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Home Violations

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WSVN -- A year ago, Siggi was the victim of a terrible crime and wanted to move to South Florida to get away from the memories.

Siggi Sperber, Open Permits and Leins: "I thought I can start all over again and everything was going to be OK."

Siggi and her daughter found this house that had been in foreclosure, then did the very smart thing-hiring a title company to make sure there were no issues in the background.

Siggi Sperber: "No liens, no code violations, everything was clear."

Siggi went a step further- got it in writing from the title company that the City of Miramar reported that there are no code violations, and there are no open permits.

Siggi and her daughter closed on the house then a few months later, yeah, you know where this is going.

Siggi Sperber: "That there are open permits, open code violations and short lien attached."

The city started sending out letters that were titled 'Notice of Violation' summons to appear. When they start that way, they dont end well.

Siggi Sperber: "I would say everything at once."

Turns out the electrical box had not been approved, the driveway put in illegally. The list of violations included the fence, the aluminum roof and a garage that had been converted without a permit. All things Siggi had been assured were done legally.

Siggi Sperber: "Because those things should have been cleared before closing the house and we bought the house in good faith."

Now the worst news- the cost to bring it all up to code.

Siggi Sperber: "What the city is asking for it can be any amount between $10-25, 000."

Patrick Fraser: "You got that in your back pocket?"

Siggi Sperber: "No, I just closed on the house."

Siggi thought buying the house would let her start her life over. Instead, she has walked into another nightmare.

Patrick Fraser: "Someone made a mistake?"

Siggi Sperber: "A big mistake."

But Howard, Siggi hired a title company to make sure there were no mistakes. So now legally who has to correct these mistakes?

Howard Finkelstein: "In this case it's really simple. Siggi hired a title company specifically to check for open permits, liens and code violations and their negligence in not finding it means they have to pay to fix the problems."

We then went with Siggi when she had to meet with the City of Miramar, things started off well.

Siggi Sperber: "Well the the title company joined the meeting with the City of Miramar and umm they admitted they made a mistake at the closing and their trying to solve it now with the city and the city was was very cooperative I would say."

I then talked to the title company. They were honest. They said, 'One of our employees missed the violations. That if Siggi will get some estimates to bring it up to code, we will pay.' She did and they did.

Howard Finkelstein: "When you buy a property the title company only guarantees that the title is clear and there are no leins on it. Siggi was smart becasue she also asked that they check the records to make sure there are no open permits and code violations. that cost extra but it saved her."

The title company gave Siggi two checks- one for $1, 500 and this one was for $9, 000. The money to insure the house will pass the inspections and be up to code.

Siggi Sperber: "They game me $10, 500 and umm I wasn't really surprised because it was their fault their mistake. They should have never closed on that house in code violations which were six of them major involved."

Patrick Fraser: And just as important, give the City of Miramar credit. They could have made her life miserable, but they worked with her, showed her what they wanted done and they told me, once its all finished she will be in the clear. See what happens when people work together?

Troubles seem like the title to your life? Permit us to help. Then go ahead and lein on us.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

EMAIL: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com MIAMI-DADE: 305-953-WSVNBROWARD: 954-761-WSVN

(Copyright 2011 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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