FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The legal definition of a personal injury is an injury to the body, mind or psyche caused by another’s failure to use reasonable care. If another’s negligence led to your injuries, you may be entitled to receive compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Tollinchi Law can help you determine if you have a case.
Depending on the cause of the personal injury and the circumstances surrounding your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of opportunity, and more.
If a loved one has died because of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to additional damages, including funeral and medical expenses, loss of income, loss of companionship, and more.
No. Many claims are settled without the necessity of filing a lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney can help you determine what your legal rights and help you determine if you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek the full amount of compensation you deserve.
You can’t, but we can. We advance all costs. If we are successful with your personal injury or wrongful death case, our attorneys get paid a percentage of the total recovery and are repaid our costs. If we do not recover anything for you, we are paid nothing, and we do not ask you to repay the costs.
To determine if your case is one that we are able to help you with, please contact a Tollinchi Law by calling (954) 524-4100 so that we can assess the merits of your case. Through an initial, free consultation we will review the details of your claim to determine if you have a case. From there, we will conduct a thorough investigation into the details surrounding your accident and injuries.
The individual or party that acted negligently and caused your injuries may be held responsible, however, because every case is different, it may depend on the cause of your personal injury. In the cases of a car accident, the other driver may be held responsible, whereas a medical malpractice claim may involve a team of surgeons being held accountable for their negligence.
In Florida, state laws and statute of limitations indicate that a personal injury claim must be brought forward within two to four years of when the injury occurred (depending on the cause of loss). If you do not file a claim within that timeframe you will lose your right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Each case is different and necessitates a different time period to resolve. Depending on the nature of your personal injury case, the area, and the details involved, it could take anywhere from six months to a few years.
A personal injury lawyer from Tollinchi Law can answer any questions you may have about your specific case.
It is important that you do not sign anything you do not understand or agree to a settlement you are not comfortable with. Insurance companies will often try to settle claims as quickly as possible, but they have their own best interests in mind, not yours, which means you may be receiving inadequate compensation.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident that led to a personal injury, our lawyers are here to help. Contact Tollinchi Law today for a free case evaluation.
If we do not receive a positive outcome when prosecuting your personal injury case, you will not be responsible for any incurred expenses. You will only be responsible for costs if an attorney is successful and makes a recovery for you.
If you are served with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, a Petition for Paternity or some other Florida family law action, you should immediately contact a Florida family law attorney. If you do not file a formal written response within twenty days, you may suffer a default judgment. A default judgment generally grants the Petitioner whatever relief he or she requested in their pleading. A default judgment could greatly impact the division of marital assets, awards of child or spousal support and the time-sharing rights of each parent, amongst other issues.
Yes. A divorce must be granted by a judge. Florida is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that a person can get a divorce by simply claiming that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” In addition to dissolving the marriage, a local judge may also be required to resolve matters like division of property or child custody and support if the spouses cannot agree on them.
The good news is that some couples may qualify for a simplified divorce procedure, which is available in cases where the parties agree on certain issues.
Spouses can jointly file a petition for a simplified dissolution of their divorce if all of the following circumstances apply:
- One spouse has lived in Florida for at least six months immediately prior to the divorce;
- The couple does not have kids under the age of 18;
- Neither spouse is seeking alimony, or monetary support, from the other;
- The spouses have agreed on how they will divide all property and debt; and
- The spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Spouses who do not meet these requirements can start contested divorce proceedings when one of them files a standard petition of dissolution.
Under Florida’s equitable distribution scheme, a court asked to divide a divorcing couple’s assets is required to do so in a way that is fair to both parties. This does not always mean an exactly even split. Instead, a judge will consider the circumstances and financial situation of each spouse in making this determination.
In high net worth cases, that principle still applies. However, the types of assets involved may be more difficult to identify and distribute than in other situations. For example, high net worth families may have various business holdings, which must be identified and valued before they can be distributed to the divorcing spouses. Similarly, a wide variety of investment income and, in some cases, hidden assets that one spouse has concealed from the other, must also be located and accounted for.
