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Questions Answered by James Clifton
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: Can I get the mortgage amount and renovations cost from the estate of my deceased parents?

This is property that I inherited with 2 siblings back in 2016 after my parents death. I paid off the mortgage in full and did 30k of exterior renovations. We are currently in the process of selling the property and I would like to get back 2/3 of the mortgage and renovations off the sale of the... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 28, 2023

If you and your siblings cannot agree regarding the reimbursement, this will be a question that must be presented to the probate court. You would present your case as a subsequent creditor of the estate for estate debts incurred and seek reimbursement. The documentation you have will be helpful in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I got message via email(digidoc) that both parties had signed the session, is that legally binding for both parties?

I signed the agreement using the digidoc link my realtor sent me and after signing it from my side I got email message back from digidoc (noreply@mailgun.esignonline.net) that both parties has signed session:

"

Congratulations!

All parties have signed the... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 28, 2023

You can download a copy of the document and verify that the other party has signed it. There will be a digital time stamp with the other party's signature if they have in fact signed. Follow the Digidoc instructions to retrieve the signed document.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If the grantee s post office address is wrong on quite Claim Deed, Does it make the instrument defective or invalid

The Quit Claim Deed has been recorded

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 26, 2023

No, an incorrect address for the grantee would be considered a non-material defect and would not invalidate the deed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: I went to my courthouse in Georgia to get a copy of the security deed, etc. These are not all originals. What now?

My Security Deed, Waiver Of Borrower's Rights (3 pages), and Closing Attorney's Affidavit (not done in our presence at closing) are not the original documents. The QR codes at the bottom of the page are bigger than the original closing documents. Someone took our signatures, our... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 22, 2023

The clerk of court does not maintain the original security deed. Original documents, with the exception of the note, are rarely, if ever, needed in real estate after they have been recorded by the clerk. The closing attorney returns the original security deed and attachments to the lender, who is... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I filed a quit claim deed put my daughter on the deed. If she is sued, is the property liable.
James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 22, 2023

Yes, if your daughter is on title to the property, any judgments against her are also against the property. I have seen cases where the property is lost to the judgments of a child who was placed on title. Also, if she has prior judgments against her, they will have already attached to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: Can a HOA limit the number of rental units allowed in a subdivision?

1. Live in a new, still being developed subdivision.

2. total number of single family homes to be built is 320, currently 232 have been built.

3. Of the 232, 62 are leased homes, there is no cap on rentals in the HOA convenance.

4. HOA will not be turned over to... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 21, 2023

If there is currently no limit on the number of rental units, the covenants can be amended to restrict the number of rental units. The amendment will have to occur in accordance with the bylaws. If the developer is still in control under the covenants, it will be the developer's choice as to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Litigation and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: Can my former tenants win a lawsuit against me - Georgia law ?

I am the homeowner. I had a lease to own contract with a property investor. He had a lease to own contract with the tenants in the house. They attempted to purchase the property and could not receive the funding and passed the due date on the sales contract. 8 months later I evicted them after not... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 18, 2023

Without more information about the complaint filed by the former tenant, it is difficult to say. The tenant would need to specify which tort you committed specifically. Residency isn't a tort. Whether you breached the contract would be determined by the specific language in the contract. From... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Georgia on
Q: Do I owe some/all this earnest money?

I closed on a house January 2022. I was contacted by Steve Suarino, of Stephen Law Firm In December 2022, almost a year later, saying after an audit, missing from the statement was the sellers debit for the $4000.

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 18, 2023

Deep in the closing paperwork, you likely signed a document that said that if there are errors and omissions in the closing paperwork, you are responsible for paying any amounts owed that were not collected, wrongly credited, etc. Look through your paperwork for an errors and omissions statement... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia on
Q: What can I do to stop a writ of possession to give me another week to move
James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 18, 2023

If the writ of possession has already issued, the only way to delay it is to appeal the judgment of the magistrate court. If the writ of possession has not issued, show up to your eviction hearing and request additional time from the landlord. If they are unwilling to give you additional time, the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Construction Law for Georgia on
Q: If a certified letter is sent and the person does not except it when does the 60 days start the day it was filed in cou

The day it was filed in clerks office or the day it was mailed to the person who did not expect the letter

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 18, 2023

Notice occurs on the date the certified mail was stamped and dated by the post office on the certified mail receipt.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Can a mortgage company create a mortgage out of thin air and try to foreclose none of their dates line up

can a 2nd mortgage be taken out on a home before the first mortgage is even paid off and if so is it possible for the first mortgage company to give the deed to the home owner while there is a supposed 2nd mortgage still out there. I ask this question because a mortgage company is trying to take... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Jan 18, 2023

It is possible to take out a second mortgage while a first mortgage is on the house. The deed to the house is delivered to the homeowner regardless of whether the house has mortgage liens on it. It is not the same as a car title where the lender holds the title until it is paid off. To determine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: is name of preparer and 3x3 block.required on a florida deed

does grantor name have to match exactly as legal id

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Dec 2, 2022

Deeds must meet the requirements that are outlined in Chapter 695.26, Florida Statute. The requirements include:

"Prepared by" statement (name and address of the "natural" person preparing the Deed)

Grantor(s) (Sellers-Party Giving Title) names legibly printed in...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Florida on
Q: Is it illegal for the Lawyer that closed on my house to just keep the past due tax money and did not pay the taxes.

This lawyer collected over 7 hundred dollars of tax money from both myself and the seller at the closing 15 July 2022 and as of 28 Nov. 2022 he still has not given the tax money to the Pinellas County government. Both my realtor and myself have tried for the past month to get him to pay the 2021... Read more »

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Nov 30, 2022

If you believe the lawyer is mishandling funds entrusted to him, contact the Florida Bar Association. It is helpful to have written documentation of your requests to the attorney to turn over the funds as well as any responses from the attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: The Hoa allows pets to reside in the condo with restrictions as to weight and breed. Can they restrict visiting dog?
James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Nov 30, 2022

It depends on the wording of the HOA declaration of covenants and restrictions. If it states that no dogs of a certain weight and breed are allowed, then it would apply to all dogs regardless of the owner. If it states that no property owner or member of the HOA may keep dogs of a certain weight... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: if a quit claim deed in florida is invalid due to only one witness signing can the notary sign later as the second witne

deed is 8 years old but was filed recently

James Clifton
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James Clifton
answered on Nov 30, 2022

If the notary saw the grantor sign the deed 8 years prior, the notary can then sign the deed at a later time as a witness. The witness's signature does not have to occur precisely at the same time as the grantor's signature. However, most notary blocks reference the grantor acknowledging... Read more »

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