• Chapter 2023-33, enacted on May 8, 2023, would limit select persons from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from owning, having a “controlling interest” in or acquiring additional real property in Florida on and after July 1, 2023. In addition, the act would limit select persons from other “foreign countries of concern” from owning, having a controlling interest in or acquiring additional agricultural land as well as land near military installations and critical infrastructure facilities.
  • “Foreign countries of concern” include the PRC, Russian Federation, Islamic Republic of Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Cuba, Syrian Arab Republic and the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro.
  • Exceptions apply involving a de minimis indirect interest in real property, security interest in real property and grandfathered property acquired before July 1, 2023.
  • Criminal and civil penalties are attached to violations of the act, but a lawsuit has been filed seeking an injunction against the law’s implementation.

Now the subject of a lawsuit seeking to enjoin it, Florida Senate Bill 264 (CS/CS/SB 264), codified at Chapter No. 2023-33, Laws of Florida, would limit select persons from “foreign countries of concern” from directly or indirectly owning, having a controlling interest in or acquiring by purchase, grant, devise or descent any interest in any additional real property in Florida on or after July 1, 2023. The foreign countries of concern include the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Russian Federation, Islamic Republic of Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Cuba, Syrian Arab Republic and the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro.

The select persons affected in those countries, referred to as “foreign principals,” include government officials or members of parties from those countries such as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); entities or a subsidiary organized or having a principal place of business there; persons domiciled there and who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S.; and any such person having a controlling interest in an entity or subsidiary formed for the purpose of owning real property in Florida. Similar legislation is pending in additional states; e.g., Texas (SB 147) and Louisiana (HB 537).

Overview of Chapter 2023-33

Under Chapter 2023-33, select persons from the PRC are prohibited from directly or indirectly owning, having a controlling interest in or acquiring by the aforementioned methods any interest in additional real property in Florida after July 1, 2023. Foreign principals from other foreign countries of concern may not do likewise with respect exclusively to additional agricultural land or real property within 10 miles of a “military installation” or certain facilities characterized as “critical infrastructure.” The pertinent “military installations” must be at least 10 contiguous acres. “Critical infrastructure facilities” includes a chemical manufacturing facility, refinery, electrical power plant, water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant, liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal, telecommunications central switching office, gas processing plant, seaport, spaceport and airport.

Owning and acquiring this type of real property is limited, but so is having a “controlling interest” in any real property in Florida. “Controlling interest” is defined as “possession of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of a company, whether through ownership of securities, by contract, or otherwise. A person or entity that directly or indirectly has the right to vote 25 percent or more of the voting interests of the company or is entitled to 25 percent or more of its profits is presumed to possess a controlling interest.” “Real property” means “land, buildings, fixtures and all other improvements to land.”

Exceptions to the Law

The act contains exceptions. For example, a person may possess a “de minimis indirect interest” in land. This is an ownership interest that “is the result of the person’s or entity’s ownership of registered equities in a publicly traded company owning the land and if the person’s or entity’s ownership interest in the company is either less than 5 percent of any class of registered equities or less than 5 percent in the aggregate in multiple classes of registered equities; or a noncontrolling interest in an entity controlled by a company that is both registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment adviser … and is not a foreign entity.”

In addition, a foreign principal may acquire additional real property in Florida after July 1, 2023, by devise or descent, through the enforcement of security interest or through the collection of debts, provided that the person sells, transfers or otherwise divests itself of such real property within three years after acquiring the real property.

Moreover, natural persons who hold a current visa not merely for tourism or official documents confirming asylum in the U.S., where such documentation authorizes the person to be legally present within Florida, may acquire up to 2 acres not on or within 5 miles of any military installation in the name of the person who holds the visa or official documents. These persons may still not acquire agricultural land.

The act also has a grandfather clause for property acquired before July 1, 2023. Foreign principals who owned or acquired an interest (greater than a de minimis interest) in real property before July 1, 2023, may continue to own or hold the real property but may not purchase or otherwise acquire by grant, devise or descent any additional real property in Florida. Persons who exercise this exception and others must register with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO).

Penalties for Violations

Both criminal and civil penalties attach to violations of the act. A person who fails timely to file a registration with FDEO is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day that the registration is late. FDEO or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) may also initiate a civil action in circuit court for the forfeiture of the real property or any interest acquired in violation of the act. A foreign principal that purchases and a person who knowingly sells real property or any interest therein may commit a misdemeanor, but it can be a felony to violate the section prohibiting select persons from the PRC from acquiring additional real property. Closing agents with actual knowledge that a transaction will result in a violation of the act may also be penalized.

