The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. Offices | Fort Lauderdale and Miami

3101 N. Federal Hwy., Suite 609,
Oakland Park, Florida 33306

*Licensed in England and Wales, Florida and Washington D.C.

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Fort Lauderdale

754-332-2101

Miami

305-399-3832

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Recent blog posts

Surfside real estate attorney

Despite COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. economy, the housing market has not come to a stop. Since a high number of Floridians have lost their jobs or taken a pay cut in the last six months, many of these individuals are looking to downsize and reduce their mortgage payments. Additionally, some Floridians have begun to recognize the risks that large cities can pose on its inhabitants, choosing to move outside of these urban areas and avoid forced close quarters. And for those who refuse to let COVID-19 put their life on pause, there is no time like the present to start fresh. Regardless of the reasoning behind moving or deciding to purchase your first home, making such a large purchase can be exciting and intimidating. The home buying process involves much more than simply finding the right type of floors or cabinets. From finding a property to completing the closing process, working with a real estate attorney is your best way to be prepared every step of the way.

Find the Right Professionals

It is never advisable to take on the house hunt and legal home buying process without the help of reputable professionals. Your first step is to find a real estate agent who understands what you are looking for and is familiar with the area in which you are looking to move. A well-experienced real estate agent will be able to help you find a property that fits your financial and personal needs in a reasonable amount of time. A mistake that many first-time homebuyers make is attempting to find a property on their own, spending months or up to one year looking for places to live. Although it is helpful to see a number of properties before deciding on one, the process can sometimes make homebuyers feel overwhelmed. Once you have found a property that you are interested in, hire a reputable real estate attorney to help you with the remainder of the legal process.

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Plantation litigation attorney personal injury

In the midst of recent events and surges of support for the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM), many political protests have surfaced, drawing thousands of people to one area to show their support for racial equality. As some peaceful protests evolve into violent ones, law enforcement officers are wielding their power against protestors, sometimes targeting peaceful protesters in the process. Before attending a protest and exercising your First Amendment rights, it is important to understand what falls under these legal protections to avoid getting involved in a legal matter or criminal case. If you find yourself facing charges, following the proper peaceful protesting guidelines will only strengthen your litigation or personal injury case.

What Rights Does the First Amendment Protect?

The First Amendment is the foundation of American democracy and represents the core values of the United States: freedom of speech. This critical legislation states:

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Surfside bankruptcy attorney asset protection

Everyone’s biggest fear with filing for bankruptcy is losing everything -- your house, vehicles, savings, and more. What many do not know is that filing for bankruptcy does not mean that everything is taken away from you. There are a number of exemptions that Florida allows its residents to keep their assets even after filing for bankruptcy. In order to classify for such exemptions, you must be a Florida resident, not a recently relocated individual. You must have lived in Florida for the past two years to qualify, and if not, you will have to follow your previous state’s exemption requirements. Although it is always best to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer, you should be aware of possible exemptions available to you.

Homestead Exemption

If you are a Florida homeowner, you will likely be able to keep your home after filing for bankruptcy. Most states limit the amount of equity you can have in your house, but Florida is slightly more lenient. As long as you bought and have owned your property 1,215 days (a little less than 3.5 years) before filing, and your property does not exceed a half-acre in size, you qualify for Florida’s homestead exemption.

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Surfside real estate attorney

COVID-19 has been labeled “unprecedented,” “a global pandemic,” and other phrases that designate the impact this contagious virus has had on our nation. With stay-at-home orders being created and extended, restaurants and bars being restricted, and many people losing their jobs as companies cut costs, it can seem impossible to follow through with some of your contractual obligations. Real estate is one of the areas taking the hardest hit—renters are struggling to pay their monthly fees and homeowners are having difficulties with their mortgage dues. Although moratoriums have been put in place, allowing some leeway with payment due dates, they will soon be coming to an end, leaving thousands of Floridians unsure of what to do next.

What Is “Force Majeure”?

