De Latorre said her in-laws, who bought the house with settlement money from a personal injury claim, have challenged the sale and have a court date set for Wednesday. But theyre not sure what will happen next.
Its been very confusing. Theres not a lot of help out there, she said.
For investors who have already bought a problem property, thats true, said Shane, the attorney.
Youve got to win the war before the first shots fired, he said. You got to know what youre getting into.
In Makedonskys case, he didnt know enough about Floridas landlord-tenant laws, which favor the occupant, said Shari Olefson, a real estate attorney and the author of Foreclosure Nation: Mortgaging the American Dream. Occupants can delay and delay because evicting someone from a home requires a sheriff in this case the Miami-Dade police and a court order.
The burden is on the landlord to dot their Is and cross their Ts, and a tenant who is savvy can take advantage of that, she said.
Until the case is resolved, Makedonsky is splitting his time in South Florida between a friends El Portal house and a North Miami Beach home owned by Swacarioca, an investment company that buys foreclosed houses. He and his mother are listed among the owners of the company.
Meanwhile, his mother, JoAnn Makedonsky, is living in an Arizona retirement community. She said most of her belongings are packed up in boxes or have been sold off to make the move to Florida cheaper whenever that happens.
Its ridiculous, she said. I never heard of such a thing, that you buy a house and then people dont want to leave.