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.

Fort Lauderdale

754-332-2101

Miami

305-399-3832

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Recent blog posts

IL real estate lawyerIt is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic left many Americans struggling to make ends meet. Many employees saw pay cuts, a number of workers were furloughed, and some lost their jobs altogether. With economic conditions at an all-time low, many families were battening down the hatches and just trying to get by. Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is circulating the country, with more and more people getting the shot each day, things are beginning to open back up, including Americans’ desire to move on to the next chapter of their lives. For some, this involves buying their first home. Being a first-time homebuyer is an exciting experience -- you begin to imagine your life unfolding in a place that you can call your own. While every home buyer may be looking for something a bit different, it is important that the following questions are considered before finalizing your purchase.

  1. How Much Can I Afford? Buying a home is a long-term investment so it is important to budget appropriately for your monthly mortgage payments; after all, they will last for years to come. Begin by looking at your personal finances, such as your income, monthly expenses, and debt payments. Add up your typical monthly expenditures, including food, transportation, utilities, phone bill, insurance premiums, and more. Calculating these costs will help you determine how much you have remaining to dedicate towards your mortgage.
  2. How Much Can I Spend on My Down Payment? The more that you spend on your down payment, the less you will need to borrow and pay back later. If you have a larger down payment, you will have smaller monthly payments. It is important to find the down payment level that you can afford without taking up too much of your savings.
  3. How Much Will I Owe For Property Taxes? If you are interested in living in a certain area or have a desire to own a significant amount of land, you should first determine how much the property taxes will cost with what you are looking for. First-time homebuyers are often shocked when they realize how much additional money they will need to spend on property taxes. These required costs should be included in your monthly budget calculations.
  4. What Do the Closing Costs Include? Aside from your down payment, you will also owe a pretty penny when it comes to closing costs. These will be paid at the close of your real estate transaction and can include your realtor fees, home inspection, title search, appraisal, home warranty, and more. This is another cost on top of the down payment that will need to be paid upfront.
  5. What are the Additional Costs of Owning a Home? Unlike a renter, you will be solely responsible for the upkeep and management of your home. This can often come unexpectedly and can take a hit to your wallet from time to time. Be sure to have a thorough inspection completed before purchasing your home. If the inspector notices immediate improvements that need to be made, you may be able to get the previous owner to fix them before purchasing. Additionally, if your new home is a part of a homeowners association (HOA), you will need to pay a monthly fee to the HOA.

Contact a Broward County Real Estate Attorney

Buying your first home can be an overwhelming process without a professional providing you with a step-by-step guide. At Elliot Legal Group, we help first-time homebuyers enter into the purchasing process with the reassurance that the terms of their agreement are feasible in the long term, taking away the stress from the purchase and allowing them to focus on the exciting aspects of being a homeowner. If you are interested in purchasing a home, contact our Fort Lauderdale real estate lawyer at 754-332-2101 today.

 

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IL business lawyerAs a young business professional or recent business owner, your retirement likely seems years or decades away. Work can quickly become your main priority, especially if you are the owner of a business. Even if you are young and retirement is far in the future, it is important to have legal documents put in place that outlines what will happen with your business if you are no longer in charge. Do you want the business to be sold? Would you like your business passed down to another family member? With the help of a reputable business attorney, you can ensure that your vision for your company is met.

What is a Business Succession Plan?

In order to outline the future of your business, you should build a business succession plan in the early years of your business. A business succession plan is a legal document that guides your company through a change of ownership in the instance that you are unable to continue running things. This may be a result of retirement, death, or disability. Similar to a will, a business succession plan allows you to plan for the unexpected with the comfort of knowing that your business is in good hands. If you are passing your business down to one of your children or other close family members, the succession plan will name this individual as the new owner and list any necessary steps for this transfer of ownership. If a purchase is involved, the plan will include the sale price and purchase terms.

What Should Be Included in My Succession Plan?