It is our experience as seasoned South Florida family lawyers that the overwhelming majority of divorce cases can be resolved through settlement and mediation rather than resorting to the stressful litigation process. Even though you have to get a judge to grant your divorce, you do not have to let the judge decide issues like child custody and support or asset distribution. We find that these sensitive matters can be resolved by working together to develop a settlement or mediation agreement that then can be presented to the court for approval. Even when an accord cannot be reached on all of the issues, divorcing spouses may be able to avoid some of the acrimony often involved in these situations by reaching agreement on other issues where possible.
No. A Florida family law and divorce attorney can represent only one party or spouse in a family law or Dissolution of Marriage (divorce) case. Sometimes, the parties decide that only one of them will retain an attorney. In this situation, the Florida family law attorney prepares any paperwork or agreements on behalf of the client who hired the lawyer and only gives advice to that client that has retained the attorney’s services. The lawyer’s client is the only party represented in this situation. In this scenario, the person acting without an attorney is acting on their own behalf; in legal terms, the person is acting pro se.
In Florida divorce and equitable distribution cases, Florida family court judges have the power to order one spouse to pay the other spouse’s attorneys’ fees. The basis for such cost-shifting is a substantial difference in the income or property that each party has available for their use in employing a Florida divorce lawyer. However, in some cases, the request for attorneys’ fees cannot be made until the case is near completion. In this situation, the spouse must pay their attorney’s fees as work is being performed and hope that an award reimbursing those fees will be made at a later date by the judge. In other divorce cases, if there is a lump sum of money or other liquid assets in a marital account, a request can be made to advance some of those assets to the spouse needing assistance with their payment of legal fees. In situations where both spouses have similar incomes or earning capacities or if both spouses receive ample amounts of liquid assets as part of the divorce, the husband and wife are more likely to pay their own fees for their Florida divorce lawyer.
Most residential and commercial property insurance companies provide coverage for damages to property from burglary, vandalism and other crimes. Check your policy for details.
Sometimes. If a natural disaster such as a hurricane causes a significant number of claims at one time, your carrier may consider the claims a catastrophe. It may then use special adjusters and provide specific instructions for help with your claim. Regardless of whether property damage is caused by a natural disaster, you have rights to the coverage provided in your policy.
In some cases, your carrier may attempt to cancel or rescind your policy after you file a claim as a way to maintain profits. If you encounter a policy cancellation, our experienced attorneys can help you seek the benefits to which you are entitled.
Insurance companies deny valid claims all the time. If your coverage is denied, our law firm can help you seek the benefits to which you are entitled. It may be a simple mistake by the insurance carrier that we can address or it may require lengthy litigation. Our lawyers are prepared to represent claims from the start of a claim through trial, if necessary.
Our attorneys can examine your policy to determine your coverage and any payment(s) the company is required to make. The attorneys may also conduct a thorough investigation into previous and current home inspections, audits and other documentation on your home, which can be helpful in settling your claim dispute.
We understand that dealing with an insurance company can be difficult. These companies have made the process of filing and collecting on insurance claims a daunting task, with the hopes that most policyholders will abandon their claims, especially after being denied compensation. We aim to simplify the process of disputing insurance claims to help ensure homeowners receive the full amount available under their policies.
Insurance companies collect tens of billions of dollars each year on homeowner policies alone. The cost of your coverage and your prompt payments lead to the assumption that when you need them, your insurance provider is going to step up and pay your claim.
While that would be a reasonable expectation, it is often a misconception. Insurance companies profit from your premiums, and increase their revenue by rejecting claims outright, or partially paying for the damage your home endured because they can.
Insurance company representatives have the power of a large corporation, bureaucracy, and in-house attorneys behind them 24/7 that are no match for the average consumer.
The small print of your policy and the paperwork necessary to appease the insurance company claim processes is overwhelming and exhausting, which is exactly how they want it. You will tire of fighting before they do. And they are counting on that being the case.
