This is a Florida Condo Association question:
A unit owner commits suicide and his heirs formally reject his estate, because the unit is 'under water', and the balance of the estate is in negative net worth. Neither the dues nor the mortgage payments on the unit have been made for months.
The Association had started foreclosure
proceedings, but put them on hold when the owner killed himself.
The electricity on the unit was cut off for non payment.
The Association entered the apartment and turned on the electricity at its own cost on a form of 'emergency measure' lest mold set in and spread to other units.
1. The Mortgagee/Lender is not actively doing anything.
2. The estate has no net assets and no person or person anywhere that can be contacted to legally do anything. The Ass'n is in contact with the heirs father/representative who provided the information in question. Having rejected the estate the heirs are laoth to do anything else related to the estate lest they be deemed to have taken it over and become responisble for its debts.
3. Waiting for the Lender to act could take months if not years, and dues would remain unpaid and eventually uncollectible from anyone, (beyond a minor repayment by the Lender at some point in time)
Option # XXXXX The practical option
1. The Ass'n takes over the unit in a de facto
move whether entirely legal or not "to preserve the asset". Meanwhile the foreclosure suit, previously on hold, is reinstated.
2. It so informs the Lender as the only true stakeholder and the Probate Court where the Will is being probated.
3. It then proceeds to rent unit the unit subject to the rights of the first mortgage lender.
That allows the Ass'n to recover some of its past losses and ensure that until the Lender acts, the dues will be covered.
Option # XXXXX; The entirely safe legal option:
1. The Association continues with its foreclosure proceedings and waits either, for those proceedings to end in the Ass'n title
to the unit, or the Mortgage Lender becoming the owner.
That means the Ass'n continues to lose money every month as it pays for the electricity to protect the building from mold, but receives no dues at all.
The difference in the 2 methods could cost the Ass'n up to $15 - $20,000
Those favoring the de facto move say it's legal and nobody is getting hurt anyway, and notice will have been given to all possible stakeholders.
Others question the legality of the de facto move.
The Question is:
1. Does the de facto move have at least the color of legality?
2. If not what is the actual risk if it is used and who can claim to having been hurt?
3, Finally would it help if the heirs actually signed a Quit Claim Deed to the Ass'n although they have formally rejected the estate.