The term “force majeure” refers to a clause present in many contracts giving signees a loophole for following the terms of that contract. In general, force majeure clauses require the petitioning party to present a specific and compelling reason why he or she cannot perform the terms of the contract. However, simply saying times are hard is not enough evidence to escape the contract’s terms. In Florida’s legislation, force majeure includes hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fire, extreme weather conditions, or other acts of God, wars, insurrections, acts of terrorism, or unusual transportation delays of which the non-performing party is unable to overcome. As you can see, the global pandemic is not included in this description, yet one might consider these unusual and unforeseen circumstances “other acts of God.” 

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Miami bankruptcy attorney homestead exemption

If your home or property is considered a “homestead,” there are numerous legal protections available to you. It is important to know the qualifications of a homestead if you are a Florida resident. For example, the benefits can save you thousands of dollars each year, as well as protect your home if you are on the verge of bankruptcy. In order to apply for homestead exemption, you must have the legal or beneficial title to your home on January 1 of the year in question. So, if you applied this year, you must have had the title by January 1, 2020. You must also permanently reside at this home—those with Florida vacation homes do not apply. The application for homestead exemption must be submitted between January 1 and March 1 at the property appraiser’s office in your respective county. This application need only be done once, as the homestead status will remain active unless you inform the property appraiser’s office otherwise.

Creditor Protection

If you find yourself in a significant amount of debt, you may be considering filing for bankruptcy. You likely feel pressured by your waiting creditors to sell your home and provide them with the proceeds to pay off your cumulative debts. While selling your home is an option, Florida law states that you cannot be forced to sell your home to pay off a debt if you are sued by a creditor. If you live in an unincorporated area, you can protect your home and up to half an acre of land from any forced sale. This protection also extends to anyone who inherits your home or property after you pass away. You should note that this homestead protection does not apply to those facing foreclosure, contractors’ liens, or past-due association fees. You may also be forced to sell your property in order to collect late property taxes.

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Sunrise business contracts attorney

It is not uncommon for family, friends, or business partners to come to an agreement over dinner, shake on it, and assume that everything will be taken care of. Since you have an amicable or trusting relationship with the person, you may not feel as if signing a legal contract is necessary for the work to get done. While this handshake may act as a substitute for signing on the dotted line, you may be unable to enforce this agreement if things begin to go south. For those who fall victim to such business relations, Florida legislation has addressed which oral contracts stand in court and which verbal agreements fall short in the eyes of a judge.

What Is the Statute of Frauds?

Since oral business agreements are fairly common, legislation has been put in place to note which agreements are considered invalid in a court of law. It is important to note these descriptions in the instance that you are considering going into business with a friend solely based on trust. The statute of frauds lists the following types of contracts invalid and unenforceable without the details outlined in writing and signatures from both parties:

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Sunrise business law attorney third-party-beneficiary

Everyone has experienced a time when a lunch date with a friend has evolved into a group event after bumping into someone while out to eat. This “third wheel” can hang around much longer than expected and change your plans drastically. While this is a boiled-down analogy, third-party beneficiaries within business contracts can be a similar experience. Companies signing contracts may not realize the straggling, unintended parties that may appear later down the road. Whether you are a small start-up or a well-established company seeking new business ventures, it is critical to be detail-oriented when drafting a new contract or considering signing one. The legal jargon used in these contracts as well as the high volume of content can cause some businessmen and businesswomen to sign a contract without recognizing the third parties it may bring along with it.

What Is a Third-Party Beneficiary?

Similar to the analogy used above, a third-party beneficiary is a company or business that benefits from the terms of a contract made between two other parties. These potential beneficiaries are sometimes unforeseen by the signees before putting their pen to paper. Depending on the circumstances, these third-party beneficiaries may have certain rights within the contract if the terms are not fulfilled by both signing parties.

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Broward County real estate attorney foreclosure

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, states have begun to make their own decisions regarding reopening after months of mandatory stay-at-home orders. Florida began its reopening process earlier than most and has seen a spike in its recorded cases. The state had its record high of cases on June 16, with 2,783 COVID-19 cases confirmed in a single day. With that state’s popularity as a vacation hotspot, some say that the reopening is happening sooner than it should. Florida may have begun to reopen its public spaces, but regulations remain in place to assist those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage to avoid a high number of evictions or foreclosures in the midst of a pandemic.