Your insurer is obligated to compensate you according to the terms of your policy agreement once the damage has been accurately assessed. Especially if you have suffered loss as part of a natural disaster, your insurer will be experiencing a high volume of claims and may try to offer you less than you deserve to help their won bottom line. In general, you should speak with an attorney before accepting an initial offer.
An attorney can work on your behalf to make sure your insurance company acts accordingly to determine the extent of property damage. They can ensure your claim adjustor sufficiently recognizes the damage done to your property and faithfully reports it to your insurance company. An attorney can push for your rights as a policyholder in court if the insurer acts in bad faith and denies your claim or offers you less than you deserve.
In many cases, the client is confused about the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is the amount required to perform comparable repairs or make a comparable replacement without accounting for depreciation. So if you’re five-year-old roof was destroyed, and your home needs a new roof, then the replacement cost would be the price of materials and installation (since you cannot buy a five-year-old replacement roof).
Actual cash value is the cost of comparable replacement or repairs and in this figure, the insurer does account for depreciation. So using the same new roof example, the actual cash value would be the price of materials and installation, minus five years of depreciation value.
Our householder’s indemnity attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that we typically accept a portion of the funds recovered as payment for our services.
This is ideal for many homeowners who simply do not have the funds to pay an up-front retainer fee.
If your claim was wrongfully denied and the judge rules in your favor, you could also receive compensation for legal fees.
If you have an insurance policy, you have a contract with your insurance company that requires them to provide certain coverage and to perform certain duties in exchange for the premiums you paid them. The coverage provided and the duties owed depend on the type of policy you have. There are several different types of property insurance policies including “homeowner’s insurance policies,” renters’ policies and commercial property insurance policies. Tollinchi Law handles an array of different insurance claims, and we have assisted many of our clients in getting the compensation owed to them by insurance companies.
If you live in Florida, you have the ability to reopen a property damage claim and ask for more money. Of course, you’ll need a certain amount of documentation to make your case. You’ll also need an astute knowledge of how to negotiate with an insurance company.
Wish you had this knowledge last year when you initially filed your claim? Don’t worry. In Florida, you can reopen your claim up to five years after your property was damaged. You will face more challenges as time goes by, though, so if you are approaching the five-year deadline, act fast.
When your property is damaged by disaster, accident, or vandalism, it’s time to file an insurance claim. You shouldn’t, but if you decide to deal with the insurance company on your own, you’ll need to gather photos of your property, bills, and other documentation to send over.
And then, most likely, you’ll have to wait. When you finally do get a response, you will probably feel compelled to argue with your insurance company over what they will and won’t cover. The worse is that they will be hanging on to every single word that you say to justify not paying you. What may sound like straight English to you, might have a technical definition that the insurance company will use to deny your claim to the best of their ability.
There’s a better way to file a property damage claim. Contrary to what insurance companies would like you to believe, hiring a property damage attorney should never be the “last resort.” It should actually be your default course of action when filing a claim. Why? Because the insurance company is looking to pay the least amount of money possible in claims, while an attorney will fight to get them to pay all that they owe. It’s simple: the sooner you hire a law firm, the sooner your attorney will fight to get the compensation you deserve.
Many people wonder if hiring a lawyer is “worth it,” but there’s a better question: do you want to get the fair and just compensation you deserve… or not? Because insurance companies are always going to protect their bottom line first.
They are for-profit businesses, and when they have to pay out your claim, it reduces their profits. Which means they try very hard not to pay out, and when they do, they offer as little as they think they can get away with.
When you work with a knowledgeable attorney, they let insurers know they aren’t going to get away with their usual antics. In almost all cases, getting legal help is worth it because you’ll both save time and get more money from your insurance company. Moreover, many lawyers charge no fee if there is no recovery.
Recently, the insurance companies lobbied politicians in Florida and got law passed which limits services for emergency work when property damages occur to only $3,000 per event. Now, there is some good news—If the damage is such that it exceeds the $3,000 limit we can contact your insurance company on your behalf to have them extend those limits based on the damage to your property.
Every case is different. However, we want to be very transparent here, most cases do end up in a lawsuit against your insurance company. Why? In most cases, we could never in our good conscious recommend taking their low ball offers.
