About

Dedicated Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

The Rashtanov Law Firm, P.L. is a general practice law firm serving the South Florida area which places a premium on efficiency, expediency, and quality. Turn to us when looking for an attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL. From construction liens to tax certificates, we handle a wide variety of legal tax and property issues.

Tax Deeds in Florida — From Acquisition to Resale
Let us start with the basics. A tax deed is a deed to real property issued by a county-level governmental entity. A tax deed is different from a tax certificate, but our law office is here to help explain the difference. There are some complex laws and statutes that are involved in the acquisition, sale, and transfer of tax and real estate deeds, and if even one step of the process is not followed precisely, it can result in lengthy legal complications for whoever obtains the deed. By turning to our law office for assistance, you can make sure you fulfill all requirements required by the state of Florida during the transfer of your deed. We help make the entire process move more smoothly and quickly than it would on your own.

Construction-Related Issues and Claims

Construction is a complicated process and issues arise on a frequent basis. One of the most frequently discussed topics is the Florida construction lien. This is one of the most complicated and lengthy processes that our law firm deals with, and by counting on us you can avoid most complications and hold-ups that tend to occur with this lien process.

A construction lien is a double-edged sword. As a general rule, Florida law provides that a person or entity that provides construction services or materials has the right to record a claim of lien against the improved property. However, to record lien one has to strictly comply with Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes. Failure to strictly comply may result in loss of lien rights or, worse, financial liability for the wrongful filing of a lien. Making things even tougher for a potential lienor, the statute has a fairly complicated and stringent time requirements depending on where in the construction chain the construction service provider is located, i.e. contractor, subcontractor, materialman, laborer, etc. We have the experience and skills necessary to help guide you through this complex process, so get in touch with our law office to discuss your needs and to get started.

Tax Certificate Procedures

Tax certificates are a complex but often lucrative topic for many investors. When property taxes in Florida are not paid, tax certificates are issued for each year that the property owner fails to pay their taxes. These certificates are sold at reverse auction the year after the taxes are due. To be sure that you fulfill all the necessary requirements to acquire the property, our law firm is here to walk you through the process and represent you should any complications arise. Reach out to us to schedules a consultation to discuss your needs.

Contact us to schedule a visit to our law firm. We are proudly located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tax Deed

Tax Deed in Fort Lauderdale, FL

CALL NOW: (954)336-0599

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AND IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED OR USED AS LEGAL ADVICE. EACH LEGAL PROBLEM IS UNIQUE; THEREFORE, CASE SPECIFIC LEGAL ANALYSIS BY A LICENSED ATTORNEY IS RECOMMENDED.

So, you have decided to get into the tax deed game. Well, this is a good place to start, at least this author thinks so.

Let us start with the basics.  A tax deed is a deed to real property issued by a county level governmental entity.  The entity depends on how the particular county is organized.  The statutorily default entity is the county clerk, as is in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.  In Broward County, a tax deed is issued by an entity under the auspices of the Board of County Commissioners.   Knowing the entity that administers the tax deed sale is important in order to know who holds the surplus from the sale.

A tax deed in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is different from a tax certificate.   Tax certificates are essentially tax liens that are issued on a real property for each year property taxes are not paid.  For example, given a condominium unit on which the 2011 taxes are not paid, the county issues a tax certificate for 2011.  If the owner continues to be delinquent in 2012, the county issues another certificate on the same property representing the 2012 property.  Concurrently, if the 2008 taxes were not paid on the same unit, the county would have issued a different tax certificate encumbering that unit representing the 2008 taxes.

Tax certificates are sold the year following when the taxes were due. For example, using our condominium unit from above, the certificate representing the 2008 taxes would be sold the following year, 2009, around May, after the last deadline to pay one’s delinquent property taxes.

The tax certificates are sold in a reverse auction where purchasers bid down the interest rate that a certificate would pay.  The starting and highest interest is 18 percent.  Bidders bid down the interest rate in 0.25% increments.  Non-bid certificates are issued to the county.

Redemption of certificates is done through the county by paying the outstanding taxes, fees, and interest.  Most certificates get redeemed.  For the ones that do not, a tax certificate holder must initiate the tax certificate foreclosure process through the county.

The tax certificate foreclosure process is initiated by the filing of an application for a tax deed by the tax certificate holder.  However, a holder must wait 22 months before it can file the application. Accompanying the application, the certificate holder must pay certain application and processing fees, but most importantly it must pay to redeem any other outstanding certificates on the property, even ones that were issued later than the certificate held by the applying holder.  The rest of the process, including sending notices to interested parties and the holding of the tax deed sale, is done by the county in what is akin to an administrative foreclosure.

