I received a call this week from someone who’s parents’ property went to foreclosure sale and there were some surplus funds available after that sale. Because his parents were both now deceased, he is due the Florida Foreclosure Sale Surplus Funds as an heir. Florida Statute 45.033(2)(b) state in part, “An involuntary transfer or assignment may be as a result of inheritance.” This means that no probate should be necessary for him and his brother to receive the funds. However, he stated that immediately after the sale of the property, he was contacted by a third-party surplus recovery company and was pressured into signing a document for them to “help” get the funds.
The more I spoke with this person, the more I began to realize he was being scammed by this surplus recovery company. He told me there was over $12,000 in Florida Foreclosure Surplus Funds available and the company’s representative told him that he and his brother could get between $1,500 and $2,000 each once they retrieved the funds. What?? A total of $4,000 or less of the more than $12,000 of the surplus funds? That means the surplus recovery company would get over $8,000 of the funds. How is that legal?
These companies will make all kinds of promises and will pressure people into signing their rights to the surplus funds over to the surplus recovery company. Florida Statute 45.033(3) states, “A voluntary transfer or assignment shall be a transfer or assignment qualified under this subsection, thereby entitling the transferee or assignee to the surplus funds or a portion or percentage of the surplus funds.” This means that your rights to these surplus funds are being signed over to the surplus recovery company. You no longer have any rights to those funds beyond your agreement with them. And if they just up and disappear? Well, it has happened. Some of these companies will just disappear and take your money with them.
But how can the “legitimate” companies charge so much? It is because there aren’t any current laws or regulations that prevent them from charging whatever they want. Granted, Florida Statute (3)(d) states, “The total compensation paid or payable, or earned or expected to be earned, by the transferee or assignee does not exceed 12 percent of the surplus.” However, these companies get around this portion of the statute by not disclosing to the court how much their compensation actually is. They inflate what they are getting by charging an initial “consultation fee”. This fee can be as much as they want. 30, 40, even 60 percent. Furthermore, these surplus recovery companies will downplay how much the property is worth, how much it sold for, or may not disclose to you how much the actual Florida Foreclosure Sale Surplus Funds are. It’s just one big scam and you are their target. The best thing you can do to avoid these scams is to never sign over your rights and to contact a qualified Florida Foreclosure Sale or Tax Deed Sale surplus attorney.
If you contact me to help you retrieve your funds, how do I get paid? I get paid on a contingency basis, meaning I don’t get paid unless I recovery the funds for you. I will evaluate your case and base my contingency fee on the difficulty in fighting to retrieve your Florida Foreclosure Sale Surplus Funds or Florida Tax Deed Sale Surplus Funds. Sometimes this may include having to do a probate. Sometimes I have to fight off other parties who wrongly believe they should be entitled to the funds. Bottom line, I will always disclose exactly what percentage my fees are, and you will never sign over your rights to me. I fight for you.
If you have been contacted by one of these shady surplus recovery companies, I urge you not to sign anything with them. Instead call me. I will go over your case with you and let you know the best course of action that needs to be done to secure the funds that rightfully belong to you. I handle Foreclosure Sale Surplus and Tax Deed Sale Surplus funds in every County in the State of Florida, and I don’t get paid unless you do.