Legal Updates Regarding Deeds and Mortgage Payoffs

In the ever-evolving landscape of real estate and property transactions, it’s crucial to stay informed about the latest legislative changes that can impact real estate transactions. Florida House Bill 1419, effective from July 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024, brings crucial changes to property deeds, while the Florida Statute 701.04, effective from October 1, 2023, simplifies mortgage processes. We’ve dug deep into these new laws to bring you all of the information you need to know. 

Florida House Bill 1419 Regarding Deeds

Florida’s House Bill 1419, approved on June 14, 2023, introduces important changes related to how property deeds are handled in the state. These changes will happen on July 1, 2023, and January 1, 2024. The main goal of this law is to make the process of recording property deeds smoother and to make property transactions easier to understand.

Before this new law, property deeds in Florida needed two witnesses. Now, the law says that you must also include the address of each witness on the deed, starting from January 1, 2024. This helps ensure that the people involved in the transaction can be easily contacted if needed.

This law also creates a standard form for something called a “quitclaim deed.” This type of deed is used when someone wants to give up their rights to a property. Having a standard form for this makes it simpler for people to understand and use. You can start using this new quitclaim deed form from July 1, 2023, and it will make property transfers in Florida more clear and consistent for everyone involved. These changes are a big step toward making property transactions in Florida more straightforward.

Florida Statute 701.04 Regarding Mortgage Payoffs

Effective October 1, 2023, the Florida Statute 701.04 has undergone significant changes, particularly when it comes to mortgages, liens, and judgments. These updates have made the process of dealing with mortgages and related financial matters more straightforward and fair.

One important change is that when someone with a mortgage wants to know how much money they owe, the company they owe the money to (the lender) has to provide them with a document called an “estoppel letter” within ten days of receiving the request. This letter must include a clear breakdown of the remaining loan amount, including the main loan amount, interest, and any other fees. The new law prevents the mortgage company from changing or refusing the information in the estoppel letter, except in special situations like foreclosure or bankruptcy. If there are any mistakes in the letter, they have to correct them, and if they don’t, they can’t deny the mistakes later.

The updated law also covers what happens when a mortgage, lien, or judgment has been fully paid off. The person or company that received the payment needs to acknowledge it in writing and record it properly. If there’s any legal dispute about this process, the winning side can ask for their attorney fees and costs to be covered.
Have questions about these new legal updates? Listen to our recent podcast episode that dives further into the ways these new laws affect your deeds and mortgage payoffs!