Asked in Real Estate Law for Florida

Q: Can I reneg on paying for this condo?

I purchased a condo in Florida in 1984 as a rental property. I refinanced a few times and still have a sizeable balance (but I am not underwater after many years of being in that situation). The mortage has passed many hands with over the years with a new processor about every five years, or so. Early on, I noticed that they had the wrong address for the unit. The address they are still using does not exist at all. Someone told me just let it go (back in 2008 when the market dropped to the floor.) Should I have done that (ethically, no)? Can they come after me if they don't even know the address? The flip side: Can I lose what tiny equity I have due to this error? (It is still rented, but rents have not kept up with mortgage and fees....every.)

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Seril L Grossfeld
Seril L Grossfeld
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: If you stop paying the mortgage eventually there will be a mortgage foreclosure action with your name on it which will not help your credit score, whether or not the correct legal description is on the property, it still will name you as a defendant not paying your legal obligation. Records of a mortgage foreclosure being filed against you stay on the public records forever and you will always need to account for it. Back in the mortgage foreclosure debacle there were people that stopped paying the mortgage so they would be in a situation where the banks would consider a short sale.

If you don't want to deal with it anymore and you have some equity why don't you just list it for sale and sell it, thereby protecting your credit. After expenses if you have a loss you can take it on your tax return which will if nothing else perhaps lower your tax liability in the year of the sale.

Stephen K. Hachey
Stephen K. Hachey
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your best option is either a short sale or a traditional sale - provided there is equity after the mortgage and closing costs have been paid.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.