Albert Moore, Attorney at Law

Should I Ever Get Realtors Involved In Real Estate Litigation?


I would not suggest getting realtors involved in real estate litigation. One reason is that they serve different roles. I’m unique in the fact that I have a law license and a broker license. Most attorneys do not have a broker license, and most people who are real estate agents or brokers do not have law licenses. A realtor cannot give legal advice, and they have to be very careful when dealing with certain forms that have been approved and in conjunction with the Florida Bar and the Florida Association of Realtors. The real estate agent or broker can use those forms, but they have to be careful not to change the terms; doing so would be to engage in the practice of law, which they cannot do.

They also have to be very careful not to practice the law by saying that they are representing their client in a dispute. If they start talking about what could happen if the other side doesn’t pay in a particular way, or if they just go beyond relaying an offer or counteroffer, then they may be stepping into the unlicensed practice of law. Even if they could practice in this way, you wouldn’t want them to because they are not trained as attorneys. As a result, they don’t understand what the consequences are and they can’t really protect your interests. If there is a dispute, I would suggest speaking to an attorney.

What Are The Common Dispute Cases That Your Firm Handles?

We commonly handle disputes regarding security deposits and who should pay what fees at the closing. Title disputes come up when a seller claims to have a clean title to the property when in fact there are some clouds that need to be cleaned up. Many issues can arise in terms of the condition of a house. As a result, a buyer may try to back out of the deal or find after closing that they want some type of compensation from the seller for repairs. It is very difficult to back out of a contract after a closing. In order to do so, you would usually have to allege that there was fraud, and even then, you may still be stuck with the house. You may be entitled to monetary damages. So, those are some of the more common areas of disputes that come up with general real estate issues.

Does Foreclosure Defense Fall In The Realm Of Real Estate Law?

Foreclosure implies that there is litigation, and a lot of people who hear the phrase don’t exactly understand the mechanics. The party who is holding the lien may be a bank (which is called the mortgagee), a finance company or a private individual who is given a loan and recorded as a lien against the house, HOA or a condo that has a lien for delinquencies. There is a misconception or mislabeling whereby people say “They are foreclosing on my home.” The actual mechanism is that there is a lien filed and the lien holder forecloses on the home.

There are certain notice requirements depending on what type of lien is in place and what type of lien holder is moving to foreclose. Once the notice has been sent and the homeowner or the unit owner does not respond accordingly, the lien holder will file a suit for foreclosure. That means that they have a lien on the property and that they are going to foreclose the other person’s interest out. Ultimately, it means that they will get a judgment in their favor and force the property to be sold at a judicial sale. If people can’t or don’t bid up the amount of the final judgment, then the lien holder is able to obtain the title through a certificate of title issued by the clerk’s office, and they take ownership of the property.

For more information on Real Estate Transactions & Litigation, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (772) 919-2542 today.

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