Financial Assistance

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the first housing executive order in early April, with an initial timeline of 45 days. According to the order, no mortgage foreclosure actions can be made for the time being. This also extends to renters who are late on rent payments. Landlords are unable to evict you from your apartment or house due to late payments during this time. However, the order strictly states that this cannot be construed as relieving homeowners or tenants from paying their mortgage or rent. Since the pandemic has lasted much longer than the 45 days allotted by Governor DeSantis, he has extended the order to last until July 1, 2020. Although the order may not completely relieve Floridians of their housing costs, it does allow them more time to earn and produce their mortgage costs or seek out additional help through loans or other means.

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Surfside bankruptcy and repossession attorney

Having your belongings taken from you is a frightening situation to imagine. If this occurs, it typically involves your most valuable assets, such as your home or car. Most people have heard the term foreclosure and understand that this means having your home taken away from you. What many may not realize is that any items you have purchased with the help of a loan can be repossessed by the lender if you fail to make payments. This can be a terrifying thought, especially if you rely on your car to get to and from work. Luckily, there are actions that you can take with the help of a skilled bankruptcy attorney to avoid such drastic measures.

How Does Repossession Work?

The term “repossession” refers to the lender reclaiming ownership over the object for which they have helped pay. This can include a house, vehicle, jewelry, furniture, or any other tangible asset that you may be in the process of paying off. Home foreclosures take a period of time and require a number of notices to be made to the owner before repossession can occur. However, vehicle repossession is not always so drawn out. Lenders are technically able to repossess items as soon as a payment is missed and do not need a court order to do so. This often involves a tow truck appearing on your driveway to take your car away. This is typically not the best option for lenders since the value of the car is less than what they would receive from you as you continue to make your payments. However, if you are delayed on multiple payments, it is not out of the question for your lender to seek payment in some form, even if that means repossessing the vehicle.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

Filing for bankruptcy is often the last thing that a person wants to do, which is why many people only consider bankruptcy if they feel they have no other options. Many people may falsely believe that filing for bankruptcy means handing over everything they have. Luckily, there are two types of bankruptcy which allow individuals to choose which one works best for them and avoid losing all of their assets to pay off their debts. Since filing for bankruptcy is often a last resort, you may not be educated on the topic. If you find yourself facing financial difficulty, it is important to understand which type of bankruptcy fits your unique situation.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

This type of bankruptcy is the more well-known of the two options. Also known as liquidation bankruptcy, Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows individuals to discharge or eliminate their outstanding debts after their bankruptcy trustee sells their property or assets to pay off as much of their debts as possible. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is typically only used by those who have little to no disposable income. In other words, if you do not have enough income left over after paying ongoing expenses to repay some or all of your debts, you should consider filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The court will use a Chapter 7 means test to see if you are eligible to file for this form of bankruptcy, and if you qualify, you can report the income you earn and the assets you own. Non-exempt assets will be turned over to the bankruptcy trustee to be liquidated, but there are a variety of exemptions that will allow you to keep certain property, and once the bankruptcy process is complete, you will no longer be required to pay your debts. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy should be done with the help of an experienced bankruptcy lawyer who can ensure that you report all income and assets properly and that your debts are fully discharged.

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Pompano Beach bankruptcy attorney CARES Act

The coronavirus pandemic has been a series of unprecedented events, one after another. The effects of the pandemic have hit the United States so hard that Congress passed the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, worth more than $2 trillion. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a record-breaking relief package that has helped millions of Americans, small businesses, and various levels of government. The Act was so wide-reaching that it touched many areas of American society, including the Bankruptcy Code. If you are considering filing for Bankruptcy in Florida, it is imperative that you understand the impact the CARES Act may have on your case. 

The CARES Act and Bankruptcy Cases

The most well-known portion of the Act is the part that provides for economic impact payments to many American households and individuals. The Act authorized monetary payments of up to $1,200 for people who filed an individual tax return and up to $2,400 for couples who filed a joint tax return. In addition, for each child a person or a couple has under the age of 17, they will receive an additional $500. These amounts apply to single filers whose annual income is up to $75,000 and married couples filing jointly whose income is up to $150,000.

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