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Questions Answered by Richard Paul Zaretsky
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Florida on
Q: How long is a prepared deed date good for when prepared, signed, witnessed and notary and not recorde Can it be five ye

I want to prepare a deed, all free and clear. Dated, notarized and leave it with my will. How long is it good for without recording it at the county office? Ten years or after my death OK?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jan 28, 2019

How long is not your issue. The way you want to do it, the deed will never been valid because what makes the deed valid is actual delivery to the grantee during your lifetime.

Estate planning is complicated. See an attorney to get it done correctly.

2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How do I determine if Land Purchased in 1925 by a Direct Blood Relative was Properly Foreclosed according to 1920s Law?

Own an Orig October 1925 Warranty Deed for a Land Parcel (.23 Acres, 4 Lots) purchased by my Great Uncle (Maternal Grandmother's Brother) from the Federal Corporation. Parcel is in Northern Florida. I am a Direct Heir. He worked/resided in both Wash DC and Baltimore at that time. Died early... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Dec 24, 2018

The statutes of limitation, doctrine of laches and waiver all will bar you from making any claim that is almost 100 years old. Most of these statutes are 4 or 5 years. At most, 20 years.

If you really wanted, you could have an attorney do an abstract of the history of title and the basis...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I have a question about real estate after someone dies with no will. (Palm Beach County, FL)

My father died in July. He left no will. While I am his biological child, his parental rights were terminated in the 1970s and I was legally adopted by my step-father. When my father died, he owned a condo, which is not even close to being paid off. He did not own anything else, has no life... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Nov 24, 2018

If you were adopted by another person and by reason of the adoption your natural father's paternity rights were terminated, then you are no longer your natural father's descendant for estate purposes. As such, the rights to the condo do not flow to you as an heir and thus you have no... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: How easy is it to obtain a right of way/necessity easement in Duval County/City of Jacksonville?

I am looking at property and there are access issues from the public road. The property owner has said he'll accept an easement for a large cash payment. Is it possible to force an easement if the property is land locked?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Nov 4, 2018

Easements are tricky and you must use an attorney or you will definitely have problems.

There are some easements of necessity and a history of the surrounding parcels needs to be examined to determine where an easement may be required by law. See an attorney to get this accomplished.

3 Answers | Asked in Tax Law and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: In Fl my wife and I are on the deed but only I am on the Note. Are we both legally responsible for prop taxes and ins?

My wife is buying a second home in Ny and lender is saying my wife even though she isn't on the home loan note in Florida is still legally responsible to pay property tax and insurance because she is on Deed. The property tax and insurance come on the home loan bill in my name only because she... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 27, 2018

The answer is in different parts.

1. Real Estate Taxes - these are not a personal obligation to an owner. If the tax is not paid the taxing authority can lien the property, but they cannot get a money judgment against the owner. Under the mortgage it says that the mortgagor is obligated...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: On a Far bar AS IS realtor sales contract can a buyer use the contingency to just back out without inspecting

On a Far bar AS IS realtor sales contract

The inspection period ran out and just before it did the buyer's realtor emailed over an addendum with a lower offer claiming "due to inspection issues" , the problem I have is that they never inspected the house and are lying... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 8, 2018

The AS IS form contract to which I believe you are referring allows an unconditional right of termination during the inspection period. When I say unconditional, I mean if the buyer does not like the way the sun hits the rear yard, that is reason enough. So it can really be anything or nothing.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We are in an upside down situation with a land plot mortgage in Florida. What can we do without hurting our credit?

No one will refinance and it is balloon mortgage. No one will buy it for the amount owed. If we sold it for current market value, we would still owe money. It is causing extreme financial stress. The owner with me is my ex-husband.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 5, 2018

Essentially you have no solution that will meet the criteria of not affecting your credit.

See an attorney to see what options you may have and which may be the least unappetizing.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I had a 10 Year HELOC that matured in Dec 2105 with a zero balance. Can the servicer purchase property insurance in

in 6/16 and send me a closing statement May 2018 requesting repayment of the money they spent on insurance?

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Oct 4, 2018

If your mortgage matured more than 5 years before the placement of insurance, then the lender at that time had no insurable interest because of the statute of repose.

This is a very specialized issue and if there is no satisfaction of mortgage, you may need to do a quiet title action to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: hello i need to know when my duties with a financed card debt ends if the car is towed and sold in auction.

the car dealer is suing the towing company because they sold the car. I don't have any car have to return the tag but they said that i have to continue paying the car payments remaining 6000.oo dollars.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 27, 2018

Your obligation to pay the loan is complete when the loan is paid off.

If the car is sold at auction because it broke down and the sale is to cover storage or repair costs you did not pay, the amount realized from the sale will pay the bill for the storage or repairs and any excess will...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: We offer asking price on house $165k and put a $5,000 deposit .

