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Questions Answered by Richard Paul Zaretsky
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is eviction needed if the person living in the house is not the previous owner or tenant?

I recently brought a property from county foreclosure auction and just got the title. There is someone currently living there that's not the previous owner or a tenant. I normally go through the writ of possession with my attorney but in this case do I even need a writ???

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 10, 2020

simple answer is YES.

Fortunately you are granted the right to a Writ in the final judgment. Otherwise you would have to have filed a separate lawsuit for ejectment, eviction or unlawful possession.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Appeals / Appellate Law for Florida on
Q: Am I able to obtain a repossessed car that I use 100% of the time even though I am not on the title?

My father is the one who bought the car, he is now in Venezuela. I am living here in the US. We have the money that is due, however because I am not on the title or contract they will not allow me to pick up the car. My father has no way of being here to pick up the car himself. Is it a lost cause?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 8, 2020

Speak to the party holding the car about obtaining an affidavit from your father that gives you authority to retrieve the car for him. You can do this without consulate. Use instead a remote Virginia online Notary.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Do I qualify for 1st time homebuyer if I wanted to purchase a 2nd property although I live in my bankrupted home?

My bankruptcy was discharged 9 yrs ago & I did not reaffirm my mortgage. I continue to live in the home and made all pmts timely w/APR 4.625%. My credit is in the mid-700s but lacking variety due to no mortgage debt. Although the obligation was removed, I missed the opportunity to demonstrate... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 20, 2020

Is this the first house you are buying? Sounds like it is not. Therefore you are not buying a first home.

If you want to keep this home, that still has a mortgage on it, then refinance the mortgage at today's low interest rates.

Lastly, I don't understand the last...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: i went through a bankrupcy and my home equity line of credit was discharged. do they still have a lien on my property ?

If I stop paying on the line of credit because its been discharged, can the keep accruing interest and late charges

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 18, 2020

It depends on they type of bankruptcy you went through and what the plan included. If it was a Chapter 7, then the liability to you was discharged but the lien remains on the property. If you don't pay, there will be a foreclosure. The difference is if the judgment is greater than the sale... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts for Florida on
Q: if a home appraises too low and the bank refuses to finance, and there is a financing contingency, does buyer get es

Seller is a realtor holding escrow hostage in an attempt to get us to be her client after refusing to negotiate sales price after low appraisal ($20,000 too low). First said she would return the money, now claims we are not entitled to it.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 27, 2020

Depending on the contract, you may be able to get the funds returned if the requirements in the loan commitment are not satisfied as they relate to the property. The appraisal falls in that basket of requirements to be satisifed.

But as I said - it depends on what the contract says, and...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: My father and my aunt passed away and they had a house. What do I need to do to get it in my name
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 6, 2020

As stated by others, you need an attorney that can handle the probate of the two estates. The problem is to get the property transferred to whomever it is supposed to go to - whether by Last Will or by Statute (or possibly by the way the deed is written or any trust owning the property), you will... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: can a condo association ban a person from own unit for not wearing a mask
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 3, 2020

Interesting you say this is Civil Rights. I am not sure what civil right you refer to. There is no civil right to put your neighbor in harm's way. "Do unto your neighbor as you would do unto yourself." Does that sound familiar?

So with that in mind, the Association most...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for Florida on
Q: If I adopt a pet from a pet rescue, does said paid belong to me or am I just 'renting' it from the agency?

I recently got a cat from a pet rescue. When adopting the cat I had to fill out a lengthy adoption contract. A few parts concerned me and I was hoping someone could provide clarification.

"1: I understand that I am not PURCHASING a pet but ADOPTING and SAVING THE LIFE of a homeless... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 5, 2020

The answer is simple and you wrote it in your question.

I understand the adoption fee is a donation and is non-refundable for ANY reason other than a vet's written confirmation of the pet being terminally ill within 7 days of this adoption.

So you did not "pay"...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: This relates to a real estate contract, we are the buyers. The purchase and sale agreements lists the washer and dryer

We did the walk thru yesterday to discover the seller had removed the two items. Have the sellers defaulted on the agreement and do we have the right to cancel and get our deposit back?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jun 2, 2020

The inclusion of the washer and dryer are material to the contract. Therefore if the washer and dryer were removed, you don't have to close as the seller has breached the contract. You can set the condition of closing to be that the same or better washer and dryer are replaced and put in the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: What do I need to do to purchase vacant lot behind us. Owner has agreed to price. What do we do next?

she wants us to handle it all and I do not really know where to start. I have been told I do not need a lawyer or realtor, please advise.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 29, 2020

True, you don't need a realtor - and that is because you already have a buyer and seller agreeable to the transaction. But you absolutely should have an attorney to draw up the contract and the closing documents and perhaps supply you with title insurance, if appropriate, or a title search to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: can i defer payment for condo association in broward county florida for 2nd qtr maintenance fees due to covid 19 issues

i am asking as a homeowner my hoa for a repayment or forebearance payment plan with condo association they denied any type of repayment plans related due to covid 19

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 9, 2020

There is no Covid-19 related law or regulation that affects this type of financial obligation. The due date is the due date and any extension is up to the association. Your question is unclear but it seems they denied your request. The association has its own obligations and that is why the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: If 2 people own as joint tenants with survivorship, can 1 of those tenants deed their interest to a third person?

