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Fourth District Court of Appeal Upholds Viability of Post-Judgement Liens

Partner Laura Wendell obtained a significant victory for Firm client, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and all other municipalities dealing with abandoned or unmaintained foreclosure property. The case below was handled by Partner Eric Hockman, and he assisted in the appeal.  On August 24, 2016, the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed their trial court success in Ober v. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.  In doing so, the court of appeal addressed a gap in Florida law concerning the validity of liens, including municipal code enforcement liens, which accrue during the period between a final judgment of foreclosure and a judicial sale of the property.  The court held that code enforcement liens that arise after a final judgment of foreclosure, but before the sale of property, are valid and enforceable.  In other words, the court has made it clear that foreclosing lenders are not immune from the consequences of failing to comply with municipal codes.  If they choose to delay selling the property following a foreclosure judgment, their security interests are subject to code enforcement and other liens.  The win in the appellate court allows Lauderdale-By-The-Sea to pursue its judgment for $345,000, plus interest and attorneys' fees, by selling the property at a judicial sale.  Member Susan Trevarthen acts as Town Attorney for Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and led the team, which also included Partner Alan Gabriel who developed a strong record in the Town's code enforcement proceedings.

Categories: Municipal Litigation
Tags: Florida Litigation Attorneys