Years ago it was not that common to see deficiency lawsuits involving real property. But, because of the current mortgage foreclosure crisis, deficiencies on homes have become a real issue for a lot of people. As I explained previously, when a person owes more on a piece of property than what it is worth, and the person is letting the property go, whether it be through a foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu, and the lender is not being paid in full, there is a real chance for a deficiency suit. Since second mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) almost never get paid in full, a person’s chance of having one of these types of lenders suing them for a deficiency judgment is great. But, first mortgage lenders have the same rights and are starting to consider and sue people for deficiencies.
As I reported earlier this year, the mortgage foreclosure case of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank v. Joan Eakins, et al. Case No 03-CA-004775 Div A, Hillsborough County, Florida, finally went to trial. This was my oldest case and had been pending for 8 years. At the conclusion of the trial, both the judge and the jury found for my clients, the Eakins. After a couple post-trial motions the parties settled the case and the bank filed a satisfaction of mortgage and paid my clients’ attorney fees and costs. My clients now own their home free and clear of any mortgage.
One of the best things a client can do to assist their attorney during their divorce is to keep a journal. Every time the divorce attorney gets ready for a client’s deposition, mediation, or court hearing the file is reviewed. Being able to read about the client’s concerns, history, and facts helps the attorney in preparing.
After parties have divorced, if either parent is looking to move more than 50 miles away from where they currently reside, it is very important to get permission to do so. Fla. Stat. § 61.13001 requires that if a parent with primary residential custody of a child or children wants to move, they must either obtain a court order or written agreement allowing a move of more than 50 miles from the current residence.
When spouses go through a dissolution of marriage, it is not simply limited to severing the emotional relationship between the two people. Divorce splits up a family, may require significant changes in living arrangements, and the court may be called upon to make decisions regarding alimony, parental timesharing, child support, property division, and asset/debt distribution. These are all legal court orders that are set forth by the Florida court system.