Florida law requires strict compliance with the notice requirements.  The county runs a current owner title search on the property and send notices to all the outstanding lienors.  Additionally, it sets a tax deed sale and runs a notice by publication in a local newspaper of its choosing. Also, at least 20 day prior to the sale the sheriff is sent to make service in person at the property and at the last known address, if different and within the county limits.  The notices contain, among other, the tax deed sale date and pay off amounts.  The bidding starts after the starting bid is declared, and just like most other auctions, the highest recognized bid wins.

The tax deed sale is the culmination of the process whereby the certificate hold redeems its investment, plus interest, or gets the property.

Surplus from Tax Deed

General Practice Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Get your surplus for $2,000.00 flat fee,* or percent of recovery. Call now (954)336-0599 for details

Surplus

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AND IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED OR USED AS LEGAL ADVICE. EACH LEGAL PROBLEM IS UNIQUE; THEREFORE, CASE SPECIFIC LEGAL ANALYSIS BY A LICENSED ATTORNEY IS RECOMMENDED. CONTACT OUR GENERAL PRACTICE LAW FIRM IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Excess proceeds (“Surplus”) is what is generated upon the sale of a property for non payment of taxes. If you are a prior owner or a lien holder against the subject property you may have a claim against the Surplus. With the latest revision of the statutes the clerk, or the entity holding the surplus, is unlikely to release the surplus to an entity that does not appear to have clear priority to the surplus. Moreover, some counties do not even begin processing disbursement of surplus until one year after the tax deed sale without an order by the court.

Your best chances of advancing you claim against the surplus is to retain a qualified attorney to prosecute your claim and possibly shorten any county imposed waiting periods.

Quiet Title

Quiet Title Services in Fort Lauderdale, FL

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AND IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED OR USED AS LEGAL ADVICE. EACH LEGAL PROBLEM IS UNIQUE; THEREFORE, CASE SPECIFIC LEGAL ANALYSIS BY A LICENSED ATTORNEY IS RECOMMENDED.

To quiet title in Fort Lauderdale, FL, means to file a lawsuit. In this lawsuit, the tax deed holder is the plaintiff, and the defendants are all persons or entities which held some interest in the property at the time the tax deed was issued. Typical defendants are the prior owner, judgment holders, lienors, and mortgagees, among others. Additional defendants may be appropriate depending on case-specific factors and strategy.

If you require legal representation and counsel in a quiet title case, schedule a consultation with us at The Rashtanov Law Firm, P.L. Our courtroom-tested attorney has the experience necessary to successfully handle your litigation proceedings. With our quiet title lawyer, you can be confident that you are receiving the expert representation you need to optimize the outcome of your case. Legal matters can be delicate and require experienced legal counsel for a higher change at favorable resolutions. You can count on our lawyer to provide you with the superior representation you need for the fair and speedy resolution of your case. Contact us to discuss your case today.

About the Quiet Title Process

The quiet title is filed in the court of the county where the property is situated. For example, to quiet title to a property located in Miami Beach, the lawsuit is filed in Miami-Dade County circuit court. If located in Miramar, the lawsuit goes to Broward County court. To quiet tile on a property located in Ellington, one needs to file in Palm Beach County.

The quiet title needs to be filed in circuit court. The circuit court has jurisdiction over cases dealing with interest in real property. Quieting title to a tax deed requires a declaratory judgment stating that the defendant’s interest in the subject real property has been extinguished.

Not every tax deed holder needs to quiet title. The issue is title insurance. Title insurance is something that the tax deed holder can purchase for his/her own benefit, or more commonly, title insurance is something sought by a potential buyer of the tax-deeded property. To issue title insurance, most insurers require that a quiet title is performed on a property acquired via a tax deed. Hence, unless planning on reselling the property shortly, one does not need to quiet title. If one plans to resell it, but only after five years, one may not need to quiet title. This last option is a bit tricky because it only works if the title insurance company determines that the county met all of the notice requirements when sold the tax deed. Our law firm will help you determine if you really need to file a lawsuit or not.

Defending Your Best Interests

Our firm has had extensive dealings with title insurance companies and property litigation cases. You can rest assured that we understand how to guide you through often convoluted courtroom proceedings. We appreciate our clients’ eagerness to come to a swift conclusion in these matters so that they can resume their usual daily business. That’s why we respond quickly with a comprehensive attention to all of the details of your case. Title disputes and quieting titles happen for any number of reasons, and our firm knows how to deal with each. An experienced attorney often makes the difference in such cases, and you can trust ours for a higher level of legal representation. Turn to our firm when you need representation you can trust.

An uncontested quiet title judgment typically can be obtained in a relatively short amount of time. If all defendants are served quickly, and none of the defendants in turn file objections to the complaint, a quiet title judgment can be obtained in approximately 60 days. This applies to all three counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. There may be variations depending on a particular judge, but the variation should not be significant — within the order of 30 days. This timeline will not apply if the defendants cannot be found or if defenses are filed.

