Why You Need To Read Your Title Commitment

The title process involves a lot of research on the property to be transferred, and a number of problems may come up after settlement if the title commitment has not been read thoroughly. For example, when a new owner realizes that they do/don’t have easements or right-of-ways, the dimensions of the lot were totally different from what they thought they bought, other entities had a claim to all or part of their lot and so on.

The title commitment has different schedules and parts which includes the following:

• Schedule A of the commitment details the parties involved in the sale – all the parties. If there are “misunderstandings” about who is actually selling the property, they will come out here.

• Schedule B of the title commitment details covenants and restrictions that apply to the property, from sources such as the development, associations, utilities and other entities including neighbors and who knows who else.

• Schedule C of the commitment has the infamous “legal description” that nobody tries to read. However, it’s not uncommon for buyers to read it and suddenly realize that the boundaries are nothing like they thought they were buying, or that the description is totally wrong or indecipherable (referencing rocks, trees, etc).

The Escrow period is the critical time for home buyers and agents to make sure the property they agreed to buy is indeed what is transferred on closing day and that there is no surprises.

At Boyer Law Firm we not only conduct a thorough title search but we make sure each and every document is read and that everything conforms to the requirements. If you have a closing and need a title commitment please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Leftover Sellers in your New Home?

Everyone fears sellers staying in your new purchased home after closing.

However, once you have closed, you lose whatever leverage you once had over the sellers. If the sellers decide not to leave after closing you may have some options such as eviction or suing them. It is always best to have the sellers hand over the keys or leave the premises before or upon closing.

June Fletcher of the Wall Street Journal advises that “if all goes well and the seller leaves on the agreed-on day, do another walk-through of the home, even if you already did one before you purchased the house. Flush the toilets, open the windows, turn on the appliances and make sure everything is in good working order. Check your contract to make sure that those things that it stipulated would stay, like chandeliers and window treatments are still there. If you do find something amiss, take photos to prove it.”

If sellers want to stay after closing, before you agree to allow the sellers to stay on, ask your insurance agent if your policy will cover the time period before you take possession. Should your house be damaged or burn down during that time, you need to be protected.

Contact Boyer Law Firm today if this issue sounds like your situation and the sellers have overstayed the agreed on date. Your attorney will be able to help you evict or sue them and protect you from unwanted expenses.
To see more on this article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704608504576208951595757630.html?mod=WSJ_RealEstate_LeftTopNews

Boyer Law Wins $4.8 M Judgment Reversal on Appeal

In a case with international “flavor”, I argued that a $4.8 million dollars judgment entered against my clients was improper. My clients were living in France and were at that stage not defending the lawsuit.

My clients were notified by regular mail of the final hearing to introduce evidence to determine the amount of damages that they would have to pay. However, the plaintiff mailed the notice only 10 days ahead of the hearing. Obviously, my clients did not receive the notice by mail until after the judgment was entered after the hearing.

The mail between the U.S. and Europe is still unreliable. It still gets lost. At any rate, when and if it arrives, it takes between 3 to 6 weeks.

I was hired to conduct the Appeal. I am glad that the three judges on the Court of Appeals all agreed on my theory of the case.

If you need any help on a similar matter, please contact a Florida attorney at Boyer Law Firm. You only have 30 days to file for a Notice of Appeal.

Short Sales leave margin for Fraud in Florida

No kidding? Is there ANY type of fraud that does not occur in here? Here is another good article published in The Miami Herald about fraud in the short sale process.

A recent report shows a new kind of mortgage fraud will likely grow as short sales become a part of the Florida real estate landscape.

BY KIMBERLY MILLER

PALM BEACH POST

A national financial consulting firm has warned that the real estate market is increasingly vulnerable to a new kind of mortgage fraud based on manipulating short sales.

According to a study released by the Santa Ana, Calif.-based company CoreLogic, short sale scams are likely to increase nationally as a new federal foreclosure prevention program to speed such transactions gathers steam and home values remain low.

The report, released last month, estimates fraud already occurs on 2 percent of all short sales nationally, costing banks as much as $310 million annually.

A short sale is when a bank agrees to accept a sales price on a home lower than what the owner owes on the loan, usually because the borrower cannot afford the payment and is headed for foreclosure.

RIPE FOR FRAUD While the types of short sale fraud outlined in the report vary, they generally depend on an agent submitting an artificially low bid from an investor to the bank. The bank unwittingly accepts the price, then the investor flips the property — sometimes the same day — selling it for the higher true resale value.

Florida is second only to California in the number of short sales nationally. In 2009, CoreLogic recorded 27,907 short sales in Florida, more than double the number in 2008.

And with 44 percent of South Florida single-family homes with mortgages underwater — slang for owing more on a loan than the home is worth — it’s likely short sales will be a big part of the local real estate landscape for some time to come.

“There are so many properties, the banks don’t know what they are really worth,” said Jupiter-area Realtor and short sale specialist Skip Yachanin, who is with Keller Williams Realty.

Yachanin said he hasn’t witnessed short sale fraud, but doesn’t doubt it’s happening.

