Old liens could foil investment opportunities

A Broward judge ruled buyers of foreclosed properties are liable for long-standing liens

TRD MIAMI /
Nov.November 04, 2014 04:30 PM

A Broward Circuit judge ruled that liens remain enforceable, even if they’re recorded after a final judgment. And that’s bad news for buyers of foreclosed properties.

The case involved real estate investor James Ober, who was battling Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in court. Ober purchased a foreclosed house at 3270 Spanish River Drive from Bank of America for $200,000. Years before, the property had garnered some $328,000 in code enforcement liens, according to the Daily Business Review.

Judge Thomas Lynch sided with the town, holding Ober responsible for the liens. Liens “recorded between final judgment of foreclosure and judicial sale are valid and enforceable,” Lynch wrote.

“This is a classic case of governmental overreach,” said Eric Jacobs, partner at Beloff Parker Jacob. “Mr. Ober is sensitive to the needs of cash-strapped cities, but it elected not to pick a fight with Bank of America and preferred instead to pick on him. The lis pendens statute is there to protect a foreclosing party from people — or cities in this case — jumping in at the end and trying to gain priority.”

But the town’s attorneys argue that Ober knew about the liens when he purchased the property and therefore had notice about the debt. [Daily Business Review] – Christopher Cameron


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