building is in receivership?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 19, 2021

Yes, you can. It might be difficult to find a buyer but you are still able to sell it.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: You My husband died and I need to know what's going to happen with my house, am I going to lose it? Who has to pay now?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 18, 2021

You do not provide enough facts for a lawyer to give you adequate advice. Generally, if the property has a mortgage you have to pay the mortgage to avoid it being foreclosed on by the lender.

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2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can a plat map be used as a road disclosure in closing documents, even though there is a abutting road disclosure

At closing we were not told about the retention pond and the private road. There was a abutting road disclosure. Nothing else. There was a line about you must join the HOA and follow the CCR. The CCR’s were not given prior to closing. Hidden in there was a line about the HOA being responsible for... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 16, 2021

This is why it is so important to have your own real estate lawyer represent you in a transaction. You will now need one to review your closing documents, the HOA documents, your survey of your property and the neighborhood plat, which often attached to the HOA documents but not always. The HOA... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is my HOA able to force me to pay for or agree to cable/internet services from a company that I am not using?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 14, 2021

The HOA can contract for bulk cable services and each owner is billed their share of the expense. Usually these contracts have an opt-out for those owners who do not want to use the services. You would need to get more information and take that and a copy of your HOA documents to a HOA lawyer to... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: 3 of my 6 acres has been used by a neighbor for timber sales without my knowledge. Property is also landlocked. Options?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 10, 2021

You have a case for trespass and for damages for the value of the lumber. The issue of your property being landlocked is probably not important to the case other than to provide evidence the neighbor was the one who had access to the property.

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: How can you prove a person to be an attorney?

My daughter is looking to rent a house in FL. During a chat with the person, the story changed a little. He indicated that the security deposit was going to be held by his attorney, then changed his mind when pressed for the attorney name. He has now provided a number and a name of a person... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Sep 1, 2021

The story is suspicious because Florida law requires landlords to keep deposits in a separate interest bearing account. As a lawyer I would not be willing to hold a client's security deposit in my trust account, which does not accrue interest.

You can do two things:

1. Look up...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: Can a mobile home park evict a mental disabled daughter of the owner for a by -laws violation?

She came to stay in December. Receiving out patient care. Suffering from depression and PTSD. Needs more time to stay until able to maintain her own place.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Aug 20, 2021

It depends on if you own the lot your mobile home sits on or if you rent the lot as well as the language in any documents governing the mobile home park and your lease, if the lot is rented. Generally, if you rent the lot the landlord can evict you as well as your daughter for violations of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Florida on
Q: Can I go to jail for living to someone about a contract that does not exist

I lied about a contract that does not exist and keep the lie going for over a year I told the lady the truth question is am I going to jail there is nothing with her name on it

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Aug 18, 2021

That question is impossible to answer in an online forum. It depends on what the contract was about and if the "lady" was harmed in any way by your deception.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Does a voluntary HOA have a legal right to demand settlement of voluntary dues prior to a home / property sale?

1981 record plat subdivision. 41 one acre lots. Some folks own multiple lots. HOA created 2004 and is voluntary with no lien or assessment authority. Approx. 25% of property owners do not claim membership in the HOA. Since creation in 2004 the HOA has been claiming membership runs with the land,... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Aug 4, 2021

An attorney would need to review the plat, the HOA documents and any documents any owners may have executed to purchase the lots or possibly consent to the HOA. Back in the 1970s-80s an "agreement for deed" was popular where language included in a deed committed owners to what was... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure for Florida on
Q: Can my husband be sued by the bank in PR, for my mother in-laws failure to pay her mortgage? We live in the US.

My father in-law passed away last September and for reasons unknown my mother in-law stopped paying her mortgage. The bank has filed a lawsuit against her, but has also named my husband and his two brothers in the suit. I am not familiar with the laws in Puerto Rico but fail to see how we can be... Read more »

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Aug 3, 2021

Your husband likely has an interest as a heir to your father-in-law's estate so they likely have to name each possible heir.

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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Does the state of Florida require the property owners consent to only send billing/invoices by email?
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 30, 2021

If you referring to a HOA or condominium (COA) sending you an invoice for assessments, the answer is no, you may consent in writing to notices and invoices being sent by email, but you do not have to consent. New laws went into effect July 1, 2021 which now require associations to send a 30-day... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I just got an offer to buy my house for Opendoor.I am skeptical. What should I beware of?

We had a virtual walkthrough on Tuesday, and they sent an inspector to view the outside of the house yesterday, sending their offer last night via email. I'm skeptical, as I feel the offer was a good one. I have signed nothing, and accepted nothing so far. What are my caveats?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 23, 2021

You should consult with a real estate attorney in person to review the offer and the documents provided by Offerpad. Real estate transactions should never be attempted without a lawyer because of all the potential pitfalls.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: can HOA BOD say only board members can collect proxies for upcoming capital expense vote or can neighbors collect also
Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 23, 2021

Anyone can collect proxies. In fact the proxies also need to give a space for the member to appoint someone other than the association in case they want to exercise that option.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can HOAs in Florida change their rules relative to no longer allowing (or limiting time on property) boats already here?

We bought our property knowing boats were allowed without limitations. We now own a boat and the HOA wants to change the rules. Shouldn't "grandfathering" be allowed so that the rule change doesn't damage owners who already have a boat on property?

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 21, 2021

Grandfathering does not apply to movable objects. HOA documents generally allow the board of directors to adopt "Rules and Regulations" with a board member vote. Generally, the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions require a membership vote, but not always. Whether or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Florida on
Q: I am in an HOA and if a previous Board did not address a rule infraction, does it get grandfathered and the time frame

Basically an infraction of a by-law or any doc; is there a time frame where it get's grandfathered in and a current Board cannot act on it.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 19, 2021

It can be up to five years. It depends on if the HOA is filing suit for specific performance (a court order forcing you to comply) or breach of contract (money damages). It also depends on some other factors, but the board has five years from the date they knew or should have known (which can be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Traffic Tickets and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: Can a resident of a MH park be charged with trespassing for walking through an easement that belongs to the park?

I friend of mine is being threatened with eviction for trespassing on an easement that belongs to the park and is there to allow access to another piece of land. On some maps and map apps it even shows as being a street.

Barbara Billiot Stage
Barbara Billiot Stage answered on Jul 17, 2021

You should not be soliciting legal advice for your friend, no matter how good your intentions are. That would be practicing law without a license and a felony.

Your friend needs to consult with a real estate attorney to review the plats and easements. The simple and less expensive option...
Read more »

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