It takes an additional 30 days if certain defendants cannot found. When the prior owner, for example, cannot be found, or for some reason service of process cannot be affected, two additional things are needed. First, notice of the quiet title action needs to be published in a local periodical, such as the Daily Business Review, for four weeks. Second, a guardian ad litem needs to be appointed to represent the interest of the missing defendant. Both of the above result in more time and additional costs.

Resolving Your Case as Quickly as Possible

If the defendants retain their own defense attorneys, the process will take somewhat longer. The timeline of a contested quiet title action varies. A contested quiet title action is one where at least one defendant makes an appearance and raises defenses. Each case differs in terms of timing as judges’ schedules, defendant’s determination, and resources vary. However, it is important to note this: statutorily, the only defense to a quiet title action on a tax deed is that taxes were paid. This is a significant tool to aid the expeditious deposition of defenses. Sanctions for the plaintiff may also be warranted, which provide an additional deterrent against frivolous objections. However, overall there are too many factors to be able to provide a general timeline of contested cases.

Whatever the case may be, our law firm works aggressively to defend your rights and resolve the case in your best interest. We strive to finalize the proceedings in the shortest time available given your case’s particular circumstances. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us today. We are committed to providing you with the area’s best representation in these types of cases. Make sure you have the legal protection you need by working with us.

Contact us to discuss our quiet title services. Our fee is only $1,000.00*, plus costs. Call (954) 336-0599 or email for details. Our law firm represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area.

* Subject to restrictions and limitations

Construction Liens

Construction Liens in Fort Lauderdale, FL

CALL NOW: (954)336-0599

Construction Liens

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY. IT IS NOT INTENDED AND IS NOT TO BE INTERPRETED OR USED AS LEGAL ADVICE. EACH LEGAL PROBLEM IS UNIQUE; THEREFORE, CASE SPECIFIC LEGAL ANALYSIS BY A LICENSED ATTORNEY IS RECOMMENDED.

Construction is a complicated process and construction issues arise on frequent basis. One of the most frequently discussed topic is the Florida construction lien.

A construction lien in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a double-edged sword. As a general rule, Florida law provides that a person or entity (“lienor”) that provides construction services or materials has the right to record a claim of lien against the improved property. However, to record lien one has to for the most part strictly comply with Chapter 713 of the Florida Statutes. Failure to strictly comply may result in loss of lien rights or, worse, financial liability for the wrongful filing of a lien. Making things even tougher for a potential lienor, the statute has a fairly complicated and stringent time requirements depending on where in the construction chain the construction service provider is located, i.e. contractor, subcontractor, materialman, laborer, etc. For example, a contractor has 90 days from completion of work to record a claim of lien. So does a subcontractor, except that a subcontractor must have provided a notice to owner within 45 days of starting to work. Furthermore, if custom materials are provided, the 45 day clock starts running the moment the subcontractor commences manufacturing, not upon delivery. Because of the complexity and the strict compliance requirement, placing a construction lien is not to be taken lightly.

An improperly placed lien may deprive the lienor from its lien rights and, further, may result in financial liability for lienor even in cases where a valid claim in contract or in equity exists. Lets consider the following example:

Carl, a contractor, builds a foundation for a house owned by Oliver. Oliver loves the work, signs a document accepting the foundation, but promises to pay the outstanding balance of $15,000, plus interest, from the next bank draw: when the roof is placed. Carl wants to keep good relations and agrees. Four months pass, roof gets installed, Oliver suffers sudden “amnesia” and denies any promises to Carl. Carl is upset and overcome with emotion records a lien, thinking that it won’t matter that it is past 90 days since he has a valid claim. Shortly thereafter, Carl is served with a lawsuit claiming, among others, fraudulent lien, shoddy work, and slander of title. Carl lawyers up and countersues using the documents of acceptance signed by Oliver. Judge rules that Carl was owed the $15,000 plus interest and that the shoddy work claim was bogus but, unfortunately, Carl’s lien was also improper and, as such, Carl owes Oliver $50,000 in attorney’s fees for defeating Carl’s lien. The balance is approximately $85,000 against Carl, when his attorney’s fees are included in the calculation.

The following provides a basic overview of the Florida construction lien law.

A lienor has to have an agreement as basis for filing a claim of lien. The agreement may be written or oral. If no express agreement exists, the courts may find that an agreement was implied based on the circumstances and the actions of the parties involved. However, seeking an implied agreement is risky because if it is rule that no agreement exist an otherwise properly recorded lien may be invalidated.

Construction liens attach to privately owned real property and some property interests. Residences, condominiums, offices, land, co-ops are all lienable. Also, lienable is a leasehold interest in property. However, real property owned by the government is not lienable: county/city buildings, county hospitals, courthouse, post office, airports, etc. But a private entity’s leasehold in a governmental entity may be liened.