Florida Record

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Court grants attorney's request for revocation of license

By John Breslin | Sep 14, 2016

TALLAHASSEE – The Supreme Court of Florida has granted an attorney’s request for disciplinary revocation of her license to practice.

Disciplinary charges relating to several real estate transactions were pending against Sunilda Casilla of Miami.

The Supreme Court on July 14 granted Casilla’s request for a disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years. Disciplinary revocation is the effectively the same as disbarment in that Casilla will not be able to practice.

Details of the allegations against Casilla, 39, who has been a member of The Florida Bar since April 2006, are revealed in her request for revocation.

In the first instance, it is alleged Casilla represented the borrower and acted as the settlement agent in a real estate transaction. She represented to the lender that she would cause the title insurance to be paid from the loan proceeds, according to documents filed with the court.

The lender relied on those representations in agreeing to fund the loan. Two different closing statements were allegedly executed.

The first represented that the title insurance would be paid as agreed. The second, however, reportedly omitted any reference to the title insurance. It is further alleged that Casilla satisfied an unrecorded mortgage on the property, but failed to pay recorded mortgage on the property.

Casilla maintains that the lender was made whole by her errors and omissions and that all allegations against her were dismissed in the related foreclosure action.

The Miami lawyer is alleged in a second case to have acted as an escrow agent in a real estate transaction, holding $100,000 in escrow from the buyer. When the buyer failed to close the transaction by the agreed-upon date, the seller demanded Casilla forward the buyer's deposit to the seller's attorney's trust account, as was written in the contract.

She failed to do so, the court documents state. The seller's attorney filed a lawsuit against Casilla and the buyer, which resulted in a final judgment in which Casilla was held liable for $100,000 plus other costs.

In a third case, Casilla is alleged to have engaged in mortgage fraud in her role as settlement agent and short sale negotiator in a real estate transaction involving her stepmother. The allegations are that she received funds from two different lenders, both for the purpose of funding a first mortgage on a property being purchased by her stepmother. At least one of the lenders, it is alleged, has not had their funds returned.

And a fourth case alleges Casilla was title issuing agent or approved attorney for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company (FNTIC). On or about March 5, 2013, FNTIC terminated Casilla’s contract with their office. Despite this cancellation, she allegedly continued to describe herself as an authorized agent of FNTIC. She is alleged to have issued commitments, polices, and coverage protection letters, underwritten by or on behalf of FNTIC.

Specifically, according to the court documents, in November 2015, Casilla is alleged to have acted as issuing agent for FNTIC in a real estate transaction involving her stepmother.

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Florida Supreme Court The Florida Bar