I call them foreclosure surplus predators. That is, businesses (non-lawyers) that directly contact former homeowners who either have a tax or mortgage foreclosure surplus claim in Florida. These businesses use manipulation and try to persuade the former homeowners to assign all of their rights away. Beware.
I recently spoke with an owner of one of these businesses. Apparently, he didn’t know that I have handled quite a few Florida Foreclosure Surplus funds cases.
I asked him what percentage of the foreclosure surplus funds his company was charging in order to recoup surplus funds for the homeowner. He initially told me 40%. I went on to tell him that it was illegal for his company to charge that high of an amount per Florida Statute, because he is not a lawyer and cannot charge a higher contingency fee.
Specifically, Florida Statute 45.033 (3) (3) (e) states “the total compensation paid or payable, or earned or expected to be earned, by the transferee or assignee does not exceed 12 percent of the surplus.”
Meaning, a non-lawyer surplus trustee, or the entity that the rights have been assigned to, is not allowed to collect more than 12 percent of the total surplus.
Further, the transferor or assignee MUST be qualified as a surplus trustee pursuant to Florida Statute 45.034.
Back to the dialogue. . .
After I told the businessman that it was illegal to charge 40%, he went on to say that he advanced the homeowners money and now he was taking the whole surplus per their agreement. Again, this is illegal.
Former homeowners, 1) it is illegal for these companies to take more than 12% of your total (no matter how much money they advance you); 2) if these companies are not qualified per Florida Statute 45.034 to be a surplus trustee, it is illegal for them to handle your situation (it is actually the unauthorized practice of law, which is illegal as well); and 3) you may be entitled to collect a lot more money than what these businesses are telling you. Remember, they are not lawyers and are not authorized to practice law or give legal advice in Florida. Nor are these businesses held accountable by a Florida Bar of ethics like lawyers are.
Many of these businesses are lying, manipulating, and misleading former homeowners into settling for an advanced fee that is way less compared to the total amount of the surplus funds that the former homeowner is legally entitled to collect! Don’t fall for their tricks.
Before you sign a fraudulent agreement, or answer any more aggressive phone calls from one of these businesses, call my law firm and I will give you a free consultation and guide you to a legal and sound decision. I have handled several complex Florida foreclosure surplus funds cases and will confidently tell you the amount of money you are entitled to pursue.
If you have a Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds case and need a Miami Foreclosure Surplus Funds Attorney, Fort Lauderdale Foreclosure Surplus Funds Attorney, Orlando Foreclosure Surplus Funds Attorney, Tampa Foreclosure Surplus Funds Attorney, or a Jacksonville Foreclosure Surplus Attorney, the law firm of Haynes & de Paz has extensive knowledge in the Florida Foreclosure Surplus law. Contact us today for a free consultation!