Friday Florida Law Update

TGIF, everyone, and welcome back to my blog!  On Fridays I post about a new opinion from Florida’s appellate courts.  Today I want to discuss a case highlighting the 1984 amendment to Florida’s Constitution as it relates to homestead protection — Beltran v. Kalb, 2011 WL 904244 (Fla. 3d DCA March 16, 2011).

Beltran involves an appeal from a trial court order denying Beltran’s motion to set aside an execution sale based on the constitution homestead exemption from forced sales.  Judgment debtor Evaristo Beltran vacated his former home in 1990 after divorcing his wife Carmen.  The couple had owned the home together.  Pursuant to the marriage dissolution agreement, Carmen was to stay in the home with the couple’s daughter Grisel and Mr. Beltran was to issue his ex-wife a quitclaim deed conveying his entire interest in the property.  While Beltran peacefully vacated the home, he never went through the formality of the quitclaim deed. 

Also in 1990, Beltran had a judgment entered against him individually for $10,502.83 for monies owed by his roofing company.  In 2007, Carmen Beltran passed away.  A month later, the judgment creditor, who still had not collected on the 1990 judgment, had a sheriff’s execution sale conducted on the property.   The trial court, in rejecting Beltran’s motion to set aside the sale, applied the pre-1984 standard for homestead application, which was that the homeowner reside at the home as the “head of a family.”  Following 1984, the homestead exemption was expanded to apply to a natural person who intended to make the property his or her homestead and actually maintain the property as a principal residence.   Homestead rights extend to the owner or the owner’s family. 

Under the Constitutional amendment from 1984, the subject property never lost its homestead character.  Accordingly, the case was reversed and remanded with instructions to vacate the sale.

The Constitutional homestead exemption continues to be a hotly litigated issue in Florida, which is reputed to be a highly debtor-friendly State.  Have a great weekend everyone!

DISCLOSURE:

THE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.  NOR DO THEY CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.  They are provided for informational purposes only.  Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. 
Explore posts in the same categories: Florida Law Updates

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