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Blog Posts in 2011

  • When is an "Official Check" not so official?

    I’ve just had my first encounter with a proven, undeniable, thief who sought to steal money from our escrow account. Lots of money. Lawyers, closing agents, and Realtors need to know the story. This guy could have done no more damage if he had shown up in the lobby with a gun and demanded cash from the trust account. A week ago I got an email from a person who said he was in California, who had ...
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  • A Word to the Business World

    I had my first encounter with a proven, undeniable, thief today, who sought to steal money from our escrow account. Lots of money. Listen up, lawyers, closing agents, and anyone else who deals in bank drafts and checks. This guy could have done no more damage if he had shown up in the lobby with a gun and demanded cash from the trust account. A week ago I got an email from a person who said he was ...
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  • What Do You Do When The Menu Is "Elephant"?

    Yesterday, I passed a young woman and five very young children walking on the roadside. The place they were walking led me to think they were not exercising, but going somewhere. I don’t know the story, if there is one, and it wasn’t appropriate for me to find out. The feeling I had was that this lady’s circumstance was not unrelated to the real estate issue I’ve been talking about for months. ...
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  • Ground Zero: The Place Where Law And Fact Collide

    We’ve all heard that “desperate times call for desperate measures”, and “all’s fair in love and war”. There’s no question that these are desperate times for those who own over-financed real estate. Since many of us are, may we ignore the traditional rules of the repayment of debt, and be insulted when banks and mortgage companies come calling to collect? Does the answer change when the ...
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  • The Most Important Question in all of Real Estate

    Last week I spoke to a group of auditors and accountants. When I finished a question was asked that I had not thought about, but was what the entire discussion should have been about The question was, ….” With all the discussion about bad times in the economy, is there any money still to be made in real estate”? My answer was, absolutely. Ironically, had the question not been asked, the most ...
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  • Same Song, Different Verse

    Last week I flew out of Atlanta beside a young lady the age of my daughter. Very shortly after we sat down, she told me that she had been trying to call a real estate lawyer in South Florida for several days and had not gotten a return phone call. I assured her that I am the only real estate lawyer in Florida, and that somehow I had missed her call. With that introduction, there was no reason for ...
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  • An Easement With Benefits

    You have visitors from outside the area who have never been to this part of Florida. These people are important to you—your grandchildren, or your new in-laws whom you’ve never met, or old friends new to the area. You want to show them something they will remember, something unique about the place you live that they will not be likely to find where they came from, wherever that is. Where do you ...
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  • Not all the fraud comes from Wall Street

    I believe some on Wall Street knew very early that they were about to get filthy rich at the expense of the entire planet. They also figured out how to get bailed out for their efforts, and how to keep their bonuses. But that’s only the beginning. Now the rest of the world seems to believe that because they could do that so blissfully, the rest of us should too. Real estate purchasers who borrowed ...
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  • What's The Difference Between Working Out Your Mortgage And Going To War?

    The subject of this article is a one-time business executive, successfully retired. He left the workplace, which for purposes of local identity let’s say is military. He was a General Officer, making over a hundred thousand dollars a year when on active duty. In retirement he still is doing well. Between inheritances and savings, he’s amassed savings of over a million dollars and has a monthly ...
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  • The Last Line of Defense

    A recent article in this space advised readers to deal with short sale and other deficiencies pro-actively. That article expressed my concern about the immobilizing business effect on those who become burdened with judgments that last up to 20 years. The issue of what assets are exempt from the claims of creditors will become exponentially important in coming years as a result of current lawsuits ...
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  • Be Careful of the Word "Value"

    This article is not about appraisers because many of them are now, at their own request, living like troglodytes, and they request no visitors. That’s because they are sane, and the rest of the world is going nuts, or the opposite is true. We don’t yet know which. In either event, the honest ones are all tucked away where the staff is instructed to please not open the door. This article is about ...
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  • A Primer for Adjacent Landowners & Their Lawyers

    Something great about having been here awhile is that I can anoint myself qualified to give an opinion about things. All kinds of things. Some of them have nothing to do with law. Here’s one: Two adjacent owners disagree about the location of their common boundary. My client is one of the owners, and he appears in my office having received a demand letter written by a lawyer telling him how many ...
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  • What Is A Judgment And Why Does It Matter?

    Decades from now, law books will include a chapter about real estate short-sales and foreclosures. That is because short-sales and foreclosures will affect both the value of properties and the legal rights of parties for years to come. History will prove that mortgage companies did real estate and the public a horrible disservice by making mortgages available in artificial amounts and rates. We ...
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