Tonya Pitts, Real Estate Attorney, Featured Guest on WSRQ Talk Radio

Our very own, Tonya W. Pitts, Esq. , of McIntyre Thanasides is going to be a featured guest on the Real Estate Unplugged with Kay Winefordner. They will be discussing debt collection and other real estate matters. Real Estate Unplugged is a feature show on WSRQ Talk radio. Tune in Saturday April 16th, at 2:00 pm to listen live.

Tampa Attorney Tonya Wilils Pitts
WSRQ

The 2nd Anniversary of the Oulson Theater Shooting

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Pasco theater shooting that left Chad Oulson dead, and his wife, Nicole Oulson, with several injuries. In the latest development, Oulson is suing the Grove Theater and one of its employees for negligence that lead to Capt. Curtis Reeves shooting Oulson when he was frustrated by Oulson’s use of his cellphone in the theater. TJ Grimaldi, a Partner & Personal Injury attorney at McIntyre Thanasides, is representing the victim. The hearing will take place in April or May.

View the Latest Developments here:

View Other Posts About this Case

Tips to Avoid Damages in Commercial Lease Disputes

Commercial landlords may encounter situations where a tenant’s rent payment is due and there is no sign of the check. Weeks may pass without any indication of whether rent will be paid. Unfortunately, scenarios like this are not uncommon in the commercial real estate world, particularly during down markets like we’ve experienced over the last several years. The inability to pay may be voluntary, in protest to the landlord’s alleged breach of contract, or involuntary, as a result of a business loss or even bankruptcy. The important aspect is whether a breach of the lease agreement has occurred.

There are careful considerations landlords should take into account to avoid any legal implications for property owners if the matter is not handled correctly. If you are involved in a tenant dispute or have what appears to be an abandoned premises, it can be a serious matter, and taking the wrong steps can expose you to damages and costs. First and foremost, you should speak to an attorney who can provide guidance as to the appropriate steps you should take.

A properly executed lease should provide the landlord the right to seek damages if a tenant fails to properly vacate or leaves behind unwanted items such as equipment, materials or furniture. Under Florida law, if a commercial tenant fails to pay rent, landlords are required to give the tenant at least three days’ notice before beginning eviction proceedings. With respect to unwanted items left behind, the landlord typically has the right to collect from the tenant the cost of removing the items. There is an obligation of the landlord to properly notify the tenant about personal property left behind. The landlord must contact the tenant at the address they have on file to inform them of the unwanted property. It is important to note that a landlord is not allowed to physically remove the tenant’s property or lock them out until they have assistance from police officials by means of a Court Order and Writ of Possession.

To summarize, below are the key steps a landlord should consider when evicting a tenant:

  • Three-day notice: A landlord must provide to the tenant, in writing, notice that he or she has three days to comply with the lease or vacate. Such notice must comply with the lease notice and applicable Florida statute notice requirements.
  • Complaint filed and served: If a tenant fails to respond to a three-day notice, the landlord can proceed with filing a complaint for commercial eviction with a local court and serve tenant with a summons accordingly.
  • Litigation or default judgment: The tenant may challenge the allegations in the complaint. If there is no response to the complaint, the landlord can obtain a default judgment.
  • Writ of possession: If the landlord wins in court or obtains a default judgment, a writ of possession will be issued, which allows the sheriff to remove the tenant from the premises, including any items left behind.

Avoiding mistakes under default

A default does not necessarily mean a lease is being terminated. In a case where a default has occurred under a commercial lease, a landlord should follow certain guidelines to prevent any missteps. In addition to having a proper lease in place, landlords should follow the lease when exercising remedies and mitigate damages after a tenant default.

While it may seem obvious that you should abide by the lease, failure to follow the default and remedy process as outlined in the lease could prevent the eviction altogether. Or worse, it may lead to a claim by the tenant for a wrongful eviction. This type of claim could cause costly damages to be incurred by the landlord.

Following the default process in a proper lease allows the landlord to exercise its remedies, yet a landlord must also mitigate its damages. This minimization may seem unfair, but the law requires the landlord lessen damages after a tenant default. One example of mitigation is the duty to re-lease the premises after a tenant abandons the property. A lease should offer flexibility such as allowing the landlord to re-let the property at fair market value, even if higher than rent specified in the lease and for a shorter or longer term to meet financial requirements.

For more information on the rights and duties of landlords and tenants in Florida, click here.

If you are weighing the options under a commercial lease default and wish to get input from an experienced attorney, McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito P.A. can help. Contact attorney Blake Bringgold today for a consultation.

McIntyre Thanasides Announces Its Newest Location

July 31st 2014 / TAMPA, Fla.

The law firm of McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. is proud to announce the August 4th opening of its newest Bay Area location.

With current offices in downtown Tampa, Temple Terrace and Sarasota, the multi-disciplinary firm has added nearly two dozen attorneys since its inception and will now be able to provide law services to its clients in Clearwater from its newest location.

Clearwater Tower at
33 North Garden Avenue
Suite 180
Clearwater, FL 33755

 

With four offices throughout the Bay Area, McIntyre Thanasides serves individuals, corporations and many local institutions, providing comprehensive legal services to clients along with the experience and perspective you can trust to cover all of life’s possibilities.

The comprehensive scope of our practice areas, which include personal injury, business law, bankruptcy, real estate, foreclosure defense, criminal law, commercial collections, and class actions including BP, NFL concussion, and unsafe drug and medical devices settlements, allow us to guide our clients through nearly every legal situation.  We handle transactions and litigation of nearly every type, and our unique breadth of services and service areas truly allow us to serve our clients for life.

