Webinar: Preventing REO Closing Delays & Diversifying Your Business – An Introduction to Probate

Preventing REO Closing Delays & Diversifying Your Business
An Introduction to Probate

Having vast knowledge of our industry is key for success. Join us for a webinar featuring the basics of probate and how you can incorporate these services into your business.

April 7th, 2020

1:00 PM EST, 12:00 PM CST, 10:00 AM PST 

REOMAC Member: Free | Non-Member: $25

Items to be discussed include:

  • Access to knowledgeable title agent/lawyer with probate experience helpful
  • What is title insurance, what is probate and why do investors target “probate” homes?
  • Probate includes residential and commercial properties
  • Relatives and heirs often do not know where to turn for assistance in managing properties
  • Savvy agent, with a few tools, can develop expertise in estate sales

In addition to Probate and Trusts, we will do a quick refresh on closing delays with REO properties – what the Servicer/Lender, Broker and Attorney/title can do to identify potential issues before they become problems.

  • Code violations and code liens – resolutions and mitigation
  • Selling properties with code liens/violations in place – best practice
  • HOA issues – Safe Harbor Rules, identifying HOA violations
  • IRS liens and CC judgments
  • MI Insurance
  • Junior and Secondary Liens

Presenters:

Michelle Garcia Gilbert, Esquire mgg
Managing Partner, Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A.
Managing Partner, Sapphire Title & Escrow Company

Michelle Gilbert has been admitted to the following practices and courts: Florida Bar, 1986; Middle District of Florida; 1988, Northern District of Florida; 2005, Southern District of Florida, 2006; U.S. Supreme Court, 2000; U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2003. She matriculated at the University of South Florida (B.A., 1982, cum laude), and the University of Notre Dame (J.D., 1985). She is a member of the following groups: Greater Tampa Association of Realtors; Bay Area Real Estate Council, Inc., Board of Directors; Hillsborough County Bar Association (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; Solo and Small Firm; Diversity; and Military and Veteran Sections); Florida Bar (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law; Business; and Solo and Small Firm Sections); American Legal and Financial Network; Legal League 100 (Vice Chairperson, 2016-19; Advisory Council Member, 2014-19; Special Initiatives Working Group, 2017- present); REOMAC; Attorney Agent, Attorney’s Title Insurance Fund/ Old Republic; and Westcor Title agent.

She manages Gilbert Garcia Group’s foreclosure, real estate transactional and litigation, probate, estate planning, guardianship, business transactional and litigation, and corporate law practices, and oversees Sapphire Title & Escrow Company. Gilbert Garcia and Sapphire provide training and consulting to their clients, as well as sponsor monthly give back initiatives in their community.

Jill Gold

Law Offices of Tyler Gold PAjill gold

Has a track record of success in the REO and title industry. Jill has been Office Manager and over seen day to day operations of Tyler A Gold PA for over 10 years. She has successfully resolved and mitigated code violations and code liens in dozens of municipalities through out the state of Florida. Jill is also responsible for the mitigation of association Estoppels for traditional closings and REO closings involving the application of the safe harbor statute. Jill and her office team also work with the IRS and DOJ in resolving federal tax liens and obtaining release from the right of redemption when applicable. Jill and her team have also successfully resolved subordinate liens through mutual indemnity and obtaining a release whenever possible. The office of Tyler A. Gold, has closed 1000’s of transactions in Florida for more than 25 years, and has a long history of satisfied repeat clients as well as long standing REO clients.

Investors and Probate Real Estate

Why do investors target probate homes?

  • Properties in probate are perfect for investors, because they’re possibly in need of serious updates and repairs, and the Personal Representative doesn’t have the time or money to spend making it ready to sell on the retail market, making it lucrative for real estate investors to buy these homes below the market value.
  • A Personal Representative cannot sell estate property without either an order permitting the sale or an order determining homestead status of real property. 

•   Real Estate Investors – probate leads represent the very best residential real estate-related lead source available today. Within 4-6 months of the probate filing, 40% of the properties found will be sold.

  • Realtors will find that many of the residential properties in probate will be listed within the first year after the filing.
  • Wide Range Of Properties – Commercial, Acreage, Duplexes, Condominiums, Apartment buildings, Strip malls, Office buildings, Ranchland, Farms. These are not rundown foreclosures, bankruptcies, or condemned properties that are complex deals and need costly repairs. These can be beautiful homes with no mortgage or debt attached, making them some of the cleanest and easiest of all real estate to buy low and sell high quickly.

 

The Florida Probate Process and Property

What is probate?

Probate is the legal procedure in which the probate court assumes jurisdiction over the assets of someone who has died. The court supervises the payment of debts, taxes, and probate fees, then supervises the distribution of the remainder to the person(s) named in a will, or to the heirs if there is no will.

Florida probate law varies depending on the type of property. It is important to get guidance from an experienced Florida Real Estate Probate and Homestead Property Attorney. 

A Florida probate can include:

  • Proving to the Florida probate court that the deceased person’s will is valid.
  • Identifying and preparing an inventory of the deceased person’s property.
  • Determining the value of the deceased person’s property.
  • Paying all debts and any taxes due.
  • Distributing the remaining property as the will or the law directs.
  • Attorney and court fees which are typically paid from estate assets.

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES are under no obligation to use the same law firm that wrote the will. Nearly all probate procedures in Florida involve paperwork drafted and filed by probate lawyers. Unlike some other states, Florida law generally does not allow “do-it-yourself” probate except in some cases involving very small bank accounts, refund checks, or similar assets.

Types of Probate Administration in Florida:

  • Formal Probate Administration – The Normal Probate Process

This is Florida’s traditional form of probate administration. It requires APPROXIMATELY 12 months to complete.  It is usually used for complicated issues such as challenges to the Will, disputes between beneficiaries or heirs, or supervision of the Personal Representative. 

The following is an over-simplified description:

The process starts with a petition for administration and the appointment of one or more personal representatives (executors). After that, a Notice to Creditors is published in a local newspaper, and creditors generally have three months in which to file their claims.

Once the period of time for creditor claims has passed, the personal representative can pay the debts (in a certain order) and distribute the remaining estate. Once all debts are paid and the remainder of the estate has been distributed, a petition for discharge is filed, and the Florida estate is closed upon entry of an order of discharge.

While this may sound simple, probate is a fairly complex system of required and optional tasks by the personal representative, the attorney and sometimes a tax consultant (often a CPA). Of course, the simpler the assets and the deceased’s plan of distribution, the simpler the Florida probate will be. 

  • Summary Probate Process for Small Estates

The state also provides a “short form” of probate for certain smaller or older estates, which is quicker and cheaper than the “formal administration” used for most Florida probate administrations.

Summary probate administration is available for estates with “non-exempt” property of less than $75,000 and the decedent has no outstanding unpaid debts, or in cases where the decedent passed more than 2 years ago. The value of “homestead” real property is not counted in totaling the value of the estate, nor is any other proposed exempt property.  Summary administration can also be used in any size estate if the deceased has been dead FOR more than two years. Summary administration does not work in certain cases, such as those with minor or missing heirs, or where the assets or debts of the deceased are unknown.

FLORIDA HOMESTEAD PROPERTY PROBATE RULES

If the deceased’s real estate is considered their “homestead,” the state of Florida applies certain unique rules to the transfer of the property. The homestead property exemption was created to protect families from being displaced from their home; however, there are many special rules to this probate property law.