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April, 2014

Using Bankruptcy to Discharge Student Loan Debt

April 29th, 2014

Posted in Bankruptcy Information

In order to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy, a debtor must show that repaying the student loan debt will cause undue hardship.

Florida Bankruptcy Courts will typically apply the Brunner test when attempting to determine undue hardship.  In order for a debtor to meet the Brunner standard for undue hardship, the debtor must show “(1) that the debtor cannot maintain, based on current income and expenses, a ‘minimal’ standard of living for herself and her dependents if forced to repay the student loans; (2) that additional circumstances exist indicating that this state of affairs is likely to persist for a significant portion of the repayment period of the student loans; and (3) that the debtor has made good faith efforts to repay the loans.”  In re Cox, 338 F.3d 1238, 1241 (11th Cir. 2003), quoting Brunner v. New York State Higher Education Services Corp., 831 F.2d 395 (2d Cir. 1987).

If you are having financial difficulty due to student loans or other debts, you should consult with a licensed Florida bankruptcy attorney.

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Construction Defects in Florida – Notice and Opportunity to Cure

April 23rd, 2014

Posted in General Practice,Real Estate Law

Section 558.004, Florida Statutes, provides Florida contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and design professionals (collectively “Contractors”) the opportunity to inspect and cure construction defects prior to the filing of a legal action.  A Florida property owner must serve a notice of claim on the Contractor at least 60 days prior to the filing of a lawsuit.  Fla. Stat. § 558.004(1).  The owner’s notice must refer to the statute and describe (i) the claim in reasonable detail sufficient to determine the general nature of each alleged construction defect and (ii) the damages or loss resulting from the defect.  The property owner should strive to serve the notice within 15 days after discovery of the defect.
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New Community Association Bills to Keep an Eye On During the 2014 Florida Legislative Session (Part II)

April 21st, 2014

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

Today, we continue our look at new bills affecting cooperative (co-op), condominium, and homeowners associations (HOAs).  For Part I, please visit: (http://jacksonlawgroup.com/blog/condominium-and-homeowner-association-law/new-community-association-bills-to-keep-an-eye-on-during-the-2014-florida-legislative-session-part-i/).

Senate Bill 1348 – Homeowners’ Associations and DBPR.  This bill filed by Senator Hays requires that HOAs be regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).  As a result, the bill renames the “Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes” (“Division”) to the “Division of Florida Condominiums, Homeowners’ Associations, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes.” 
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New Community Association Bills to Keep an Eye On During the 2014 Florida Legislative Session (Part I)

April 1st, 2014

Posted in Condominium & Homeowner Association Law

The 2014 Legislative Session is about roughly halfway through since its commencement on March 4, 2014.  There are several bills that present potential impacts to cooperatives, condominiums, and homeowners’ associations (HOAs).  This post (and a subsequent post on Part II) should give the reader some insight on bills affecting community associations and potential impacts if said bills are passed by the time the Session adjourns on May 2, 2014.  This post represents Part I, which will discuss Senate Bill 798 and House Bill 807.  These legislative efforts are some of the most anticipated and discussed bills concerning community associations.  Part II will be forthcoming shortly and will discuss other important Senate and House Bills that could impact community associations.
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