Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
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August 2011 Archives

BIG BANKS BEHAVING BADLY - IS THERE A REMEDY?

Its best with commercial loans to know your lender and foster a strong working relationship so that when challenges arise there is the opportunity to work towards a solution which satisfies both lender and borrower concerns. Unfortunately, with certain big banks, often borrower concerns fall on deaf ears. Last year our firm handled a case where one of the nation's largest banks declared a default on a loan to a retirement facility which in the eleven years of the loan the facility had never missed a payment on and where the loan to value on the real estate was less than 25%. The facility was forced to re-finance in haste into a loan with inferior terms. Our firm represented the facility in seeking damages from the bank. Knowing that the loan documents were skewed in the bank's favor (no surprise there) and the big banks had successfully lobbied an exemption from Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act, we had to come up with a novel theory to confront the bank's actions. Fortunately, under the common law, every contract, including a loan agreement, contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. This covenant is especially applicable where one side through greater market leverage is able to require a contract containing numerous "gotcha clauses" in its favor. In the case of this loan to the retirement facility, the bank utilized a "gotcha clause" to declare a default. We convinced the arbitrator that the bank's use of this clause as a justification to call the loan without providing the facility with sufficient opportunity to cure constituted a breach of the bank's covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Result: The bank had to write a big check to the facility and the individual guarantors, which check included the facility's attorney's fees.

NEW LAW TO PROTECT FLORIDIANS FROM MOLD CONTRACTORS

On July 1, 2011, a new law took effect in regards to persons who provide mold related services. The law provides a distinction between persons who provide mold assessment services and mold remediation services. With the intent to protect the safety and welfare of the public the legislature has determined that persons who provide these services must be regulated by the state. It is now law, with limited exceptions, that a person may not perform a mold assessment or mold remediation unless the person has among other things received substantial training in water, mold and respiratory protection, possess good moral character and pay a fee. Because of the potential for a conflict of interest between these two types of services the law now provides several restrictions on providing these types of services. As an example the law states that persons who provide mold assessment services may not within a period of 12 months perform or offer to perform mold remediation on the same structure. The law further states that mold assessors may not accept or offer compensation to or from a mold remediator for the referral of business. These restrictions are also provided in the reverse such that a mold remediator may not offer or perform assessment services on a property which they have provided remediation services within the last 12 months.  Further, a mold remediator may not offer or accept compensation or reward from a mold assessor for the referral of business. As far as advertising, a person providing these services may not use the title "certified, registered, licensed or professional assessor or remediator" without complying with the new restrictions on qualification. Persons who violate provisions of this law potentially face criminal charges for each violation up to and including a third degree felony.

Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
1990 Main Street
Suite 725
Sarasota, FL 34236

Toll Free: 866-615-4543
Phone: 941-444-9092
Fax: 941-316-0515
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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
214 S. Lucerne Circle
Orlando, FL 32801

Phone: 407-738-4379
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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
970 Lake Carillon Drive
Suite 300
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

Phone: 727-287-1018
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