For more information McIntyre Thanasides, visit our website at www.McIntyreFirm.com.

Or you may call our main number at (813) 899-6059.

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Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Save Your House

One of the first questions that anyone thinking about bankruptcy asks is “Can I keep my home?” This is a concern for anyone facing foreclosure, and even more of a concern for those with school-age children who might be worried about moving into a different school district.

Fortunately, bankruptcy law has a number of provisions that are designed to keep people in their existing homes. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, in particular, is a good choice for many people seeking to stay in their home. Under Chapter 13, the person in bankruptcy, with the help of a bankruptcy trustee and the approval of the bankruptcy court, sets up a payment plan, typically lasting three to five years, during which time the person pays what he or she can to all creditors. This lower payment may leave enough in the person’s budget to get caught up on late mortgage payments (which are said to be “in arrears” until paid off).

Another advantage of bankruptcy is that upon filing a bankruptcy petition, any foreclosure action by a bank is automatically stayed (suspended) until the bankruptcy process is completed (or until the bank gets permission from the bankruptcy court).

As with any legal action, it is possible to represent yourself in court without a lawyer, but because of the complexities of the bankruptcy process, this is not a wise choice. The process is so complex, in fact, that the U.S. court system has dedicated bankruptcy judges which handle no other types of cases. There are attorneys for bankruptcy located in Loveland that one can get help from.

Chapter 13 relief is available to anyone with less than $360,475 in unsecured debts (such as credit cards) and less than $1,081,400 in secured debts (such as houses and cars). There are a number of other requirements, such as having not recently gone through bankruptcy or recently filing for bankruptcy but having the petition dismissed by the court.

Bankruptcy is not for everyone who is facing financial hardship, and Chapter 13 might not be the best bankruptcy choice, depending on an individual’s situation. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can fully assess a person’s debts and overall financial situation and help determine what approach is best-as well as navigating the complex bankruptcy process.

How Divorce Affects Your Taxes

Divorce brings change, some expected and some surprising. From setting up a single residence to determining how past assets are split, these changes can be difficult and time consuming. While attempting to manage the changes tied to divorce, be sure to keep the following tax implications in mind.

Filing Status – Married v. Single

If the divorce decree is not received by year’s end, the correct filing status is married. This is true even when separated the entire year. Within this status, there are two options: married filing jointly or married filing separately. Each has tax rate and liability differences. Although those filing as married filing jointly may have a lower combined tax, both are liable for any taxes due.

However, if the final decree of divorce is obtained before the end of the year the filing status should be listed as single. As a result, a former spouse’s deduction cannot be claimed even if the divorce decree is obtained at the end of the year and full support was provided to the former spouse.

Although the losses cannot be recouped, there is potential to file as Head of Household. If more than half the cost of keeping up a home and an unmarried status can be claimed the last day of the year, you may qualify. This status allows a higher standard deduction and lower tax rate along with the potential to claim certain credits.

Credits and Deductions

When filing requirements for Head of Household status are fulfilled, both the dependent care credit and the earned income credit may also apply. Additionally, if children can be claimed as dependents, you may qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credits.

The IRS also allows a number of deductions including alimony and certain individual retirement contributions.

Property Considerations

Property transfers between spouses are generally tax free. If the property is sold, a portion of capital gains can remain tax free. However, if the limit is exceeded, taxes are due. It is important to be aware that some assets carry automatic tax liabilities and that property considerations extend far beyond a family home in the eyes of the IRS. Assets such as retirement plans and health savings accounts are also reviewed in this group.

Determining the tax implications of a divorce can be difficult, to ensure your legal rights are protected contact an experienced divorce lawyer.

Delays in Foreclosure Processing Times Can Be Beneficial To Homeowners

Back in 2007, with the country in the grips of the housing crisis, the average foreclosure process took 253 days from beginning to end, just over eight months. As 2012 kicks off, a new report from LPS Applied Analytics puts the average time from the first missed mortgage payment to the final foreclosure auction at 674 days.

In some areas of the country, foreclosure processing delays are even more pronounced. In Florida, the average foreclosure takes 1,027 days, just shy of three years. Why, you may ask? One of the top reasons is that homeowners are increasingly turning to Tampa foreclosure defense lawyers and successfully fighting foreclosure.

Delays Chalked Up To Those Challenging Foreclosure

In just four years, the average time it takes to foreclose on a home has more than doubled. This means more homeowners facing foreclosure at the hands of lenders are staying in their homes longer. Experts explain this trend as an outgrowth of a heightened willingness to challenge foreclosure proceedings.

Taking legal action can delay, or prevent, foreclosure in a number of ways. Challenging your bank’s actions (such as the improper “robo-signing” many lenders engaged in that first came to light in 2010), waiting to file paperwork until the deadline, submitting legal requests that your lender produce original paperwork, and even declaring bankruptcy can all help keep you in your home.

For many homeowners, the ultimate goal is to dig out of a hole and get their homes back free and clear. However, for others, just staying in their homes a little longer can be a huge financial benefit: according to the LPS study, almost 40 percent of homeowners currently in default have not made a payment in at least two years.

Contact a Florida Attorney to Learn More

If you are facing the threat of foreclosure, there are many options potentially at your disposal. Speak to an attorney today to find out how you can benefit from challenging foreclosure.