Every succession plan is unique to the business’ circumstances. While there is no one-size-fits-all format, every succession plan should outline the following:

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FL bankruptcy lawyerIf you are struggling financially, you may be wondering whether or not filing for bankruptcy is the right solution for your situation. While you are considering that option, there are steps you can take to help protect your assets from creditors. The following is a brief overview of those steps. For more specific information about your situation, consider speaking with a Fort Lauderdale bankruptcy attorney from Elliot Legal Group.

Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Many of our clients find that debt can be a vicious cycle. Borrowing money creates debt and then situations arise that force people to have to borrow more money to try to get ahead of the debt. The more you borrow (or charge on credit cards), the worse your financial situation gets, and creditors are now calling on a weekly basis looking for their money.

If you are at the point where you are seriously thinking about bankruptcy, you want to stop borrowing money, whether through lines of credit or credit cards. Do not purchase any large ticket items – such as a car or jewelry – or otherwise try to run up credit cards any more than they are right now.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

While it is true that bankruptcy may not be for everyone, the two types of consumer bankruptcy do allow for plenty of options within them. People who cannot afford a payment plan for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy are usually afraid to file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy because they worry that foreclosure might result if they own a house. However, depending on your circumstances, you might be able to get the clean slate of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy without losing your home to foreclosure. In Florida, it is possible to keep your house even if you file for a Chapter 7 discharge of all consumer debts. 

Chapter 7 Versus Chapter 13: Keeping Your House

Most bankruptcy attorneys will advise you to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy if you meet the following criteria:

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Broward County business law attorney collaboration

As a business owner, you are undoubtedly protective of the company that you have built and maintain a certain level of privacy when it comes to your business. Every business is bound to have secrets that only the owner, management, and your business lawyer are privy to. While the inner workings of your company should remain confidential to a certain extent, it is important to avoid being completely insular. Building your network and collaborating with other business owners is a simple way to grow your business and make it more successful. In fact, there are a number of benefits that business collaboration has to offer.

New Inspiration

The best way to discover new ideas is by seeing how other successful businesses are doing things. Ideas can quickly come to a standstill in a workplace that never looks outside of its current way of doing business. While maintaining a routine is important in any workplace, never straying from this routine can make you miss out on new opportunities, techniques, or tools that can help you be more efficient both in time and money. Seeing how other businesses use certain techniques can also act as a “test drive” before you take on this new strategy.

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Sunrise business law attorney

Years ago when you and your partner started your business, you were likely both on the same page. Perhaps you are family, best friends, or simply co-workers who came up with a brilliant business idea together. Whatever your outside relationship may be, when it comes to running a business, you must maintain a sense of professionalism, especially when arguments arise. Rarely do business partners agree on every decision being made, but some disagreements can become more contentious than others. There are four ways in which you and your business partner can settle a dispute, some of which can be done on your own while others require outside help.

1. Referring to Your Management Agreement

Those going into business together should always plan for future disagreements that are inevitable when it comes to business partnerships. It is impossible for you and your partner to completely agree on every detail of your work, which is why business partners are advised to create a management agreement before going into business together. If you have both been in business together for years, you likely created a management agreement and may not remember the exact details. Before taking steps forward, refer to your management agreement to see how you and your partner should be handling things. Perhaps you included a clause that required you to go to mediation or maybe one partner has veto power over the other. If you have a management agreement, this should be your first place to turn. If you do not have one, you can choose any of the following options.

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Surfside real estate attorney refinancing

If you have recently had a change in your financial circumstances--perhaps you lost your job, received a pay cut, or have taken on additional costs--the mortgage that has been affordable over the past decade may no longer be feasible. You may be concerned that because your mortgage exceeds your income, you will soon be on the path to losing your home. Without taking any additional action, foreclosure could soon be on the horizon. However, there are a number of actions that you can take before getting to this point, including refinancing your home.

What Is Refinancing?

Refinancing your home means replacing your current home loan with a new one. There are a number of benefits that refinancing has to offer, such as reducing your interest rate, cutting monthly payments, or tapping into your home’s equity when needed. Refinancing can also allow you to pay off your loan quicker or switch from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate loan. Refinancing your home may seem like the perfect solution to your financial difficulties; however, there are certain requirements that must be met in order to qualify.

