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Tax Deed Surplus Funds - Hiring an Attorney vs. Hiring a Third-Party Recovery Company. What’s the Difference?

I was recently contacted by someone who had found out they were due Surplus Funds remaining from a Florida Tax Deed Sale. When she contacted the Clerk of Court for her county, they told her she needed to hire an attorney to retrieve those funds. Before speaking to me, she had been in touch with a Third-Party Surplus Recovery company that gave her false information. She called me to try to clear things up.

It is important to point out that by Florida Statute 197.582, it is not absolutely necessary to hire an attorney to retrieve your Florida Tax Deed Surplus Funds. Section (3) of the statute states in part that you need to file “a written claim with the clerk for the surplus proceeds.” In section (9) of the statute it states that if no other lienholders make a claim by a certain time, then it is presumed the funds are to go to the person who owned the property directly prior to the Tax Deed Sale. Nowhere in the statute does it state that an attorney must file the claim. That being said, many courts now require an attorney to file the claim for the Florida Tax Deed Surplus Funds to help prevent fraud by third-party surplus recovery companies.

How does a third-party surplus recovery company get around this? After they make an agreement with you, they hire an attorney to do the filing and pay that attorney a nominal fee. Kind of like adding a middleman. This also mean that the third-party surplus recovery company is going to hire the cheapest and most inexperienced attorney they can find in order to save themselves some money. When you sign up with them, they require you to sign over your rights to the surplus funds to them. They then hire an attorney who works for them, not you. This is important, because the attorney they hire is now working in the third-party recovery company’s interests, not yours.

If you hire a qualified Florida Tax Deed Surplus Attorney, like me, I will work for you and I have the knowledge necessary to help you get the maximum Surplus Funds you are entitled to. Back to my phone call example, she had told me the third-party surplus recovery company told her she had over $31,000 in Surplus Funds from the Florida Tax Deed sale. But when she spoke to the Clerk of Court, they informed her that there was actually less than $2,000 available in Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds. That is a huge difference. I looked the case up and confirmed that the Clerk of Court was right, at least due to the potential lienholders. You see, a lienholder for a Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus case has 120 days from the date of the Notice of Surplus Funds in order to file a claim. If they don’t file this claim in a timely manner, then they are out of luck. Additionally, some lienholders claims are extinguished by the Tax Deed sale itself. The third-party recovery company didn’t explain any of this to the person. This means that the amount in Surplus Funds could be higher that the $2,000, but you would have to wait until the 120 days has passed to know for sure.

This is why I feel it is so important to just forget about those third-party surplus recovery companies completely. They don’t know the law like I do. They also tend to hire inexperienced attorneys who don’t understand the nuances of these statutes and caselaw. The attorney they hire also doesn’t work for you. They work for the third-party surplus recovery company and their interests. If you hire me, I work for you. I will work hard to make sure you receive the most from your Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus or Florida Foreclosure Sale Surplus. Give me a call for a free consultation and I can tell you the best way to make sure you get the maximum you are due. I handle Tax Deed Sale Surplus and Foreclosure Sale Surplus Funds in every County in the State of Florida, and I don’t get paid unless you do.

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