“The Realtor gets a commission and doesn’t feel like they have a duty to the bank to get it the best price,” Yachanin said. “There is a lot of room for fraud.”

In April, the federal government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative program went into affect, offering monetary incentives to lenders and home owners to complete a short sale. Under the voluntary program, a successful short sale can net the borrower $3,000 for relocation expenses, while a servicer can get up to $1,500. A lender is eligible for up to $2,000.

The plan also requires the bank to agree on a set price for the short sale on the front end, and then respond to any offer within 10 days.

“As the government has pressured us to do short sales faster, we don’t have time to check them out,” said Anthony DiMarco, executive vice president for government affairs for the Florida Bankers Association. “The bad guys know how to defraud the system and will rush in to do it.”

BAD APPLES

Jared Dalto, a Realtor with Palm Beach Gardens-based Seawinds Realty, said he’s seen prices on short sales that were notably lower than those on neighboring properties, an indication that an artificially low bid was accepted. While the homes may have had damage that would justify a lower price, he said there is “shadiness out there.”

Dalto, who specializes in short sales, said one way to avoid fraud is for the bank to get a traditional appraisal instead of relying on a Broker Price Opinion, or BPO.

A BPO is conducted by a Realtor and typically costs hundreds of dollars less than an appraisal. The risk of a BPO exists if the Realtor purposefully undervalues the property so that someone can purchase it at the lower price and then flip it. “There are agents and brokers out there who do things the right way, and then, just like any profession, there are bad apples,” Dalto said.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/17/1828717/short-sales-leave-margin-for-fraud.html#ixzz0zlJKy4F3

Nearly 25% of all Foreign Buyers choose Florida

I knew it…Here is more proof. Florida remains the dream place for many foreigners, and not only Latin Americans….

BY KIMBERLY MILLER

PALM BEACH POST

International buyers have helped buttress Florida’s real estate market with 22 percent of all foreign clients nationally choosing property in the Sunshine State.

That makes Florida tops for attracting foreign interest, according to a summer report by the National Association of Realtors. California came in a far second with 12 percent of the international market.

While Florida’s share of foreign clients has slipped from a recent high of more than 26 percent in 2008, bargain basement prices and a weakened dollar have continued to lure Canadian and overseas buyers.

The study, which looked at sales between March 2009 and March 2010, found that buyers with permanent residences outside the United States spent an estimated $41 billion on residential property nationally during the period of the study — that’s 4 percent of the total residential market during the same time.

“I had an open house in the mid-$500,000s and a man from Canada came and bought it the same day,” said Palm Beach Gardens Realtor Jeff Lichtenstein, who has a page on his website dedicated to foreign buyers. “Once they’re here, they tend to bring friends.”

And family.

Amsterdam native Annette Aalberts bought two Jupiter homes for herself and her daughter over the past few years. Combined, the homes are worth about $4.5 million.

But most international buyers don’t aim that high. According to the study, the median price paid by foreign buyers nationally is $219,400.

Statewide statistics gathered by the national association showed 31 percent of Florida’s international buyers are Canadian, compared to 24 percent nationally.

Nationally, about 55 percent of foreign buyers pay with cash, possibly because it can be harder for international clients to get financing here. In Florida, about 82 percent of international buyers paid in cash.

Ignacio Recondo, a realty associate with Fortune International and a native of Argentina, has sold a handful of condos recently to international buyers, many of them from Argentina.

“A lot of the Europeans from Italy, Spain — they like Miami,” he said. “They want to have a piece of it.”

Recondo recently sold a 1-bedroom condo at the ICON Brickell to a buyer for Argentina for $303,000. The buyer plans to rent out the unit in order to generate income, Recondo said, highlighting the sale as an example of an international buyer being drawn to the relative stability of the U.S. economy, and the potential for strong returns available in South Florida.

“International buyers are hugely important in absorbing inventory,” said Jenny Huertas, international sales director for the Miami-based consultant firm Condo Vultures.

Huertas estimates 30 percent of sales in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties are to international buyers.

It’s unclear how a recent dip in the euro may temper overseas purchases. It’s now worth $1.28, compared with a high of $1.60 in 2008. That means to buy a $500,000 house, it would cost about 388,709 euros.

But the Canadian dollar, which has traditionally been weaker than U.S. currency, is now near parity at 95 cents.

Toronto resident Domenic Triumbari bought two properties in the Palm Beach Grande condominium complex in March. The suburban West Palm Beach homes sold for $164,990 and $179,990 in 2006.

Triumbari picked them up for $60,000 each, paying in cash, and without ever seeing them in person.

“I know they’re in West Palm Beach, but not exactly sure where,” said Triumbari, who is renting the homes. “The numbers make sense right now. You can make money on your investment.”

Triumbari is also searching for a South Florida home for himself. “I’ve seen a lot of the Caribbean, been all over the islands, but I like Florida,” he said. “We speak the same language, eat the same foods.”

Read more:http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/09/11/1818622/study-nearly-a-quarter-of-all.html#ixzz0zlIoKiz4