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Plantation business law attorney

Starting a business is an exciting endeavor. You have likely spent years considering a business idea in your head and are finally in the process of getting things off the ground. Having a good business idea is only the first step in creating a successful company. While this may be the foundation of your work, there are other things that are required during these initial stages. One of the most important aspects of building a business is choosing the right legal structure, also known as a business entity. This single decision impacts how your business will be run moving forward. But how do you know the difference between your options and determine which is the right one for you?

Choosing a Business Entity

There are four types of business entities that one can choose from: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC). It is best to consult with a business attorney to fully understand the differences between these options, but be sure to keep the following considerations in mind when choosing one business entity over another.

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Surfside real estate attorney title insurance

Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase that you will make in your lifetime. The moment you receive your keys may give you a surge of pride, but the path to get there can sometimes give you a headache. Without a professional guiding you through the process, it can quickly become overwhelming and you may feel as if you are paying for unnecessary additions, such as title insurance. This type of insurance incurs a one-time charge included in your closing costs and it protects the lender. But what about owner’s title insurance? Should you spend the extra money for the additional protection in Florida?

What Is Title Insurance?

Before your home closes, your mortgage lender will require a title search, which searches public records for any title defects related to your home. For instance, the title search may bring the following issues to light:

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Surfside bankruptcy attorney

The thought of filing for bankruptcy typically only comes to mind when it is your only option. Rarely do people fully understand what filing for bankruptcy entails and what this financial decision can actually do for you. Filing for bankruptcy is much more common than you think, and contrary to popular belief, it does not leave you financially destitute. Before you make a decision regarding your financial situation, it is important to have a true understanding of what this legal process will do for you and be aware of the common misconceptions associated with bankruptcy.

The Types of Bankruptcy

You have two different options when filing for bankruptcy, known as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, and depending on your financial situation, you will qualify for one or the other. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as “liquidation bankruptcy” because some of the filer’s assets can be sold to repay their outstanding debts. Once this is complete, the remaining debts will be discharged. This form of bankruptcy is reserved for those who earn less than the median income for the state of Florida. Those above this financial level will file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the filer will propose a repayment plan to pay off their debts within a three- to five-year period. It is always advisable to turn to a bankruptcy attorney before beginning the filing process to ensure that you do indeed qualify for that particular chapter.

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Hollywood business law attorney

Most business owners may hold off on hiring a business attorney until they have a legal problem arise. This is especially true for small business owners. When starting your business, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the decisions that need to be made. As your business grows, the busyness of your daily workday can keep you from taking the time to find an attorney, and before you know it, you have a legal problem arise with no one at your disposal to help you navigate the legal process. Whether you are in the early stages of starting a business or have yet to hire general counsel, there is no time like the present to get your business on solid footing by finding the right attorney for you.

1. Understand Why You Need an Attorney

Understanding why you need a business attorney, either now or in the future, is an important first step in selecting the right lawyer. Startups and small businesses may need a business attorney for a number of reasons including choosing a business entity, raising money through venture capital and selling equity to investors, drafting founder agreements, reviewing contracts, and handling employment issues. These issues can pop up at any time so it is important to have an attorney on hand before the problems arise.

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Sunrise business law attorney contract review

Running a small business and running a large business are two separate beasts. Some may think that managing a small company is a much easier endeavor, and in some ways it is, but it is important that your business upholds a certain standard of professionalism regardless of its size. Small business owners often have a more personal relationship with their employees since they work in closer proximity to all of their hired employees. While this can create a more comfortable, personalized work environment, it can also blur the lines between professional relationships and friendships. In order to avoid this gray area, you should consider creating employment contracts to ensure that both you and your employees are maintaining your duties within your position.

What Should Employment Contracts Include?