Recent Developments

On May 22, 2023, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida seeking an injunction against implementation of Chapter 2023-33, claiming that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause, Due Process Clause and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Fair Housing Act. Meanwhile, the act authorizes the FDEO, FDACS and Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) to begin rulemaking concerning each of these requirements. The rulemaking process would enable stakeholders to comment and influence the final rules.

If you would like assistance with commenting on rules or if you have questions about interpreting the law, please contact Jacqueline Salcines, Esq.

Contact Our Florida Real Estate Attorney Today

At Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our Real Estate lawyer is well versed and experienced to assist foreigners, buyers and sellers with the purchase of real estate in Florida. If you have any questions about the new law, or when the new real estate laws take effect, we are more than ready to help. Get in touch with us by phone at 305-669-5280 or contact us online for your completely private case review. Our law firm provides real estate representation in Coral Gables, Miami-Dade County, Broward, and all across South Florida. 


Qualified homeowners in Miami-Dade County are now eligible to receive an interest-free loan of up to $35,000 to cover the down payment of their first home.

The program is for any individual making less than $95,620 a year, a couple making less than $109,200, a three person household making less than $122,920 and households of four or more people making less than $136,500.

Requirements to be eligible include:

  • Any individual or spouse who hasn’t had ownership in a principal residence during the three year period ending on the date of purchase of the property.
  • A single parent who has owned with a former spouse while married.
  • An individual who has owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local or model building codes and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

All potential homebuyers are required to receive a counseling form from a Housing and Urban Development certified agency and to complete homebuyer education training.

For more information on requirements and what else you need to know, click on this link.

Remember to always hire a real estate lawyer to assist you with your real estate purchase.


Contact Us: Jacqueline Salcines, Esq., 706 S. Dixie Highway, 2nd FL, Coral Gables, FL 33146 Email: J.Salcines@Salcineslaw.com


Buying a home in Florida can be stressful. High interest rates and low inventory. A buyer may not have the necessary savings in order to qualify for mortgages due to the rising interest rates for home mortgage loans. However, a new program in Miami Dade, being offered to new home buyers, can help.

If you are a first time homebuyer, you can now get an interest rate, below the market mortgage rates, if you qualify.

The program being offered by Miami Dade, works with mortgage lenders to create special packages of first, second and, if necessary, third mortgages to finance a home you can afford.

The type of home you buy can be a single-family detached home, townhouse, condominium, twin-homes or studio.

Properties purchased under the program must be located in an approved County-funded development.

  • The property must be for residential housing.
  • It must be occupied by the borrower as their principal residence.
  • It must have an expected economic life of not less than 30 years.
  • The borrower is limited from renting the property.  

If you feel you qualify, contact us today. We assist homebuyers with their real estate needs, including title, real estate contract review and preparation, and hold your hand every step of the way during the financing process.

To find out more about this program, you can go the following link:



Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, PA

706 S. Dixie Highway

Second Floor

Coral Gables, FL 33146

Contact us: Tel. 305 669 5280

Email: J.Salcines@Salcineslaw.com

Attorney Jacqueline Salcines recently settled a $246,000 judgment with Dyck O’Neal, for a sum of $25,000.00.

Dyck O’Neal is one of the nation’s largest debt collection companies who purchase bad debt and real estate foreclosure deficiencies.

While many cases against Dyck O’Neal are handled out of court, some do end up in lawsuits such as this one, which judgment debtor was represented by Jacqueline Salcines, Esq.

While the debtors wages were being garnished, we were able to successfully stop the garnishment of wages, negotiate the sums due for pennies on the dollar, and obtain the return of all garnished sums.

At Jacqueline Salcines PA, we fight for our clients. While some attorneys will settle for less, we are prepared to fight to get the best outcome in your case. Specially against Dyck O’Neal.

Florida law allows for removal of a person living in your home by filing a lawsuit. However, the type of action you file depends on the nature of the tenancy. If you, as a property owner have someone residing in your property without legal right and title and the individual will not leave voluntarily, this is called an Ejectment. While different from an eviction, which is a remedy if there is a lease or other document which establishes the conditions upon which the person or persons residing in the subject property must abide by, in an ejectment action, the person living there has no lease, and does not make payments. An eviction is not the proper remedy for removal of a person or persons who are NOT subject to a lease and do NOT pay rent, the mortgage or utilities in exchange for use of the property. In the case of a person or persons who are enjoying the use of a property and are not subject to a lease and who do not pay rent or contribute to the upkeep and property related expenses, the process by which to remove such person or persons is a lawsuit known as an Ejectment.

