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Sergio Cabanas
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Sergio Cabanas’s Answers

402 total


  • Does my roommate have the legal right to reject a prospective new roommate that I find to take my place?

    I live with a roommate and we are both on the lease. I would like to move out before the end of the lease. The property owner said the roommate has to approve someone to take my place. I was under the impression that the landlord approves a new te...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I would suggest that any changes in tenants should be done in writing as you may remain liable under the lease unless you get something in writing stating otherwise. It might be a good idea to have an attorney help you with this process after you all reach an agreement.

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  • How can I get out of a lease with my boyfriend?

    FLORIDA RESIDENT - I recently signed a lease with my boyfriend and we are only 2 months into a 12month lease. I moved out and I would like to know can he sue me for the remaining 10 months of the lease or is there a way for me to do some kind of p...

    Sergio’s Answer

    As a general matter, you are both jointly and severally liable to the landlord for the lease. If he fails to pay for any reason, the landlord can sue you both for eviction, back rent, and rent for the remaining term of the lease. To be sure, I would need to review the lease.

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  • 1 - Is there any procedure we should adopt to negotiate the bills with the hospital in way not to the debt initiate a collection

    I am a brazilian lawyer and a client of mine has a debt in hospital bills in the US generated after her last vacation when the medical insurance of her credit card denied to pay the bills. We are prosecuting the credit card in Brazil to pay the d...

    Sergio’s Answer

    As to your first question, the only "procedure" through which to initiate a collections is by contacting the the creditor and requesting additional time to the extent they are willing, or negotiating the debt with a minimal payment plan. To answer your second question, this debt should not affect your client's ability to re-enter the US, barring extreme circumstances that should be discussed with an attorney. Finally, I am not aware of any "charity" that would pay your client's bills. I agree you should consider contacting a debt defense attorney who can help you with this matter in the US.

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  • Eviction notice

    so my landlord always tell us to communicate with her when we are going to be late with rent.so on the 10th of march we contact her to let her know that we wont have her rent money till the 18th and she was like well can you send me $300 today and...

    Sergio’s Answer

    Payment of rent (on time) is generally an absolute defense to eviction. Based on your question, I'm assuming that the dates are in March. The details are very significant. If the Landlord provided you with notice on March 16, you had three business days to pay the rent. You stated that it was paid, but they filed for an eviction nonetheless. Given that this matter appears to be in a late stage of an eviction process, you have little time and no room for error. You should consult an experienced Landlord-Tenant Attorney in your area immediately to find out more about your legal options and take proper measures as soon as possible, or risk being homeless. Depending on the case, you may be able to recover attorney's fees and costs if you prevail.

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  • How do I remove the bank levy? What are my options? Attorney says the garnishment won't be lifted until debt is fully paid

    I am based in Florida, I owned a business back in 2013 and took out a business loan with a personal guarantee attached to it. The loan company was based in Georgia. We went out of business due to losing several large clients and approximately $...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree you should consutl a debt defense attorney as soon as possible. $17,000 judgment is serious debt, and the creditor has the apparent right to collect against any and all assets against you for 20 years from the date of the judgment. The good news is that you have many rights and options as mentioned, which includes the right to be exempted form collections (if done quickly), settlement or bankruptcy. Again, be sure to see an attorney about your potions. Most offer a free consultation.

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  • What is the Florida state laws on refunding security deposits or providing a withholdings list (itemized deductions invoice)?

    Hello, my tenant was 7 years in lease and is moving out within one week and I'm interested to know about state of Florida law's and time-frames for typical lease end procedures.

    Sergio’s Answer

    Correct. If you intend to make a claim on the security deposit, you must send your Notice of Intent to Withhold Security Deposit by certified mail to the tenant's last address (usually the property address unless the tenant provided a forwarding address in writing). You are not allowed to withdraw the claimed amount until after you provide the tenant with 15 days to object (plus 5 days for mailing). As suggested in other responses, you should carefully read the applicable statute as one mistake can result in your losing the right to withhold the security deposit.

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  • What are my options? Especially the eviction on my public record, & should I pay the whole amount or try again to lower it?

    I rented an apartment 3 years ago, 2 main things I asked for when I signed the lease, cleanliness & security (I handle private clients data), in less than a month, I saw roaches in the apartment (big ones), & the gate was open most of the time, & ...

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree. Your refusal to pay rent and otherwise defend the eviction (despite your right to do so), entitled them to a judgement with attorney's fees and court costs, which explains why the amount of the debt may be higher than rent amount. If these facts and the amount of the judgement are correct, they are legally entitled to report this information to the credit bureaus, and you were lucky one of the bureaus agreed to remove it from the credit report. Other than negotiating a settlement, you'll have to wait 7 years from the time of judgement to have this information removed from your credit report pursuant to Federal Credit Reporting Act.

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  • Can credit card creditor who has a judgment against me levy my bank account if I'm self-employed & only average $500 per month?

    I am located in the state of Florida. Can the creditor take what little I have in my bank account?

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues and I would only add that the procedure for actually winning an exemption (for head of family/household or on any other grounds) with filled with traps for the unwary. One mistake can doom your exemption forever. Assuming you achieve your exemption, the creditor continues to have the right to collect on their judgment for 20 years from the of the judgment and periodically inquire about your financial status and continued eligibility for the exemption. So, you should consult with an attorney about (1) properly filing your exemption; (2) protecting any assets during the time the judgment remains in effect, and/or (3) bankruptcy options.

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  • Is there any protection for the tenant against the landlord until moved out the unit?

    I lost an eviction case. The writ has been signed by the judge, however the sheriff has not posted a notice yet. I'm leaving the property within 48 hours. But the landlord has started harassing me. I haven't eaten nor slept since I lost the case d...

    Sergio’s Answer

    To best answer your question, I would need to understand what you mean by "harassment." Did he come by to ask for the keys and ask when you plan to leave? Or is he threatening physical violence or "stalking" you? If the situation is the latter, then I would agree that you should contact the police. If you paid him any money after the judge entered the eviction, you may have grounds to vacate the judgment and avoid the eviction altogether, but urgent legal action must take place.

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  • Will a tenant that filed bankruptcy delay my writ of possession?

    I am an owner and just received default for an eviction against my tenant. The judge stayed the writ for 5 days. Since then, the tenant filed bankruptcy and the courts were notified. Will this stop my writ of possession?

    Sergio’s Answer

    I agree with the responses thus far, and I would only add my experiences with this situation where there's a filing of a bankruptcy during an eviction. There is often some confusion as to whether a bankruptcy operates to stop the eviction (whether pre- or post-judgement), at least temporarily. I've had pre-judgment cases, where the judge proceeds with the eviction despite the bankruptcy. In post-judgments situations, problem develops with the sheriff who often refuses to proceed with executing the writ, basically forcing the landlord's attorney to file a special motion in the bankruptcy court to allow the eviction to proceed.

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