Condominiums are affected by Florida Statutes, Florida Administrative Code, the declaration of condominium, the articles of incorporation, the bylaws of the association, and the rules and regulations promulgated by the condo board.
“In Florida, condominiums are creatures of statute and as such are subject to the control and regulation of the Legislature.” Century Village, Inc. v. Wellington Condominium Ass’n, 361 So. 2d 128, 133 (Fla. 1978). Florida condominium law is found in Chapter 718, Florida Statutes, known and cited as the “Condominium Act.” Chapter 718 consists of seven parts. Part I discusses the general provisions of condominium law. Part II discusses the developer’s rights and obligations. Part III discusses the association’s rights and obligations. Part IV discusses special types of condominiums. Part V discusses the regulation and disclosure prior to the sale of residential condominiums. Part VI discusses conversions to condominium, and Part VII discusses relief for distressed condominiums.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.101, et seq.
The Condominium Act grants to the Division of Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes the authority to promulgate administrative rules intended to implement, enforce or interpret the Condominium Act. These rules are incorporated into the Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) as part of Chapter 61B-15 through 61B-24, or in Chapters 61B-45 or 61B-50.
The declaration of condominium is the document or the set of documents that actually creates the condominium. Condominiums are created when the declaration of condominium is recorded in the public records of the county where the land is located, executed and acknowledged with the requirements for a deed. All units described in the declaration as being located in or on the land then being submitted to condominium ownership shall come into existence. Section 718.104, Florida Statutes describes all that is required to be included in the declaration. The declaration includes within its definition any amendments which may be made to it, and all exhibits which are attached and incorporated by reference. The typical exhibits to the declaration include the document or documents creating the association, a copy of the bylaws, a survey of the land, a graphic description of the land, and a plot as demonstrated by building plans, floor plans, maps, surveys, or sketches.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.104.
The articles of incorporation is the original document creating the association. The articles of incorporation may establish either a for-profit or not-for-profit-corporation to establish the condominium. Under most circumstances, the articles of incorporation establish a “corporation not-for-profit” under Chapter 617 of the Florida Statutes to govern the condominium.
The bylaws of the association govern the operation of the association, which may include methods of adopting and amending administrative rules and regulations governing the use of common elements, the restrictions and regulations regarding the use, maintenance, and the appearance of the units and their use of the common elements, provisions for giving electronic notice for board, committee, annual, and special meetings. The bylaws may also contain other provisions that are not inconsistent with the Florida Condominium Act or with the declaration, as may be desired.
Source: 10 Fla. Jur 2d Condominiums, Etc. § 105
The condominium association has the authority to pass reasonable rules and regulations that relate to the elements of the condominium that affect the owners as a whole, such as whether pets are allowed, the use of parking spaces and the weight of vehicles. Rules and regulations are created to promote the health, happiness, and peace of mind of the majority of the unit owners since they are living in close proximity and using common facilities. However, these rules may not be arbitrary or capricious. Additionally, compared to the restrictions within the declaration of the condominium, the rules and regulations do not have a strong presumption of validity and enforceability.
Source: See Unit Owners Ass’n of Buildamerica-1 v. Gillman, 292 S.E. 2d 378, 385 (Va. 1982); Juno By the Sea North Condominium Ass’n (The Towers), Inc. v. Manfredonia, 397 So. 2d 297, 298 (Fla. 4th DCA 1980). Hidden Harbour Estates, Inc. v. Norman, 309 So. 2d 180, 181-82 (Fla. 4th DCA 1975). Id. at n.45.
A condominium board meeting is defined as any gathering of the members of the board of directors, at which a quorum of the members is present, for the purpose of conducting association business. This could include a dinner where board members have gathered to discuss condominium matters and unit owners have the right to attend the meeting.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(c); F.A.C. 61B-23.001(1)(a).
