As part of the fallout from the financial crisis, lenders are taking title to tens of thousands of properties across the State of Florida. Many of these properties belong to condominium associations or homeowner’s associations. By the time a lender takes title through foreclosure, the previous owner will almost certainly be substantially behind on their association assessments. A third-party purchaser at a foreclosure sale would be jointly liable with the previous owner for the past-due amount, but Florida law drastically limits liability for these amounts for first mortgagees and their successors and assignees who take title through foreclosure.
Unfortunately, not all associations will recognize this. When they refuse to, it creates a barrier to transferring title because of the liens that associations impose and the potential litigation. In these situations, our firm has developed an efficient process to initiate negotiations with an association to resolve these disputes quickly. We have brought the same attention to detail that we use for a nine-figure case to this process to make sure each matter is handled with a sense of urgency so the lender can dispose of the asset quickly without needlessly depleting resources. And if the issue cannot be resolved amicably, we litigate the cases quickly and aggressively, with the goal of resolving them in six to eight months.