Florida Hidden Liens Bill
The Florida Legislature has passed the Hidden Liens Bill, HB 267 – Real Property Liens and Conveyances, which is scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2013.
The bill is an amendment to the Recording Act, §695.01 and requires that government entities and quasi-government entities (like a C.D.D.) record most of their liens in the official records of the local county, thereby creating a lien on real property that is binding on a subsequent buyer or creditor.
However, since there are a number of debts and issues which are not covered by this bill, it is still recommended that lien searches be obtained prior to closing on properties. In a recent notice from the Florida Land Title Association, they stated the following:
“Since unrecorded code violations, open permits, unpaid utilities and other things not covered by this bill, can substantially impact our insureds, and in the case of utility liens are covered by the policies we write, FLTA recommends that our members continue to either search these matters themselves or use a lien search service to protect your customers from potentially uninsured losses.” (emphasis added)
“We remind our agents that not all special assessments are collected under the “uniform method” described in §197.3632. Meaning that local governments, C.D.D.s and other entities can bill directly for non-ad valorem special assessments. If a local government has gone that route, those assessments will not appear as part of your search with the property appraiser and tax collector.”
We at Property Debt Research agree with this recommendation from the FLTA, and advise that in order to ensure all issues on the property are discovered prior to closing, you order a municipal lien search.
Disclaimer: No Legal Advice Intended. The content of this website is intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Consult your real estate attorney for details and interpretation of the Hidden Liens Bill.