Law 360: Ruling Puts Banks On Hook For Fla. Real Estate Back Taxes

Law360

Law360, Miami (October 27, 2017, 8:25 PM EDT) — When a mortgage company loaned money to a Miami buyer in 2007, the lender didn’t know the homeowner would improperly claim a homestead property tax exemption. It wasn’t until seven years later that the county would file a lien for the unpaid taxes, a lien that a Florida appeals court now says applies retroactively and takes priority over the mortgage.

The decision, issued Oct. 18, could cause headaches for lenders and title insurers who will now need to worry about priority liens popping up after closing and applying retroactively.

The biggest issue with the decision is its retroactive nature, which could, depending on the property and how long the homeowner wrongly claimed the exemption, lead to liabilities of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Farach. By law, a tax assessor can claim up to 10 years’ worth of back taxes for improper homestead exemptions.

“Florida has always been a first in time, first in right state, with one exception: that government liens are superior,” said Marko Cerenko, a partner at Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL. “But this means you can go back in time and prioritize a subsequent lien.”

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Daily Business Review: Elder-Abuse Plaintiffs Attorneys Weigh In After Nursing Home Deaths

Daily Business Review
By: Celia Ampel
Daily Business Review
September 15, 2017

Elder-law attorneys were quick to weigh in Thursday on the legal implications of eight deaths at a Hollywood nursing home following a loss of air conditioning during Hurricane Irma.

Any need for regulatory reform will be determined by the facts as they emerge, said Fort Lauderdale attorney Jonathan Gdanski of Schlesinger Law Offices. Key questions, he said, would include the following: What steps, if any, were taken to transport nursing home residents? Was the facility monitoring the deterioration of patients over time? And what plans were in place to help those who needed assistance the most?

“?Some of the most basic facts still need to be determined, yet what is already known seems to present a clear picture of absolute, complete, reprehensible conduct, which resulted in death,” said Gdanski, a plaintiffs lawyer focused on catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice.

Meanwhile, he said, “the large majority” of caregivers across the state appear to have been adequately cautious in the face of the storm.

More than 150 residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were evacuated to hospitals Wednesday. Three people were already dead when first responders arrived, and five more died that afternoon. Gov. Rick Scott called the deaths “unfathomable,” and state and local authorities have started a criminal investigation.

The nursing home’s administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement that the facility was “cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome.”

Broward County reported the nursing home told officials Tuesday the air conditioning was out but did not request help, according to the Associated Press. The facility complied with a state law requiring an evacuation plan and hurricane drills.

“I have been litigating nursing abuse cases throughout Florida for years and this is the worst case I have seen,” said Fort Lauderdale attorney Marcus Susen of Koch Parafinczuk Wolf Susen.

The Hollywood nursing home seems to be an outlier rather than an example of a systemic problem, said Miami attorney Bruce Katzen of Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine.

“I believe our existing regulatory scheme is sufficient to administer nursing home and rehabilitation facilities,” said Katzen, whose practice includes elder abuse cases. “However, the existing regulatory system needs to be enforced. This facility apparently had a long list of violations.”

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Best Lawyers 2018 Recognition

On the heels of the recent Chambers USA recognition, Kluger Kaplan and many of its attorneys have been once again recognized among the best in their field by the international publication, Best Lawyers®. The attorneys were selected by votes from a peer group, based on an exhaustive evaluation. 83,000 industry leading attorneys are eligible to vote (from around the world) every year.

Best Lawyers 2018

The specific attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers are:

    • Deborah S. Chames
      • Family Law
    • Abbey L. Kaplan
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Entertainment Law – Motion Pictures and Television
      • Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions
      • Litigation – Real Estate
    • Bruce A. Katzen  
      • Securities / Capital Markets Law
    • Alan J. Kluger  
      • Commercial Litigation
      • Litigation – Banking and Finance
      • Litigation – Real Estate
    • Todd A. Levine
      • Litigation – Real Estate
    • Philippe Lieberman
      • Commercial Litigation
    • Jason Marks
      • Family Law
    • Steve I. Silverman
      • Commercial Litigation

 Minneapolis, MN

  • Daniel N. Rosen
    • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law

 

Based entirely on peer review, the methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Founding Member Alan Kluger said, “this recognition is yet another proud moment for the firm. The number of attorneys recognized again and again demonstrates the depth and expertise of our team, and the dedication to our clients.”

KKSKL Welcomes New Associate, Jordan Ziegler

The KKSKL team is proud to announce the addition of Jordan Ziegler to our commercial litigation practice. “Jordan demonstrates a passion for the law and client advocacy, and we look forward to having him on our team,” said Alan Kluger, founding member. Read more below about Jordan and the experience he brings to the firm and its clients.

Click here to welcome him to our team.

Jordan ZieglerJordan graduated from the University of Florida Levin College of Law as a member of the Legal Honor’s Society and the Teaching Assistant for Advanced Trial Practice. During law school, he served as a legal intern for Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and as a legal intern for Senior Judge Paul C. Huck of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Prior to law school, Jordan worked with O’Quinn Stumphauzer & Sloman P.L. on white-collar criminal actions, federal regulatory investigations, and health care fraud actions. He graduated with honors from Tufts University with a B.A. in Economics and Spanish, and a concentration in Biomedical Engineering. Outside of the office, Jordan competes in Ironman competitions and enjoys portrait photography.

Law360: Plaintiffs Bar Perspective: Kluger Kaplan’s Bruce Katzen

Bruce Katzen - kluger Kaplan

Bruce A. Katzen is chairman of the trust and estate’s litigation practice group at Kluger Kaplan Silverman Katzen & Levine PL in Miami. He focuses his practice on litigation of probate, trust and guardianship disputes as well as commercial litigation, including corporate matters, securities, accountants’ liability and stockbroker liability and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrations. He has become particularly recognized for his work in the areas of financial fraud, franchise disputes, probate, trust and guardianship disputes, company purchase and sale disputes, and life insurance coverage disputes.

Katzen’s early training as a certified public accountant piqued his interest in the complex financial fraud and probate cases that he handles for his clients. Given the technical financial issues in most of his cases, his background enables him to more thoroughly understand the issues, more precisely examine witnesses and experts, and more zealously advance his client’s position.

Q: What’s the most rewarding aspect of working as a plaintiffs attorney?

A: The most rewarding aspect of working as a plaintiffs attorney is assisting individuals who have been injured or harmed in some fashion. In my practice, I frequently have clients come to me facing emotional and financial hardship and are in need as a result of them being wronged. It is rewarding to work with them to right this wrong and recover damages on their behalf.

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