Florida law allows for a legal action know as an Ejectment to remove a non-rent paying person living in your home, who has not signed a lease and has no title or interest in the property. Often times, this involves a person whom you have allowed to live in your home and who later refuses to leave when further use is revoked or cancelled. Generally, there types of actions involve boyfriend or girlfriends, a family member or a friend who has been invited to stay in your home, who has for some reason become an unwelcome guest and refuses to leave when asked.

An ejectment is a lawsuit filed to which the defendant(s) has/have 20 days to file a answer just as in most normal lawsuits. If no answer is filed within the required time period, a motion for default is filed and once entered by the court, a final judgment may be issued ordering the person or persons to leave the home. If they do not leave voluntarily, a writ of possession will be issued to the sheriff and they will come to the property and ask for the person or persons to leave and if they do not leave voluntarily, they will remove them from the property for you.

If the person or persons do file an answer, a hearing will be required and if they “lose,” meaning that the court has determined that there are no defenses as to why they should be allowed to remain in the property, the court will issue a final judgment and order requiring the person to leave your home, as above, if they do not leave voluntarily, the sheriff will remove them for you.

Recognizing that in many cases the person or persons who reside in your property and refuse to leave may have have certain rights, it is best to consult with an attorney to see exactly what cause of action you have.

 If you need to hire the services of an attorney to remove someone from your property, you should contact me. My direct line is (305) 669 5280 and I am happy to provide a free consultation to assess your situation.

Chapter 66, Florida Statutes- Ejectment, is the statute by which an unwanted guest or guests may be removed from your property. The 2021 version of Florida Statutes 66 is shown below:

66.021 Ejectment.—

(1) RIGHT OF ACTION.—A person with a superior right to possession of real property may maintain an action of ejectment to recover possession of the property.

(2) JURISDICTION.—Circuit courts have exclusive jurisdiction in an action of ejectment.

(3) NOTICE.—A plaintiff may not be required to provide any presuit notice or presuit demand to a defendant as a condition to maintaining an action under this section.

(4) LANDLORD NOT A DEFENDANT.—When it appears before trial that a defendant in an action of ejectment is in possession as a tenant and that his or her landlord is not a party, the landlord must be made a party before further proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the court.

(5) DEFENSE MAY BE LIMITED.—A defendant in an action of ejectment may limit his or her defense to a part of the property mentioned in the complaint, describing such part with reasonable certainty.

(6) WRIT OF POSSESSION; EXECUTION TO BE JOINT OR SEVERAL.—When plaintiff recovers in an action of ejectment, he or she may have one writ for possession and for damages and costs or, at his or her election, may have separate writs for possession and for damages and costs.

(7) CHAIN OF TITLE.—The complaint and the answer must include a statement setting forth, chronologically, the chain of title upon which the party will rely at trial. Copies of each instrument identified in the statement must be attached to the complaint or answer. The statement must include the names of the grantors and the grantees, the date that each instrument was recorded, and the book and page or the instrument number for each recorded instrument. If a party relies on a claim or right without color of title, the statement must specify how and when the claim originated and the facts on which the claim is based. If defendant and plaintiff claim under a common source, the statement need not deraign title before the common source.

(8) TESTING SUFFICIENCY.—If either party seeks to test the legal sufficiency of any instrument or court proceeding in the chain of title of the opposite party, the party must do so before trial by motion setting up his or her objections with a copy of the instrument or court proceedings attached. The motion must be disposed of before trial. If either party determines that he or she will be unable to maintain his or her claim by reason of the order, that party may so state in the record and final judgment shall be entered for the opposing party.

(9) OPERATION.—This section is cumulative to other existing remedies and may not be construed to limit other remedies that are available under the laws of this state.

History.—s. 21, ch. 67-254; s. 348, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 2018-94.

66.031 Verdict and judgment.—

(1) VERDICT.—A verdict for plaintiff shall state the quantity of the estate of plaintiff, and describe the land by metes and bounds, lot number or other certain description.

(2) JUDGMENT.—The judgment awarding possession shall state the quantity of the estate and give a description of the land recovered in like manner.

Residential eviction landlord tenant actions based on non payment of rent, require the posting of a Three Day Notice on the tenant’s door in order to commence the eviction action.

Three Day Notices signed by attorneys in Florida, are regulated by the FDCPA turning the attorney into a Debt Collector. New case law in Florida requires Landlords who send such notices through their attorney, to abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, requiring, if the debt is disputed, to remit a detail of the debt and send required notices.

A notice sent by an attorney must disclose to the tenant that the attorney is a debt collector and is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

Within five days of the notice, the attorney must provide the tenant a list of information provided in 15 USC 1692g(a) which include a thirty day period to dispute the debt.