Can 1 of those joint tenants transfer their interest to a third person without the other joint tenant's signature?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on May 9, 2020

The answer is yes. And it can be done without telling the other joint tenant. That is one of the little known drawbacks of joint tenancy. Just understand that the property interest sold in your case, would be 50%.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Is anyone liable for a botched real estate escrow holdback that was intended to repair and ac post closing?

I bought a single family home with a known broken ac. We wanted the ac fixed but the ac company could not come for for 3 weeks so we elected not to delay closing and just set aside money in an escrow hold back to repair and service ac post closing. Our closing attorney held the repair money in... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 21, 2020

If your escrow agreement was well drafted, the answer should be yes, the escrow agent had no business releasing the funds unilaterally and is responsible for a gross breach of its duty as an escrow agent.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida on
Q: I have been with the father of my children for 11 years. The house is in his name only. Without a will, if something

Were to happen to him (God forbid), what would happen to the house? Would it go to our children (they're only 6 and 3)?

He recently got in a car accident, and luckily was ok, but just got me thinking about the future! Thanks!

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 15, 2020

It would be best if he transferred the property to you and himself, as husband and wife. Then upon the demise of the first of you, the other spouse would have full title to the property. Without your name on the deed, you would get a life estate in the property with ownership to your children,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law, Banking and Civil Rights for Florida on
Q: COVID 19 Reporting to Credit Agency and Negatively affecting borrower after being promised it would not be.

A lender reported to credit agency during COVID 19 Forbearance. It negatively affected a refinance and canceled closing. I was informed it would not be reported and would not negatively affect us in anyway since we are current. Did they break law reporting it and affecting my refinance that was... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 10, 2020

From the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau:

Credit reporting under the CARES Act

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act places special requirements on companies that report your payment information to credit reporting companies. These...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I am buying a house with my boyfriend ! I need to set up a document that says that if I die my 50% goes to my children
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 9, 2020

This can be done rather simply with the proper wording in the deed you receive from the seller. An attorney representing YOU should be used to get it right. You may also want to take it one step further and prepare and execute a Last Will and Testament and/or a trust to hold your interest in the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Our COA has decided to prevent owners from accessing their own condos due to covid-19. Is this legal?
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Apr 1, 2020

I can tell that you are not giving us the whole story.

I very much doubt that owners are prevented from accessing their units. But the use of the unit can be restricted. The building can decide to put itself on "lock-down" to protect its residents. in the covid-19 world,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We sold our house via wraparound mortgage and buyer has stopped making payments. We still owe and continue to make...

payments to our original loan.

Is foreclosure required instead of eviction?

If so, can we do a DYI Foreclosure, i.e. - file all required documents, appear in court, etc.

I do not expect the buyer to contest the foreclosure (or hopefully, the eviction) as he cannot afford to make the payments.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 22, 2020

The answer is a foreclosure.

Filing a residential foreclosure is a mind field of regulations not to mention the law. These regulations are all to protect the borrower - not you as the lender!

Get an attorney and do it right - it should only cost a few thousand dollars plus some...
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Q: Working for a company and having Medical marijuana

Is it illegal for an employer to refuse to hire someone due to smoking marijuana even if they have a medical marijuana card? The company is saying they have a strict "drug free policy" and cannot excuse marijuana from the drug screening even if a medical card is provided. The type of job... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

The employer is entitled to set requirements for the job. If qualifying in a drug free environment is one of the requirements, then you right (in Florida) to use medical marijuana does not exempt you from that requirement. For example, the employer can require that no person working can take cold... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I live in WV. My father passed away in 2013 and left his Florida home to my 2 sisters and myself. I had it probated 2013

My older sister has died and my other sister and myself want to sell the house. How do we remove her name on deed and do I need to real estate attorney

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Mar 16, 2020

My condolences on your loss.

An examination of the deed in which you and your siblings own the property needs to be made. If the ownership was by survivorship, then you do not need to probate the sister's estate. If not, then probate to authorize the administrator to sign for her...
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