Lost Your Job, No Money for Rent due to the Coronavirus, should you Panic?

Have you been furloughed or fired from your job, are you concerned about what will happen when your next rent payment comes due, how you are going to put food on the table for your family? Worried you and your family are going to be evicted? It’s a good time to panic right, don’t worry, you are not alone.  Many Floridians are in a similar position due to the effects of COVID-19, i.e., the Coronavirus.  However, you may have a way out of an impossible financial situation, depending on the contents of your residential lease.  Click on this link for more information on small businesses.  


Obviously, with no money coming in and not being allowed to work its a good time to panic right. No, its time to assess what we have and how long it’s going to last us and what steps we need to take to be in a better position and survive. First, you need to know what money you have on hand to live off of, this means “CASH” and “CREDIT”, what are your expenses, make a list. Once you make a list of your expenses, look at which ones you can cut out to save money. From what we know of other countries who were hit by the coronavirus earlier, we can estimate that this pandemic may last about four months. Therefore we need to plan to survive for maybe five or six months to be conservative. Remember, we may not go back to things right where we left off, it may take some time.

Once you know what monies you have available, which include your credit card limits and your monthly expenses, you will know how many months you can survive. Now that you know this valuable information, you should figure out ways to lower your expenses or eliminate some of them. Do you really need Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc? Maybe, but maybe you don’t need the pet groomer. Once you trim expenses, figure out ways to lower your bills, whether it’s calling to get a better cable rate or phone rate, etc. Once you’ve trimmed the fat on your expenses then you need to find out ways to obtain new forms of income. File for unemployment, I know its tedious, time consuming and demoralizing but its something coming in to help pay the bills. The Federal Government is sending stimulus checks to most Americans, don’t go on Amazon and spend it, add it to your list you should call “survival cash” because for now, this is a one-time event. Don’t panic, things will get better!!!

do you have a lease, should you keep paying the lease?

First, it may be a good time to talk to your landlord, he/she should understand that we are in a crisis and you have been forced to stay home and have lost your job as a result. You may be able to discuss alternatives in payment, maybe work out a different payment plan where you don’t pay for two or three months and then pay an additional amount toward the end of the lease to catch up. Right now, most jurisdictions are not allowing for evictions to go forward in the court system and if your landlord knows that he may be more willing to enter into a different payment arrangement with you as he knows he can’t evict you for the moment. But don’t think this will last, at some point, the court will allow the landlord to begin evictions and if you haven’t been paying and haven’t changed your agreement, the landlord can evict you if not now, eventually. Always try to formalize any agreement with the landlord in writing, even if it’s just an email back and forth where the terms are written and you both agree.

If you can’t agree with your landlord in changing your payment for these months, then you should review or have your contract reviewed by an attorney. Many contracts contain provisions for different scenarios that are unknown but could happen during the lease like a storm which makes the home unlivable, etc., allowing the tenant relief from having to pay rent. One of these provisions often found in a contract is called a “force majeure clause”, which if contained in your lease, may excuse the tenant from complying with their normal obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance inadvisable, commercially impracticable, impossible or illegal.  While these types of clauses vary; if one is contained in your lease, it may provide you with another option if you are unable to pay your rent by the due date. 

The attorneys at G&R Law are able to assist you in this time of need, whether it is reviewing your finances to help you with a budget or your lease to see if it contains this force majeure clause free of charge.  If your lease does contain a force majeure clause, G&R Law will work with you during these trying times and within your financial means to negotiate with your landlord on your behalf and ensure you are able to stay in your home for as long as possible.   

Please click on the link to contact G&R Law, to set up your free of charge telephonic appointment. 

Stay safe during these trying times.  

