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When a Lender Forecloses on a Leasehold Interest….

Loans are often secured by the fee title to real property owned by the borrower. But loans can also be secured by the borrower’s leasehold interest in property....more

A Void Default Judgment Is No Way To Establish Title

In a post from March of this year — Even a “Bona Fide Purchaser” Can’t Rely on a Void Judgment — we reviewed the recent decision from California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, OC Interior Services, LLC v. Nationstar...more

Recording a Trustee’s Deed is Privileged Under CA Civil Code Section 47

California law is pretty clear that the recordation of a notice of default and notice of sale — two key documents that are a prerequisite to a nonjudicial foreclosure sale (aka trustee’s sale) — are privileged and cannot form...more

CA Supreme Court: Entity Ownership Change Can Trigger Documentary Transfer Tax

Many entities are formed for the sole purpose of buying and holding real estate. In this setup, legal title is held by the entity itself (not the entity’s owners), but the entity’s owners have a “beneficial interest” that...more

When the Same Lender Has Both a Senior and Junior Deed of Trust….

If the same lender has both a senior and junior deed of trust on the same security property, can that lender foreclose on the senior lien by trustee’s sale, and then sue the debtor personally for the junior debt?...more

California Supreme Court Settles Split of Authority re Implied Dedication of Private Property to the Public

In a 2015 post on Money and Dirt, we reviewed a then-recent Court of Appeal decision, Scher v. Burke, and discussed the split of authority among California courts on the topic of “implied dedication” of private property to...more

California Enacts New Regulatory Framework for Medical and Recreational Cannabis

This blog usually explores the relationship between real estate and one green substance — money. But cannabis is the greenery getting a lot of recent attention in California, and its impact on real estate will be difficult...more

Valuation Of “Different” Property In Condemnation — Does a Developed Market Exist?

When real property interests are acquired by the power of eminent domain, the owner is entitled to receive “just compensation” in the form of fair market value for the property taken....more

Equitable Easement Without Preexisting Use?

When a landowner whose parcel is landlocked needs to gain legal access to the property, an “equitable easement” is often the remedy of choice. An equitable easement is normally supported by preexisting use of the easement...more

Eviction Immediately After Foreclosure?

Lenders who foreclose and take ownership of security property via credit bid at the foreclosure sale often confront a tenant whose lease has been extinguished, but who would rather not vacate the property....more

Adverse Possession of an Easement: Mistakes, Gates, and Fences

Just as fee title to real property can be lost by adverse possession, the same is true with easements. In a recent opinion from California’s Sixth District Court of Appeal — Vieira Enterprises, Inc. v. McCoy — the court...more

Tax Sales and Bankruptcy Stays

It is well understood that under section 362 of the Bankruptcy Code, a bankruptcy filing triggers an “automatic stay” preventing creditors from taking any act to obtain possession of or enforce a lien against property of the...more

Just How Much Power Does Your LLC’s Manager Have?

In a recently published decision — Western Surety Co. v. La Cumbre Office Partners LLC — a California Court of Appeal tackled the issue of LLC managerial authority from a different angle. The central issue in the case was...more

Even a “Bona Fide Purchaser” Can’t Rely on a Void Judgment

Under California law, “bona fide purchasers” who buy property with no notice (actual, constructive, or otherwise) of a competing claim to the property are generally protected. The law’s favorable treatment of bona fide...more

“Broker Beware” — Get Commission Agreements In Writing

All California real estate brokers should be well aware of the statute of frauds governing their work found in Civil Code section 1624(a)(4)....more

Bankruptcy Is Not A Borrower Antidote For Loan “Default Interest”

Defaulting on a loan typically triggers a higher interest rate — “default interest” — as one of many consequences for the borrower. (Other consequences include acceleration of the maturity, late fees and penalties, and...more

Has Yvanova Lost Its Mojo For Wrongful Foreclosure Plaintiffs?

In 2016, the California Supreme Court’s decision in Yvanova v. New Century Mortgage Corporation caused a lot of excitement among plaintiffs asserting wrongful foreclosure claims and a lot of grief among secured lenders....more

Notable Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation Cases from 2016

Here is a list of California’s appellate cases from 2016 in the eminent domain and inverse condemnation arenas that caught our attention...more

The Evolution of Real Estate Crowdfunding — Some Links

Real estate crowdfunding remains one of “fin-tech’s” hottest stories in 2016. While crowdfunding remains a tiny percentage of overall real estate debt or equity deals, the share continues to grow....more

California Supreme Court Weighs In On “Associate Licensee” Duties In Dual Agencies

Dual agencies — where a broker represents both the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction — raise plenty of thorny questions regarding the duties owed. These questions can become even more difficult when “associate...more

Beware CC&Rs — They Can Bite

In teaching Real Estate Transactions and Litigation to advanced Law and Business students at U.C. Berkeley’s School of Law, I find that one of the most difficult concepts to explain is the impact of property use restrictions...more

Sham Guaranties Are (Still) Hard To Come By

In a prior post, Sham Guaranties Are Hard To Come By, we reviewed a decision from the First District Court of Appeal that emphasized how difficult it is for guarantors to win on a “sham guaranty” defense. That defense...more

Exercising a Real Estate Option: the Devil is in the Details

Leases often contain options to renew or extend the lease, and sometimes also an option to purchase the property at the end of the lease term. Under California law, some cases have strictly enforced the procedural...more

Damages for Seller’s Breach of a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement: a Recent Case Example

When a seller breaches a purchase and sale agreement and fails to complete the sale to the buyer, the buyer’s usual remedy is to seek “specific performance” of the agreement — i.e., a court judgment ordering the seller to...more

Just Because A Deed Is Void Doesn’t Mean It Can Be Challenged “Any Time”

In a case reviewed last year, Salazar v. Thomas, a California Court of Appeal weighed in on how the statute of limitations applies to quiet title claims. The court held that when an owner seeks to quiet title against a...more

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