If you are considering creating an employment contract, it is a good idea to work with a business lawyer who can help you outline the details and contingencies. Employment contracts are unique to your business circumstances, though they typically include the following information:

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Wilton Manors real estate attorney foreclosure

Coming to the realization that there is a possibility that you could lose your home is never a good feeling. Everyone goes through financial difficulties—especially homeowners—but the thought of losing the place that holds your family memories can be devastating. This year has been challenging for everyone, regardless of economic status, and many are finding themselves in the most serious financial state of their lives. Though the government has provided a certain amount of financial support, these stimulus checks will not continue on forever and your financial situation may still be in disarray when that day does come. If you are on the brink of foreclosure, there are actions that you can take to save your home.

Education Is Key

You should first begin by educating yourself on what is happening. Most people do not know what the foreclosure process entails until they find themselves in the middle of one. Foreclosure is not an instantaneous process—far from it—and your lender will provide you with a number of notices and packets of information before your house is actually foreclosed. Many of the late payment notices will contain information on foreclosure prevention options, which is important for you to read through before it is too late. Depending on how late your payments are, you may also want to begin researching how Florida handles the foreclosure process to determine how much time you really have.

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Sunrise real estate attorney

As we enter into the new year with a vaccine being distributed on a national level, many are wondering how much longer the pandemic-induced restrictions will be enforced. The impact of COVID-19 on the United States began to surface in March 2020—coming up on almost one year ago to the date. Renters and landlords have been hit especially hard as the financial constraints of this unprecedented year left both parties underpaid. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recognized this financial crisis and enacted the state’s first delay in evictions, also known as a moratorium, in April 2020. Since then, this state moratorium has expired and transitioned into a national eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of January. Despite keeping a roof over Americans’ heads, both renters and landlords have criticized this tactic, and are wondering what will happen when the moratorium is finally lifted.

Federal Rent Assistance Money

In the last few days of 2020, the federal government passed a national stimulus package, which includes $25 billion in emergency rental assistance. Even though the funds have been approved by the government, many are wondering when and how this financial assistance will make it into the hands of renters and landlords. The exact timeline of the distribution is unclear, though Gov. DeSantis said the state expects to administer over $850 million in a news release earlier this month. The distribution of these federal stimulus funds must be completed by January 26, according to the details of the law signed by President Trump. DeSantis expects the federal government to provide the money to participating local governments in the coming weeks, after which renters will need to go through an application process on county, city, and state government websites to obtain financial assistance. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Florida is expected to receive $1.4 billion of the nation’s emergency rental assistance.

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Plantation business law attorney

Owning a business is no easy undertaking. Regardless of the size of your company, work tasks can seem overwhelming. In addition to your average workday, you are likely considering new ideas and areas of improvement during your off time, especially as the new year rings in. This past year may have been exceedingly difficult on your business as was the case with many small businesses across the country. With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to Americans, the economy and society are finally making their way back to normal. You should consider the following New Year’s resolutions to get your Florida business back on track and start 2021 with your best foot forward.

Do a Deep Clean

Throughout the year, paperwork can quickly pile up and you may feel as though you are stuck in the weeds. You should take time at the beginning of each year to refresh your databases and filing system. This will keep things organized, make important documents easier to find, and improve your business’ efficiency.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

This past year has been filled with ups and downs, leaving many Americans in financial disarray. Millions have lost their jobs, taken a pay cut, or have had to reduce their spending to survive the ongoing pandemic. Although it may not have seemed like the best time to relocate, many have left large cities or moved to another state to reduce their cost of living and gain the necessary distance from others to avoid contracting COVID-19. If you have relocated to Florida and are still struggling financially, you may be at the point where filing for bankruptcy is one of your only options. Newfound Floridians are still able to file for bankruptcy after relocating, but they should be aware of the implications that their move can have on the legal process.