¿Se va a casar? Felicitaciones! ¿Necesita un Acuerdo Prenupcial? Sí! Por estas buenas 5 razones

Adobe Spark

Después de que él y ella digan “Sí”, comienza la planificación de la boda y la locura. La pareja está enamorada y esperando su futuro juntos, todo es color de rosa… Pero el matrimonio es como un contrato que tiene un aspecto comercial, igual que cuando usted compra una casa o un coche  usted firma un acuerdo de por vida. La mayoría de los contratos contienen lo que se puede y no se puede hacer y las consecuencias por incumplimiento del mismo; los contratos de matrimonio no tienen términos ni condiciones y sólo un acuerdo prenupcial puede definir lo que sucederá si las partes se divorcian. La mayoría de las parejas no quieren pensar en ello, pero casi el 50% de los primeros matrimonios terminan en divorcio, es como tirar una moneda al aire, hay 50/50 de probabilidades. Ya sea que tenga activos, dinero o algo que proteger o está comenzando y no aun no tiene nada, permita que G&R Law le redacte su acuerdo prenupcial. He aquí 5 buenas razones para ello:

  1. Explica cómo se dividirán los bienes en caso de divorcio o separación
    2. Ahorra dinero en honorarios legales en caso de divorcio ya que todo se ha coordinado de antemano
    3. Especifica si alguien tiene que pagar pensión alimenticia
    4. Define quién vivirá en el hogar si hay una separación o divorcio
    5. Asegura una transición pacífica cuando el matrimonio no funciona, las partes pueden incluso permanecer amigos.

Si tiene preguntas sobre el uso o la redacción de acuerdos prenupciales o postnupciales, por favor póngase en contacto con G & R Law, somos un bufete de abogados en Coral Gables, Florida.

What is FL Homestead Exemption and how does it help O.J. Simpson?

After spending almost a decade in prison, Orenthal James Simpson, more famously known as O.J Simpson or The Juice, is looking at early parole as soon as October 1 for good behavior. At the moment O.J Simpson still owes a little over $30 million to the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman after being found liable for their deaths by a civil jury in 1997. It is reported that after being released from prison Mr. Simpson will find sanctuary from his creditors in the sunshine state of Florida.

The state of Florida has been notoriously known for protecting its citizens from creditors with its generous asset protection laws. In Florida your home is truly a castle, a castle so strong that not even the Dragon queen, Daenerys Targaryen, can penetrate its walls.  Article X, Section 4 of the Florida Constitution establishes this protection against creditors. Let’s break down homestead exemption and how it helps you as a homeowner. Under the Florida Constitution, Homestead exemption accomplishes three types of exemptions:

  1. Exemption from forced sale before and at death
  2. Restrictions on devise and alienation
  3. And exemption from taxation per Art. VII, Section 6 (will be discussed in greater detail in next blog)

First off let’s define what constitutes a Homestead. A homestead is the home where you and your family reside in, which comprises of land, house, and outbuildings.

The state of Florida prohibits creditors to force an individual to sell its homestead in order to pay back a debt, including their heirs. Unlike other states, Florida’s exemption from forced sale provides an even greater protection by not limiting the value of certain real property that can be protected from creditors.

In addition to protection against creditors, Florida homestead exemption protects the right of spouses/family members living in that homestead, regardless of whether you are on the title of that property or not. The restrictions on devise and alienation give the homestead owner a basic outline on how he/she can transfer their homestead. In life, restrictions on alienation impede the owner of a homestead of selling his property by requiring the consent from his/her spouse. In death, restrictions on devise impede the owner from devising his property in the event he is survived by a spouse and/or minor children.  For example, should a husband die and in his will leave his homestead to his mistress rather than his wife, the transfer would be denied by the court.  Or rather in life, should a husband decide to transfer his homestead to his mistress, he would first need the consent of his wife in order to do so. On the other hand he would be able to transfer his non-homestead property however and to whomever he wishes.

It is no wonder that O.J. Simpson finds comfort in knowing that a homestead he may acquire will be protected here in Florida. Should he buy and reside in a new home here in our sunshine state, his property and assets therein would be securely protected behind our Florida Homestead Exemption laws from his “creditors”, the families of his victims, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. But while O.J. Simpson may think he’s outsmarted his creditors, in the end no one can run from the Dragon Queen, Daenerys Targaryen.