If an association fails to fill vacancies on the board sufficient to constitute a quorum in accordance with the bylaws, any unit owner may apply to the circuit court for the appointment of a receiver to manage the affairs of the association. A receiver will have the same powers and duties as the board and will serve until the vacancies are filled sufficient to constitute a quorum. However, at least 30 days prior to applying to the circuit court for a receiver, the unit owner must mail to the association, as well as post a notice of the intended action and give the association the opportunity to fill the vacancies. Each unit owner must also notified by certified mail or personal delivery. If the association fails to fill the vacancies and a receiver is appointed, the association will be responsible for the receiver’s salary, court costs, and attorney’s fees.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.1124.
Notice of all board meetings along with the agenda shall be posted conspicuously on the condominium property at least 48 hours prior to the meeting, except in an emergency. However, notice of some board meetings, such as one at which non-emergency special assessments or amendment to rules regarding unit use will be considered shall be mailed or delivered to the unit owners and posted not less than 14 days prior to the meeting.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.112(2)(c).
Essentially, the board of directors is the decision-making body for the condominium. Their powers are in essence, the powers of the association, which include the power to manage, maintain, and operate the condominium property. However, an individual member of the association has no authority to act for the community or for the board simply by virtue of being a member.
Source: Fla. Stat. § 718.111(3); Fla. Stat. § 718.111(1)(c).
The steps you take or fail to take immediately after a car accident can impact the outcome of your claim. The most important thing to remember if you have been involved in a car accident is not to leave the scene of the accident; otherwise, you could face criminal charges.
The first step you should take after an automobile accident is to call 911 if you or someone else has been injured. You should also call the police and file an accident report. It is important not to admit liability, since this is a legal matter and should be properly investigated later. You should obtain the name and contact information for all parties involved in the accident and any witnesses to the accident. It is also a good idea to take pictures to document vehicle damage, road obstructions and injuries.
In order to successfully file a claim after being involved in an automobile accident, it is important that you obtain as much information as possible. Important information generally includes, the contact information for all parties involved in the accident, the contact information for any witnesses to the accident, a detailed explanation of how the accident occurred, photographs of the scene of the accident, and any other information that will help you prove the other party caused the accident.
If you have been a victim of a hit and run accident, you are no doubt hurt, angry and confused as to whether you will be able to recover compensation for your resulting expenses and damages. Similar to any other accident, it is important that you take certain steps to protect your legal rights, such as 1) call the police to file a report, 2) obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident, 3) document the scene of the accident, and 4) seek medical treatment.
If you have uninsured motorist (UM or UIM) coverage policy, you should also file a claim with your own insurance company. This provision in your policy allows you to recover compensation in the event of a hit and run accident.
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, you may mistakenly believe that you have no recourse when it comes to collecting monetary damages for your vehicle and medical treatment. In actuality, you can seek compensation from own car insurance carrier, as part of your underinsured and uninsured motorist (UM or UIM) coverage policy. Unfortunately, if your State does not require your insurance policy to include UM or UIM, your only recourse may be to file suit against the uninsured driver personally. Some States have funds to protect parties affected by accidents involving uninsured drivers.
The answer to this question depends on the specific facts of your case. However, the general rule of thumb is that it is best not to accept a check from the faulty driver or their insurance carrier until you have consulted with an experienced car accident lawyer. The reason is that after investigating the facts of your claim, your attorney may advise you that the true value of your claim is higher than what the negligent party or their insurance company is offering you. If you accept a settlement offer too soon, you may not be able to obtain the full value of your claim.
If the faulty driver had inadequate insurance to cover all of your damages, you may be able to tap into your own underinsured motorist coverage policy. UIM/UM coverage is relatively cheap, but an excellent way to ensure yourself and your family’s health in the event of a serious accident. You should consult with an experienced car accident attorney to see if underinsurance coverage is applicable to your claim.
The short answer to this question is yes. However, it is important to note that there are many factors that you should consider before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer from the negligent party or their insurance carrier. For instance, you should consider the extent of the injuries you suffered in the accident, the policy limits of the negligent party, whether the at fault party has other assets you can go after, and the extent of the medical bills you have incurred resulting from the accident. The bottom line is that the help of an experienced attorney can be invaluable when determining whether to accept or reject an offer from the insurance carrier.
