In recent days, a number of readers kindly sent me this opinion piece which appeared in last week’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The commentary, entitled “HUD, congressional action needed to stop tide of condo lawsuits,” was written by Alan S. Becker and Allen M. Levine of the large Florida law firm Becker & Poliakoff, and essentially argues in various ways that developers should not be held accountable for violations of the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA), even where there is no dispute that such violations occurred. Here is an exemplary quote from Becker and Levine: “[I]f these lawsuits [under ILSA] are successful, it will set a dangerous precedent for large numbers of buyers skipping out on their contracts every time the market takes a downward turn[.]”
Back in October of last year on this blog, I stated the possibility that ILSA is “a land mine ready to explode for condo developers“. It does not surprise me, therefore, that lawyers such as Becker and Levine would argue in a public forum that their big developer clients should be permitted to escape the fallout from the ILSA land mine which is now detonating around them. Becker and Levine’s arguments are boldly stated, but, in my view, misguided and misrepresent the facts. Instead of responding to them on this blog, I thought it would be appropriate to submit a reply directly to the Sun-Sentinel, which the newspaper printed in today’s edition here, under the headline, “When it comes to interstate land sales, developers shouldn’t get a free pass“.
I encourage anyone wishing to weigh in on the debate to post comments here.
This article does not constitute legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship, and is not for re-publication without express permission of the author.
Mr. Beck has a law degree from Harvard Law School, and practices law in the courts of South Florida. His law firm, Beck & Lee Business Trial Lawyers in Miami, is dedicated to the practice of business and real estate litigation. A significant portion of Mr. Beck’s practice is devoted to issues arising under condominium and other real estate purchase agreements. He can be reached at 305-789-0072 or firstname.lastname@example.org