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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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Hi, I have 2 properties in Florida and I live in my home in

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Hi, I have 2 properties in Florida and I live in my home in Washington state. My folks live in one property financed thru me and my other is now a rental since I couldn't sell it. Both are way under water with regards XXXXX XXXXX I owe vs what they're worth. Additionally, my out of pocket is huge. I can make payments but have no savings even though I make a good salary. I don't know what my options are, if any and I'm not sure who to talk to about it since this can be either a legal issue and/or a financial analyst issue depending on how I approach it. While I'd like to avoid going the bankruptcy path, I'd like to know if Fl law will even allow me go that route? Thanks for any feedback.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.

“Since I live in Washington but own property in Florida, does Fl law take precedence?” If you were to file for bankruptcy protection, you would do so in your home state. Therefore, you would file for bankruptcy in Washington state rather than Florida. With regard to the properties outside of bankruptcy, however, Florida law is applicable (for example, if you default on the mortgages, then the lender will foreclose according to Florida law).

“Is walking away from the properties an option” If you refuse to pay the mortgages, then the lender will foreclose on the properties and if your parents and the renters do not move out, they will all be evicted. As mentioned above, the foreclosures would be completed according to Florida law. Florida allows deficiency judgments, so you will probably be on the hook for the difference between what you owe on the mortgage, and what the properties sell for at auction. This is particularly true since you can still make the payments, but choose not to (i.e. there is a good chance the lender can recoup against you).

If the lender does obtain a judgment against you, it will need to file the judgment with the courts in Washington. The judgment will then be treated as though the lender won it in Washington rather than Florida. At that point, Washington law will be applicable with regard to how the lender can collect on its judgment. Washington law allows judgment creditors to garnish wages as well as place a lien on the judgment debtor’s real estate if there is more than $40,000 in equity in the property.

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DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be sufficiently addressed in this setting. Accordingly, my post is intended as general information only, and should neither be construed as specific legal advice, nor as an adequate substitute for the retention of legal counsel.


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