When you’re injured in a car accident, typically no-fault insurance coverage will pay for your medical bills. If your no-fault policy limits are exhausted or further treatment claims have been denied, your attorney may also be able to refer you to doctors who will treat you on a lien.
A contract is an agreement between two parties creating a legal obligation for both of them to perform specific acts. Each party is legally bound to perform the specified duties such as rendering a payment or delivering goods.
In order for the contract to be enforceable, each party must exchange something of value (called “consideration”).
A contract may be used for various transactions, including the sale of land or goods, or the provision of services. They may be either oral or written, though courts prefer that agreements be put in writing.
In order for an agreement to be binding in a court of law, a contract must contain the following elements:
Mutual Assent: Each party must have a shared understanding regarding what the subject matter of the contract is. For example, for a delivery contract, both parties must understand that the word “ship” does not refer to a sea vessel, but rather means “to deliver”.
Offer and Acceptance: One party must make an offer by clearly communicating their intent to be bound in a contract. Likewise, the other party must render their acceptance in unambiguous terms.
Consideration: This where both parties mutually exchange something of value in order to make the agreement binding. The consideration may simply be a formality, such as giving $1. Sometimes contracts can be enforced in a one-sided promise where only one party renders consideration.
Capacity: All parties must have the ability to knowingly enter into the contract. A party cannot enter into a contract if the party does not have the mental capacity, is underage or does not have the authority to contract.
Legal Purpose: The contract must be created for legal purposes only. Contracts to sell illegal drugs, commit fraud or other crimes will not be recognized or enforced.
Usually, a person needs to be of legal age in order to enter into a contract. In most states this is at least 18 years of age. This is referred to as the legal capacity to enter into a contract.
In addition to having legal capacity, a person also needs to have “competency” to form a contract. This is defined as: the ability to understand that a contract is being formed, and the ability to understand the general nature of the contract.
So, even if a person has the legal capacity (age) to enter into a contract, a court might not enforce it if the person lacked the legal or mental capacity to do so.
A breach of contract means one party to the contract fails to fulfill her contractual obligations. A breach can occur if a party fails to perform within the time frame specified in the contract, does not perform in accordance with the terms of the agreement, or fails to perform whatsoever.
If one party fails to perform while the other party fulfills her duties under the contract, the performing party is entitled to legal remedies for breach of contract. This means that there are several points in time when the contract may be breached. A breach of contract means that one or both parties have failed to perform their duty. Some common types of breach include:
Non-performance of duties promised in the contract;
Breach of an implied duty; and
In a contract claim, the term “consideration” refers to something of value that is given in exchange for the performance of the contract duties. Consideration is also called the “bargained-for-exchange”, usually the price paid for the promise. This indicates that the party receiving the goods or services has given something in exchange for those benefits.
Every contract agreement must be supported by consideration. In other words, you can’t make a contract for one person to give something to the other without receiving something in return.
The consideration doesn’t have to be of the same exact value as the goods or services being provided. The focus is more on the legal obligation that the consideration “triggers” for the receiving party.
Oral contracts are generally valid even if not supported by a written document. On the other hand, contract laws require certain contracts to be in writing in order to be enforceable in court. These laws are known as “statutes of fraud” or “the statute of frauds”.
Under the “statute of frauds”, these contracts need to be writing because courts do not want parties taking advantage of each other. The following is a list of contracts that are required to be in writing to be valid:
Surety and Guaranty Contracts: These are contracts where one party agrees to be responsible for another party’s debts. A student loan co-signed by a parent is a good example.
A Contract, for Consideration, to Marry: Modernly, this rule has been eliminated in many states for policy reasons
A Contract that Cannot be Fulfilled Within One Year of the Start of the Contract: This generally means long terms contracts
A contract for the sale of goods over $500 or a lease of goods over $1000
Contract involving the exchange of land or real property, or an interest in real property (such as a lease)
A contract to give property on or after death
A contract to sell stocks and bonds
Whether you’re making plans to enter into a contract or are already dealing with a breach, it is essential to work with a lawyer every step of the way. A competent contracts attorney can help you draft a suitable agreement; as well as prepare your arguments in the event that a breach occurs. Contracts are powerful tools that create binding legal obligations, and a lawyer can help you understand what your rights are under contract laws.