Beginning the Bankruptcy Process

Depending on how new you are to the state, you may need to wait before filing. Bankruptcy law is federal law, meaning that a federal court will need to hear and review your case. Generally speaking, you are required to have lived in the state where you are filing—in this case, Florida—for at least 91 days. The court will verify your claimed state of residency in your official bankruptcy paperwork, typically through an apartment lease agreement or utility bill, before moving forward with the process. It is a good idea to hold off on filing until you meet this 91-day requirement; otherwise, you may be able to file in your previous state, although this would require significant travel between Florida and your previous home state.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

The past 10 months have undoubtedly been some of the most challenging in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep the nation in early March and has continued to rage ever since. Shutting down society for public safety has led to numerous repercussions, including leaving businesses struggling to stay afloat as well as renters and homeowners scrambling to make their monthly payments. While aid was initially provided by the U.S. government, many Americans have been left to fend for themselves now and have considered filing for bankruptcy since the last previous stimulus check was provided. Months of stalemate and negotiations by Congress has finally led to a new relief package to welcome the country into the new year.

Obtaining Financial Assistance

In the last week of 2020, Congress has struck a deal on approximately $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, with the goal being to assist families and businesses struggling from the pandemic. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the four leaders of the House and Senate finalized an agreement late on December 20. Many Americans will receive direct payments from the government, including stimulus checks of up to $600 per person for those earning $75,000 or less per year in addition to $600 for each child dependent. This is reflective of the country’s initial stimulus package months prior.

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Sunrise residential real estate attorney

The thought of buying a home may seem like an endeavor that is far in the future. Maybe you are waiting until you have a family, or perhaps you do not think that you are financially stable enough to make such a large purchase. While both of these are valid reasons to hold off on purchasing a home, many are unaware of the benefits that buying a home, rather than renting, has to offer. Aside from having a place to call your own, purchasing a house also provides several tax benefits and the ability to grow equity.

The Continuous Increase in Rent

Rent prices have increased at a fast rate throughout the United States, regardless of the state in which you reside. According to research from the Urban Institute, rent in many markets has grown exponentially compared to median incomes. In other words, your rent will continue to rise while your paycheck will likely remain stagnant. In many areas, monthly mortgage costs are comparable or even cheaper than monthly rent.

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Broward County business law attorney

Depending on when you started your business and how you record your finances, your fiscal year may not be the same as others around you. With the end of the calendar year landing on December 31 and tax day occurring in mid-April, most businesses do their final yearly to-dos within this four-month time span. The month of December is undoubtedly one of the busiest of the year, and many businesses will opt to complete their year-end tasks before the start of the new calendar year. Whether you decide to finish up these business chores before the holidays begin or a bit later in the year, it is important to complete the following before the end of your business’ fiscal year.

1. Financial Bookkeeping

Every business owner is different and so are their tactics for recording their finances. Some may have every i dotted and t crossed, while others may have a giant box filled with receipts. It is critical that you get your financial information properly recorded before tax season begins; otherwise, you may be spending days locating and entering this information into a proper log. It may be a good idea to get your books in order before the start of the holiday season, that way you can start 2021 more organized and have your records together before filing your taxes a few months down the road.

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Sunrise bankruptcy attorney

Those who are unfamiliar with the details of bankruptcy, which typically includes anyone who has not filed for bankruptcy, may incorrectly believe that all of your debts disappear upon filing. While bankruptcy is meant to help rid you of significant debt, the process will still require you to pay off most of your debts. The details of this financial breakdown vary depending on the type of bankruptcy that you file as well as the depth of your debts. Many filers do, however, get some form of a break, known as a discharge. Before moving forward with the bankruptcy filing process, it is important to understand what exactly you are responsible for and which of your debts will be forgiven without full repayment.

What Is a Bankruptcy Discharge?

A bankruptcy discharge is a legal term for debt forgiveness. In other words, a discharge releases a debtor from personal liability for a number of specified debts, not requiring him or her to pay back the discharged debts. A discharge is a permanent legal order that restricts the debtor’s creditors from taking action to obtain money for the outstanding debts. A bankruptcy discharge does not, however, cancel out any liens that a creditor may have against a property, meaning that a creditor is still able to enforce a lien and recover the associated property.

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