Florida Homestead Exemption Applies Only to U.S. Citizens and Permanent ResidentsA bankruptcy judge in the Middle District of Florida recently sustained a Chapter 7 trustee’s objection to a non-Florida resident debtor’s attempted claim of the Florida homestead exemption. Although the debtor had lived in her Florida home for more than 20 years, she was not a United States citizen or a permanent resident with a

Florida Supreme Court Rules Borrowers Can Recover Reciprocal Attorneys’ Fees Under Section 57.105The Florida Supreme Court rang in the New Year by casting a blow to lenders and loan servicers in Florida seeking to avoid the entry of attorneys’ fees judgments in borrowers’ favors where the borrowers successfully argued the plaintiff lacked standing to foreclose. On December 31, 2020, the court issued its opinion in Page v.

Florida Court Affirms That Merchant Cash Advance Product Not Subject to Usury StatuteThis month, a Florida appellate court held that a merchant cash advance (MCA) purchase and sale agreement was not a “disguised loan” and, therefore, was not subject to Florida’s criminal usury statute. MCA purchase and sale agreements, which offer merchants a fast and efficient way to obtain funding for their operations, are not loans. Rather,

Eleventh Circuit Holds Plaintiffs Must Have Incurred Concrete Injury for Article III Standing to Sue under FDCPAUnder the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), debt collectors are prohibited from using “false, deceptive, or misleading representation[s]” in connection with collecting debts. If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, the debt collector may be liable in the amount of the actual damages incurred by a debtor resulting from the FDCPA violation. Further, additional

Misrepresentation Claims Not Preempted: Eleventh Circuit Rules Against Preemption in Student Loan CaseAs we’ve been tracking for over a year now, courts across the country have addressed the significant question of whether the federal laws governing federally owned or guaranteed student loans preempt state laws placing burdens on servicers of those loans. Last week, the Eleventh Circuit became the latest court to weigh in, holding in Lawson-Ross

<i>Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper</i> Provides Good News, Bad News, and Instructions to the Cannabis Industry and the Financial Institutions Serving ItFor years, the “legal” cannabis industry – operating in states that have legalized cannabis under state law despite its long-standing prohibition under federal law – and the financial institutions that serve the industry have closely watched Safe Streets Alliance v. Hickenlooper. In Hickenlooper, Safe Streets Alliance, a “nonprofit organization devoted to reducing crime

Providing Banking Services to the Legal Marijuana Industry: Mitigating Risks to Maximize Potential RewardsSince 1996, when California became the first state to legalize marijuana (at the time, for medicinal purposes only), 28 additional states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some extent. Public support for legalization continues to rise as more and more jurisdictions loosen their marijuana laws, with 64 percent of Americans in favor

Servicers Beware: Courts Rule Non-Parties Cannot Invoke Jury Trial WaiverIn Florida, courts routinely enforce jury trial waiver provisions found in loan agreements, which are generally valid and enforceable. This is true even with respect to fair debt actions. However, because there is generally a fundamental right to a jury trial, waivers of this right are strictly construed. As such, federal courts in Florida have

No Free Houses—Florida Supreme Court Approves Fifth DCA’s Bartram Decision and Extension of Singleton v. GreymarThe mortgage industry scored a significant victory last week when the Florida Supreme Court released its decision in Bartram v. U.S. Bank, N.A. broadly approving of the approach taken by the Fifth District Court of Appeal and other courts in addressing the application of the statute of limitations in the context of an action

New Law Affects the Timeframe to Cancel Mortgages in FloridaEffective July 1, 2016, lenders will have less time to cancel a mortgage in Florida once it is paid in full. Furthermore, open-end mortgages must now be cancelled within a specified time of the borrower’s request for cancellation.

Specifically, the Florida legislature has amended Section 701.03 of Florida Statutes and reduced by 15 days the