If the tenant disputes the debt within the 30 days provided by the FDCPA, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtain verification of the debt.

If you are being evicted, or you are a landlord requiring an eviction, we are here to help. At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, PA we have been practicing landlord tenant law for over 23 years. We are here to serve all your real estate needs.


Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq.

Comprando o vendiendo propiedad en la Florida? Nuestros abogados de Bienes Raíces en la Florida representan a clientes nacionales e internacionales en las transacciones inmobiliarias más grandes y de mayor perfil del país. Hemos sido partícipes en los booms inmobiliarios más prolíficos y más recientes; y continuamos asesorando a clientes de todas las industrias importantes en el manejo eficiente y efectivo. para comprar y vender bienes.

Por mas de 23 anos, abogado Jacqueline Salcines a representado a clientes en complejas transacciones inmobiliarias: los proyectos de desarrollo y reurbanización, las iniciativas público-privadas, la recuperación de préstamos y litigios. Ofrecemos una experiencia sustancial en la industria y una destacada presencia local, asesorando a corporaciones, desarrolladores, inversores, prestamistas privados y clientes de alto perfil.

Nuestros abogados manejan los aspectos legales con respeto a compra y venta, incluyendo:

Preparacion de contrato/reviso de contrato de inmobiliario

Preparacion de documentos legales de prestamo, hipoteca, nota

Examinacion de titulo de propiedades

Negocios de tierras y proyectos de construcción

Asesoramos sobre todos los aspectos de venta y compra de inmobiliario, financiamientos y reestructuraciones de préstamos.

Además, representamos a nuestros clientes en disputas y litigios de bienes raices.

Llamenos hoy para averiguar como nuestros abogados lo pueden asistir en su compra o venta.


Despite Florida’s booming housing market, many homeowners continue to struggle to pay their mortgages, faced with either financial distress, unemployment or other covid related issues. While covid-related programs offered by the government have ended, mortgage modifications are still around and may be the difference between keeping your home or losing it in foreclosure.

What is a Loan Modification?

A Mortgage loan modification is an adjustment to any term of your current existing mortgage. It could be an adjustment of the interest rate, to a lower one. It could also be an extension of the loan lifetime, extending a 30 year mortgage to a 40 year mortgage, in order to lower the monthly payments.  It could also mean a forgiveness of a portion of the mortgage balance, or simply adding any past due amounts from months or years of non-payment, to the back of the loan.  All these adjustments are done for the homeowner to be able to keep their home and afford their payment.

A loan modification is not a refinance. Refinancing a mortgage means ending your current mortgage, and taking out a new loan.  This often involves an appraisal, and credit checks as well as closing costs.

Rather, a loan modification changes the terms of your existing mortgage while  the original mortgage remains in place. There are no closing costs or out of pocket costs to the homeowner, associated with the modification.

Why Do Lenders Agree to Modify Existing Mortgages?

Most lenders prefer to keep the current homeowner in the property rather than initiate a foreclosure.  Foreclosures are not only expensive for the lender but take years to process through the court, resulting in significant losses for the banks. 

Is it easy to qualify for a loan modification?

Banks apply formulas to determine whether the borrower qualifies for a loan modification. This includes determining the current property value, as well as debt, income and credit standing.  Many attorneys, such as my firm, who have been assisting borrowers with loan modifications since 2008, have programs that make the same calculations the banks do, in order to qualify our clients.  With these programs, we can prequalify clients prior to applying for a loan modification and present the most viable solutions to each homeowner in distress.

Will your lender agree to modify?

A lender will not agree to modify your loan merely because you are –able to prove financial hardship or covid-related hardship. You will also need to show that your have the resources available to make the payments in the future.  It takes an experienced negotiator to review all of your qualifications and then submit the proper package to your lender.  

Hiring the right lawyer to handle your loan modification can make the difference between an approved modification and foreclosure. While we have been handling all types of loan modifications, foreclosure defense, refinances, and all other mortgage related matters for over 23 years, the key is to make sure you qualify for the program you want prior to submitting any application.

Feel free to contact me to discuss your loan options. Whether you are looking to modify your loan, refinance, facing foreclosure or merely want to strategize to determine what your best options are for an investment property, we are here to help.  Contact us today for a free consultation. It could be the difference between keeping your home or losing it.


This seems to be the question on everyone’s minds these days.  South Florida’s housing market is strong. But will this trend continue?  While Miami Dade and Broward experienced never before seen increases and waging wars on home property values and sales during the pandemic and continued through 2021, with mortgage rates increasing slightly over the past months and pandemic related relocations decreasing, will the real estate market remain strong? The experts and market trends seems to think so.


