Practice Areas Overview
With offices outside of Fort Lauderdale and in the Aventura area of Miami, attorney Karen Munzer is well-situated to assist individuals and families located throughout Broward and Dade Counties. Ms. Munzer provides comprehensive, cost-effective legal representation in a range of practice areas, including divorce and other family law issues, consumer bankruptcy, and foreclosure defense matters. In addition to being a trained mediator, Ms. Munzer has a broad range of legal expertise; to learn more about her background, please visit the attorney profile.
Ms. Munzer assists spouses in dissolution of marriage or divorce proceedings, including representing dependant spouses in need of spousal support (alimony) and helping clients obtain Qualified Domestic Relation Orders (QDROs) for the division of qualifying retirement benefits. Ms. Munzer can help you seek a court award of spousal support, or help you and your former spouse work out a support arrangement in a marital agreement. Ms. Munzer also assists with child custody, visitation, and support issues, including establishing or challenging paternity.
Mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution where a third party neutral called a mediator guides the disputing parties toward a satisfactory, and hopefully amicable, resolution. Mediation is often preferred over litigation in family law cases because it is a voluntary process where the parties themselves determine the outcome, which often proves more cost-effective and less time-consuming than litigation. Mediation can also help former spouses maintain dignity and familial harmony by seeking long-term solutions while avoiding a contentious court battle.
If you are behind on payments and feeling overwhelmed by mounting debt, it may be in your best interests to file for bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy might seem like a frightening prospect, in reality it can be a new beginning. Attorney Karen Munzer understands the difficulties individuals and families face when deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy, and can help you determine the right choice for you and your family.
Individuals have two primary options when filing for bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7. In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, individuals with steady incomes work out a plan to repay all or part of their debts in regular installments over three to five years. Chapter 13 can be beneficial because it allows wage earners to extend certain secured debts, often lowering their monthly payments. In addition, individuals may be able to stop foreclosure proceedings against their residence and cure delinquent mortgage payments over time. A great source of immediate relief is that creditors are forbidden from directly contacting debtors once they file for bankruptcy.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, or Liquidation, is an option for individual consumer debtors who meet certain income requirements and who cannot repay their debts even with a reorganized repayment plan. In Chapter 7, the debtor's nonexempt assets are sold and the proceeds are used to pay unsecured creditors. Certain remaining debts may be "discharged," giving the debtor a fresh start. In addition, the debtor may be allowed to keep many exempt assets, such as a homestead of up to 160 acres.
In this difficult economy, homeowners are losing their properties to foreclosure at alarming rates. The problem is especially distressing in Florida, where the number of foreclosures is among the highest in the U.S. If you are facing a possible foreclosure of your home, Karen Munzer may be able to help. As an experienced attorney and mediator, as well as a licensed real estate agent, Ms. Munzer has an in-depth understanding of Florida's foreclosure problem and what it takes to defend homeowners. Ms. Munzer is dedicated to helping property owners in the pre-foreclosure phase by negotiating new repayment plans or other options with lenders. In order to prevent a foreclosure, homeowners may have several options; including:
- Short Sales: The homeowner agrees to sell the home and give the proceeds to the lender and the lender agrees to accept less than the balance on the mortgage.
- Deeds in Lieu: The homeowner and lender agree that the homeowner will transfer title of the property to the mortgage company to obtain a cancellation of the mortgage.
- Forced Deeds in Lieu: Without negotiating, the homeowner prepares a special warranty deed transferring the property to the lender and sends a letter explaining why the lender should accept the deed instead of foreclosing.
In some cases, if a mortgage lender does bring about a judicial foreclosure proceeding, Ms. Munzer may be able to fight the action in court by contesting the validity of the lender's right to foreclose. If a foreclosure action has occurred, she can help homeowners file to redeem their property before a Certificate of Sale has been issued. She can also assist homeowners in fighting to prevent the issuance of a deficiency judgment if the foreclosure failed to satisfy all of their debts.
Due to the overwhelming number of foreclosures occurring in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court recently issued an administrative order for a statewide mandated mediation program. Under this program, all residential foreclosure actions are referred to mediation, with some exceptions. The house in default must be the homeowner's primary residence and the loan must have originated under the federal Truth in Lending Act. The goal behind this mandated mediation is not only to alleviate the stress on the courts, but also to help homeowners keep their homes while working out acceptable payment plans with their mortgage holders.
Karen Munzer is a Supreme Court-certified circuit civil mediator, specially trained to mediate residential mortgage foreclosure actions. By serving as a third party neutral, Ms. Munzer can help guide homeowners and their lenders through the mediation process with the goal of reaching a workable solution for both parties without having to resort to foreclosure.
If you are facing a difficult family law dispute, bankruptcy, or foreclosure, Karen Munzer can help. Ms. Munzer is dedicated to helping clients find satisfactory resolutions to even the most complex problems. To learn more about how she can assist with your case, contact Karen Munzer, Attorney At Law, today to schedule a complimentary consultation.