Sarasota Real Estate Legal Services


• Commercial Real Estate Closings (Purchase, Development & Sales) 

• Real Estate Development Services

• Commercial Real Estate Leases (Negotiation & Drafting)

• Construction Contracts (Shopping Centers & Office Building)


• Real Estate Closings

• Home Purchase & Sale

• Title Insurance

• Residential Leases

• Like-kind Exchanges

• Foreign Real Estate Investors 


MORTGAGE DEBT RELIEF ACT OF 2007:  The law allows taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their principal residence. Debt reduced through mortgage restructuring, as well as mortgage debt forgiven in connection with a foreclosure, qualifies for the relief. The provision applies to debt forgiven in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Up to $2 million of forgiven debt is eligible for this exclusion ($1 million if married filing separately). The exclusion does not apply if the discharge is due to services performed for the lender or any other reason not directly related to a decline in the home’s value or the taxpayer’s financial condition. Be aware, that unless extended by Congress it will expire on December 31, 2012.      
WHAT IS A SHORTSALE:  Whether  you're in the market for a new home or considering selling your existing home, chances are you've heard of a short sale. Short sales can benefit those sellers facing the prospect of a foreclosure as well as buyers looking for a deal on their next place to live. However, short  sales can also be tricky, so understanding how they work is essential. With a short sale, sellers avoid having to go through the foreclosure process and adverse impact on their credit score. The biggest advantage to buyers is the prospect of moving into a new property at a substantial discount. However,  sellers considering a short sale must understand that not all lenders  will offer to relieve the seller of the responsibility of paying off the  balance of the loan.  


WHAT IS A FORECLOSURE: Foreclosure is a legal action in which property that has been used as security for a debt is sold in order to pay off that debt. Mortgages provide for foreclosure in order to give lenders the right to recover the money they loaned. Foreclosure is initiated by the grantor of the mortgage, must occur in the county in which the property is located, and must follow a default by the debtor on the terms of the mortgage. In Florida, a mortgagee may redeem the foreclosed property at any time before the court approves the sale of the property by payment of all sums due as calculated in the judgment of foreclosure. 


STRATEGIC DEFAULT: A  “strategic default” occurs when a homeowner decides to stop paying their mortgage even though they can still afford the payment. For individuals who are upside down on their mortgage, the decision may be
the first step to financial freedom. A Wall Street Journal report reflects that about 17% of households would choose voluntary foreclosure as a solution, even if they could pay the mortgage, when their equity shortfall exceeds 50% of the residences value. 


GUIDELINES FOR NON-US CITIZENS SELLING REAL PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES:  When a non-US citizen chooses to sell Sarasota or Manatee County Florida real property there are specific guidelines that must be followed. The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act ("FIRPTA") mandates that those who sell property in the US must fill out a tax return as if they were a resident themselves so that the proper amount of tax can be taken out of the sale. Ten (10%) percent of the gross sale amount of the Sarasota or Manatee County Florida is paid to the Internal Revenue Service. IRS form 1040NR ("Non-Resident Alien Income Tax Return") must be filed for the year that the real property is sold to insure that capital gains taxes are collected.