The day the property listed the seller moves abroad. We are now told we have to wait two days to see the highest offer apparently multiple offers are coming in .It appears that the sellers realtor was not in fact looking for the sale price as advertised and that placing on the market the day the... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 23, 2018

There are all sorts of strategies for marketing a home. Offering the asking price does not ensure anything more than the broker is entitled to its commission from the seller at that price for bringing in that contract whether or not the seller accepts the contract. But the seller does not have to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Florida on
Q: in Florida, what's the statue of limitations for filing a small claims court suit for an unreturned security deposit?
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 16, 2018

If the lease was in writing, the obligation is enforceable for 5 years. If not in writing, it is 4 years. Have an attorney look at your situation immediately. If there is a security deposit violation by the landlord the attorney fees for the tenant may be recoverable as part of the damages.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Florida on
Q: Can a business broker provide legal advice to a seller of a business in Florida? I am the buyer of the business.

I am in the process of buying a business and my attorney created an excellent closing agreement. The broker says it heavily favors me and for the seller not to sign it. The broker is not an attorney. So now the seller wants to use a fill in the blank document for the business which is not... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 15, 2018

A non-lawyer can never provide legal advice. Period. But don't confuse legal advice with personal opinion.

You have an attorney - listen to your attorney as that person is being paid to protect your interests. The seller wants to sell and the broker was a broker fee. Understand...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Do I have any legal action against seller's if they didn't fulfill addendum to contract?

I recently purchased my first home, it's my retirement investment. I will be renting it out until I am able to relocate to the area. Before closing the sellers agreed to rewire the house, reinforce the attic area to make it safe and reinforce the foundation to make it secure, as there were... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 13, 2018

This depends on the language in the addendum and contract. By closing you may have waived those requirements. The documents should be reviewed by an attorney (who you should have had initially for the transaction, of course).

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3 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Am I under contract?

I received a signed contract from buyer´s realtor, then I made changes in two clauses, initialized those changes and signed all contract´s pages. Buyer´s realtor did not accept those 2 changes and requested to go back to original conditions. Today I received better offers and informed buyer´s... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Sep 5, 2018

You have an offer. You rejected the offer and made a counter offer. The counter offer was rejected. You never had a contract. All you had were unilateral offers.

What you should consider is to withdraw your unaccepted counter offer so all you have is their unacceptable offer unsigned by...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: Does the 3 day notice only supposed to be for past due rent? If it contains next month or wrong amount is that legal
Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 27, 2018

You are correct.

The 3 day notice is for past due amounts only and is not for prospective amounts.

The question then comes to whether a demand for rent with incorrect amounts is legally sufficient to support a claim for eviction. The judge's have some discretion on this issue....
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida on
Q: I have leased a property over the last 4 years, my lease ends 9/30/18. After several weeks and attempts to contact

the property management company about a new lease I finally made contact and entered into an oral agreement to extend the lease on July 19th 2018, and was sent a lease to sign. I was contacted yesterday by email yesterday and told the lease will now unfortunately not be renewed per their lawyer the... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Aug 8, 2018

Unfortunately, you have no rights other than possession through September, provided you pay the required rent.

Real estate is particularly strict on undertakings for one year being or longer being in writing, so your unsigned lease extension is meaningless.

Of course as with...
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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Florida on
Q: Does my aunt need a lawyer to transfer title to a property when both the previous owners (her parents) are deceased?

My aunt has lived in her home for 50+ years. She was the caregiver for her mom who passed away a few years ago. She wants to sell the property, but the title deed is still in her parent's name.

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 27, 2018

Not only does she need an attorney, she probably needs to take some action to probate the last to die of her mother or father. Without either her name on the existing deed as a survivor beneficiary, or an order of the court giving her authority to deed the property, there is no one authorized to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Communications Law for Florida on
Q: Do we have a suit against Carrington mortgage?Plz read details. Thank you

After making all timely payments on our mortgage that was sold from Bank of America to Carrington in February of 2018. they State we owe June and July of 2018 even though we have proof that we sent the checks & they were cashed by Carrington. On Friday July 19th 2018 we received a foreclosure... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 25, 2018

I don't think you need counsel yet - as you have not given the lender time to digest the information they probably just received yesterday or maybe not even until today.

But - if Carrington proceeds to foreclosure then you must seek counsel immediately. In the meantime you can ask for...
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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Florida on
Q: Do I have pay previous liens on a tax deed property I acquired on 8/2017?

I acquired a tax deed property on 8/2017. When I acquired this property, I paid all the taxes to get it to auction. The county also did a title search and there was nothing found in the means of liens, encumbrances,etc. I now own this parcel and my current tax bill has a lien on it and according... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 7, 2018

Typically, code enforcement liens survive a tax deed.

The list of what survives a tax deed sale is very small, but code enforcement liens are on that list if the ordinance under which it was levied complies with Florida Law. Most all municipalities long ago fixed their statutes and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Florida on
Q: I live in a Private owned condo. And the owner is taking there time fixing the Ac.

So the owner of the condo have not fix my AC and it’s been 4 weeks. I have two small kids one is 1 years old and the other one is 4. I have been emailing the realtor multiple time about the issue an also I requested to speak with the owner. It’s like nothing is getting done. I requested for my... Read more »

Richard Paul Zaretsky
Richard Paul Zaretsky answered on Jul 2, 2018

Look at your lease. Does it say the landlord is supplying a working a/c system? Florida statutes do not provide that the landlord must provide air conditioning, even if it is already installed on the property.

So if the lease provides that the landlord will provide air conditioning, then...
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