I have often spoken about the dangers of using a third-party surplus recovery company. This week I received a call from someone who needed my help recovering Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds from the foreclosure sale of her father’s property. I handle these types of cases all the time. But what makes this one unique is that a third-party recovery company had already filed a motion to disburse funds on behalf of a family member claiming to be the only heir. This is very strange because according to my new client, there are at least five heirs (possibly many more) to the deceased party.
To compound upon that, the third-party surplus company is from outside of the State of Florida and did not hire a Florida attorney to file the claim. This means that the third-party could be fined for practicing law without a license in the State of Florida. There are some fraudulent claims in his Motion to Disburse Surplus Funds. First, he is claiming the person who signed over his rights to the third-party company is the “son and sole heir” to the deceased party. However, my client is the sister of the decedent and has stated that he (the decedent) had no children. If this is true, then any of those Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds go first to the deceased’s spouse. If his spouse is deceased, then it goes to his parents. If his parents are also deceased, then the money goes to his living siblings and then to any nieces and nephews.
All of this sounds a bit complicated, but the biggest problem is that this third-party is attempting to defraud the court as well as any other heirs that are to receive any of those Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds, hoping that no one will catch on and they can just get the money and disappear. What I will have to do is file a memorandum in opposition to the third-party surplus company’s fraudulent claim for surplus funds. Then, once their claim gets thrown out by the court, I will have to file a Petition for Summary Administration in this case and let the Probate court know exactly how many heirs there are to this case and request a portion of the funds for my client.
There is a possibility that a claim to the Florida Bar may be in order as well. According to the Florida Bar’s website, “The Supreme Court of Florida has given the Florida Bar the duty to investigate and take action against the unlicensed practice of law.” If you suspect that someone is practicing law without a license, you should contact the Florida Bar and fill out a complaint form. The Florida Bar has investigators who will decide whether someone needs to be prosecuted or fined for this practice.
Also, blatantly lying to the Court will never go over well in a case. It is possible that this third-party surplus company just didn’t do its research and might not know who the actual heirs are in this case. It is my suspicion that this company is trying to turn a “quick buck”. The person they claim to represent may not be a relative at all and could be someone with the same last name. That being said, by filing this fraudulent claim for Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds with the Court is considered to be Perjury. Perjury occurring during an official proceeding could be a third-degree felony charge with a fine of up to $5,000 and a sentence of up to five years in prison. It is never okay to lie to a court.
As I always say, it is extremely important to hire a qualified Florida Foreclosure Surplus Attorney in order to make sure you get the maximum of your Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds coming to you. Many of these third-party surplus companies don’t have your best interests in mind when they have you sign up. They are only working for themselves. If you hire me, I work for you. I represent you and your best interests. I am bound by laws and ethics that are set down by the Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court. I understand the law and I will do everything I can to make sure you get the maximum Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds possible.
If you believe you have Florida Foreclosure Surplus or Tax Deed Surplus Funds coming to you from the sale of a property that you owned or a deceased member of your family owned, please give me a call for a free consultation. I handle Foreclosure Surplus and Tax Deed Surplus cases in every County in the State of Florida, and I don’t get paid unless you do.