The second quarter of 2021 marked a record for Miami-Dade County real estate, with more U.S. individuals and companies moving to South Florida than ever before. According to Realtor.com, in just one year, single-family home transactions rose 66.9% and the median price for a  single-family home  in Miami Dade County rose 31.6%  from $380,000 to $500,000.  In September 2021 alone, the median listing price was $449,000, or $331.00 per square foot, an increase of 12.5% year after year. This means that, “taken as a whole, median prices have now increased for 9.5 years”.  (Source: Realtor.com). Condos also shared in the increases, with median prices rising 25.8% year after year from $262,250 to $330,000.   According to Zillow,  the median home price in Miami-Dade County has appreciated by nearly 128% (Zillow Home Value Index). Miami Dade home values were up 15.4%  just this  past year. (Source: Zillow). According to Redfin, the average property on the market in Miami receives 3 offers and sells in around 52 days. (Source: Redfin).   Miami real estate has appreciated over 1357% over the last ten years, putting Miami in the top 10% nationally.


FORECLOSURES AND FORBEARANCES: As a foreclosure attorney, I can tell you that the wave of foreclosures expected after the pandemic did not occur. The pandemic forced many homeowners into default and forbearances,  however with increased property values, borrowers bounced back.  Today, non-distressed sales make up for  98.4% of all closed sales, leaving a very low percentage of distressed sales to drive values down.

LACK OF INVENTORY.  Inventory is also at an all time low, with only 54.2% or 2.2 months supply of single family homes, and 5.1 months for condominiums. (Source: Redfin) This indicates that it continues to be a Seller’s Market,  which will continue to drive up values and waging wars.

INTEREST RATES: Mortgage interest rates are also a big factor. While increasing in the past months, this week they dropped again below 3.0. That means, that if mortgage rates remain low, it will continue to boost the home buying activity and pull the home prices

PANDEMIC RELATED RELOCATIONS With Canada and other borders opening or set to open, an increased demand is expected.  This could greatly influence the current supply and drive values up again. Other factors driving the hot market include

  • Florida homestead exemptions right
  • Low to no taxes
  • High rental values
  • Short term rental possibilities

HIRE THE RIGHT LAWYER! While successful investing in real estate is all about timing, having the right real estate attorney is crucial. I have been doing this for 23 years and consider this my specialty.  Assisting buyers, sellers and foreigners with their real estate needs, from contract to closing. We are here. Free Consultation. Free Advice.  Peace of Mind. Can’t beat that.  Call us today.


   The South Florida real estate market continues to experience record breaking sales, with rates of single family homes climbing more than 40% compared to last year.  With low inventory and high demand among buyers, flocking in from all parts of the country, sellers are finding themselves in a bidding war.  However, anxious to sell quickly, they may experience delays when faced with code enforcement liens, judgments, or other encumbrances against their title that impedes a quick sale. 

Rather than stopping or cancelling the sale, many sellers are not aware that there exists a clause in the “As Is” Residential Contract for Sale and Purchase that permits sellers to invoke an “automatic” extension of time in order to clear or “cure” title issues such as these.  This language in the contract requires notifying the buyer side in order for the contract closing date to be extended.  It is important for sellers to know however,  that not all liens or judgments have to be paid in full, sometimes even paid at all!   Florida permits judgments to attach to title and be forced to be paid at the time of sale only if they meet certain requirements, including being certified by the court, containing certain language and be recorded.  If the statutory rules are not followed, the title company performing the closing can ignore the judgment. Similar rules apply for liens which can be ignored.

  If recorded correctly and collectible, liens and judgments can also be negotiated. Even code enforcement liens.  Often million dollar liens can be mitigated to pennies on the dollar when we are able to show compliance to the City and efforts by the homeowner to correct the problem complained of.  Not all code enforcement and violations have to be cured either and can be negotiated with the buyer for the buyer to assume such matters. This often saves the seller thousands of dollars at the time of sale.

  The most important step in the sale or purchase of any real estate in Florida is to hire a knowledgeable and experienced real estate attorney.  By having significant experience in both mitigating fines, liens and judgments, and being a full service title company, we make sure to protect our clients, whether seller or buyer, ensuring that all these issues, and anything else that comes up at closing, is addressed and our clients’ interests are protected.  After closing, it may prove impossible to correct.

As both a real estate lawyer, title company and business law firm, we represent not only buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions, but have an entire debt settlement and loss mitigation department devoted to handling judgment and debt negotiation. With over 23 years experience as a real estate lawyer, Jacqueline A. Salcines, Esq. and her staff are here to help. Don’t go it alone! Call today to see how we can best assist you.