Foreclosure is a civil action where a lender brings a lawsuit against a borrower to terminate the borrower’s rights to a piece of property and force it to be sold. The lender will receive money from the sale in order of priority along with claims from other parties.
A knowledgeable foreclosure defense attorney, such as the ones at Tollinchi Law, can offer several different types of options if you are in this situation. Some of these potential courses of action are outlined on the understanding my options page. Some of the options include assisting you to:
- Stay in your home without having to pay on the mortgage;
- Keep collecting rent or other income on the property;
- Negotiate a short sale, loan modification or deed-in-lieu with the lender; and/or
- Sell the property at market value.
In Florida, you have only 20 days after you have been served with a foreclosure lawsuit to file your response with the court. However, even if the 20-day period has passed and a default judgment has already been entered against you, you might still have options that you can pursue. For more information, check out the timeline we have compiled on the Understanding the Foreclosure Process page. This information will help you understand the foreclosure process and the timeframes and deadlines involved. It is very important that you call us or another foreclosure defense lawyer if more than 20 days have transpired since you were served with a foreclosure lawsuit.
Yes, you might be able to stop or at least delay foreclosure with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable foreclosure defense lawyer like the ones at Tollinchi Law. We have an arsenal of defenses and a variety of options that we use to help our clients stay in their homes.
In addition to issues regarding taxes and your credit, walking away from a mortgaged property could result in the lender obtaining a deficiency judgment against you. This happens when the property sells at a foreclosure sale for less than what you owe on it. It is still highly advisable to hire a qualified foreclosure defense attorney even if you plan to walk away.
It usually makes good financial sense to hire a foreclosure defense attorney because a lawyer can help you protect your rights, limit your exposure to a deficiency judgment and maybe save you thousands of dollars in taxes and mortgage payments. A foreclosure defense lawyer might even be able to help you stay in your home for good.
The answer is “yes” in most situations. If you let the lender know early that you are having trouble making the scheduled payments and that you want to work out alternative arrangements, it can make it easier to agree on other options such as a deed-in-lieu or a short sale. This allows you to get started on alternative options before the lender even files a foreclosure action. Also, valuable information and leverage can be gained before a lawsuit is filed through the use of a Qualified Written Request under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. For a few reasons, it’s helpful to hire an experienced foreclosure defense attorney early in the process.
Yes, you can stay in your house throughout the foreclosure process until possession must be forfeited at the very end.
In situations where a foreclosure sale does not produce enough money to completely pay off the underlying debt, a lender may obtain an unsecured money judgment against the borrower. Because Florida is a “recourse” state, deficiency judgments are allowed.
The lender sends a demand or acceleration letter to the borrower to inform them that they are in default under the terms of the mortgage, including the mortgage’s “acceleration clause.” The letter notifies the borrower that the lender is asking for full payment of the outstanding balance within 30 days. You should take immediate action and contact a foreclosure defense attorney as soon as possible if you have received an acceleration notice.
A borrower or “mortgagor” has the right to redeem his or her property at any point during the foreclosure process by paying the outstanding balance in full. The equity right of redemption in Florida ends when a “certificate of title” is issued.
A loan modification is an arrangement where the lender approves changes to the loan, including the loan’s term, monthly payment and/or interest rate.
This is a process where the lender agrees not to foreclose on a property in exchange for the borrower’s agreement to convey the property to the lender.
A short sale is a process that involves the lender agreeing to take less than the full amount owed on the loan as part of a sale of the property at market value. The lender agrees not to foreclose, which consumes time and could cost the lender more money due to general upkeep, decreased market value, vandalism and expenses related to marketing the property.
Products liability refers to a type of legal case that seeks monetary compensation for a person injured or killed as a result of a defective product.
Each state has its own laws governing products liability lawsuits. Generally, though, a product is legally deemed defective when the plaintiff proves that the product has a condition that makes it unsafe for its intended use or reasonably foreseeable uses. Proving the existence of a product defect is usually difficult and requires a great deal of skill and research.
The defendant — whether a manufacturer, distributor or seller — vehemently defends against the existence of a defect in most products liability claims. The defendant often goes even further and argues that the injured consumer was using the product improperly and any resulting harm was because of user negligence.
A design defect occurs when the manufacturer designs a product that is unreasonably dangerous to the consumer. An example of a design defect is a vehicle that has a tendency to flip over under reasonably foreseeable driving conditions.
A manufacturing defect occurs when an error in the manufacturing process creates an unreasonably dangerous condition in the product. All products should go through a rigorous inspection process so manufacturing defects can be detected before the product is placed on the market.
Failure to warn occurs when the manufacturer fails to warn consumers about a product’s dangers or fails to instruct them on how to properly use the product. In some cases, courts have found a “failure to warn” even when a manufacturer’s instruction manual warned of a danger, but the warning was hard to see or unclear. In many instances, bold stickers or other warnings on the packaging are necessary to adequately warn the consumer about the danger of serious injury or death. The type of product can also be a factor in determining whether there was a failure to warn.
Failure to warn cases are extremely complicated and typically involve a great deal of evidence presented by both sides.
A breach of warranty occurs when the manufacturer or seller makes a promise to the consumer about the product and the promise is then broken, resulting in harm. Warranties can be formed verbally or in writing or they can be implied.
An implied warranty is an obligation legally imposed when there has not been an express promise. For example, if you purchase a baseball from a bin at a sporting goods store, there is an implied warranty that the baseball can be hit with a bat without exploding and subjecting the consumer to serious harm. The salesperson and/or product packaging did not need to state this promise for an implied warranty to protect the consumer.
Products liability law is designed not only to deter the production of dangerous goods, but to discourage unsafe products from moving through commerce. Each case is unique, but the manufacturer, distributor and/or seller can typically be held strictly liable for a defective product that injures the consumer.
Each products liability lawsuit is different and the recovery of damages depends on numerous factors, including the state law in effect and the severity of injuries suffered by the consumer. In a successful products liability claim, the plaintiff can recover economic damages such as medical expenses and loss of income.
Noneconomic damages are often sought in products liability suits. Examples include pain and suffering, mental anguish, resulting disabilities and physical disfigurement.
While economic and noneconomic damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for injuries or wrongful death, punitive damages may also be available to financially punish the wrongdoer. Punitive damages are meant to deter other companies from making defective products. Punitive damages are extremely rare and usually require the plaintiff to prove the defendant’s misconduct was reckless or intentional.
For a successful products liability claim, you need to prove that a defect existed and caused your injuries. If you cannot prove those two elements, your claim fails on its merits. Further, the defendant will go to great lengths to demonstrate not only the safety of its product and absence of a defect, but that your negligent misuse of the product was the cause of the harm.
Even products liability lawsuits that seem to be straightforward need a defective products attorney to ensure that the claim is successful and obtains maximum compensation. Damage valuation is a complicated process that requires specialized expertise. You generally only have one chance to recover damages for your injuries; if your claim leaves you undercompensated, you likely won’t have further legal recourse.
No. If you feel that you or a loved one may have been harmed by a defective product, rest assured that there is never a fee to have the circumstances reviewed by one of our experienced attorneys.
In personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, injured parties usually pay a “contingent” legal fee. Under a contingent fee arrangement, the client does not pay the attorney an hourly rate. Instead, the attorney’s fee is a defined percentage of the amount of money that is recovered in a lawsuit. That percentage can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Additionally, the law firm you are working with will usually pay all necessary out-of-pocket expenses subject to a right of reimbursement without interest at the conclusion of the case, sometimes before, and sometimes after the contingent fee is calculated. In a contingent fee arrangement, if there is no financial recovery in a lawsuit, there is no fee paid to the attorneys.
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