Real Estate & Construction Updates

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NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

Virtually all property insurance policies include an appraisal provision to resolve disputes over the “amount of loss” for a covered claim. Historically, the phrase “amount of loss” was interpreted to limit appraisal to those...more

CFPB Answers FAQ on the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule

On August 26, 2014, the CFPB staff and Federal Reserve Board co-hosted a webinar and addressed questions about the final TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures Rule that will be effective for applications received by creditors or...more

Court Grants Motion For Partial Judgment On The Pleadings In RESPA Class Action Regarding Private Mortgage Insurance

We have previously reported on a case styled Munoz v. PHH Corp., one of similar suits alleging putative class actions under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act arising from purported “sham” reinsurance transfers...more

Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act Applies to Anyone Collecting a Debt

The Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act (“FCCPA”) prohibits anyone attempting to collect a debt from using certain types of abusive, deceptive, and misleading tactics. In a recent decision, Florida’s Second District...more

Bank of America’s $16.65 Billion Settlement

In what is being reported as the largest settlement ever between the U.S. and a single business entity, Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West announced Thursday that Bank of America Corp....more

FTA Publishes Guidance on Joint Development

Earlier this week, on August 25, 2014, the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) published Circular 7050.1, providing much anticipated guidance for grantees interested in pursuing joint development projects within FTA’s...more

EPA's Concern Over TCE Vapor Intrusion Is Misguided

On July 9, 2014, the Director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund Division in Region 9 issued a memo to staff setting an “operational framework” to address “inhalation exposures [to trichloroethylene] in...more

Even a Tax Authority May Sometimes Have to Pay

In Clinton County Treasurer v. Wolinsky, 511 B.R. 34 (N.D.N.Y. 2014), a Chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The...more

Recent HUD Enforcement Actions Highlight Risks of Loan Discrimination Against Those on Maternity/Paternity Leave

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) recently entered into settlement agreements with two lenders that allegedly discriminated against mortgage loan applicants based on their maternity leave status....more

Breach of Contract Claims against J.P. Morgan and EMC Dismissed as Time-Barred

On August 19, in an oral ruling from the bench, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster of the Delaware Chancery Court dismissed as time-barred loan repurchase claims brought by U.S. Bank as trustee of an RMBS trust against JPMorgan...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Only Original Purchasers May Recover Damages for Breach of the Builder’s Implied Warranty of...

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a builder’s implied warranty of habitability extends only to the initial buyer of a home, and not to subsequent purchasers. In Conway v. The Cutler Group, Inc., the Court reversed an...more

Cook County Assessed Values Continue to Decline

For the sixth year in a row we have obtained and analyzed assessment abstract data from the Cook County Assessor’s Office. In each tax year since 2008 the County’s total assessed value has declined. The data from 2013, the...more

Draw down bonds and date of issuance: questions remain with IRS guidance

For many years multifamily housing apartment projects could be financed with tax-exempt drawn-down bonds and loans with all of the bonds issued pursuant to a draw-down loan being treated as part of a single issue. The date of...more

Current Florida Sinkhole Statute Held to Apply Even Though Policy Used Prior Statute’s Formulation

Florida adopted a stringent, five-part definition of what constitutes a covered sinkhole loss in 2011, but many policies continue to employ the 2005 statutory formulation which merely defined “sinkhole loss” as “structural...more

Should You Pay for Something You’re Not Getting? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court Will Take Up Shedden v. Anadarko E&P Company, L.P.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether an oil and gas lessee’s refusal to pay a “bonus” on acreage that the lease supposedly conveyed to it, but that the lessor did not own at the time of leasing and had not...more

RESPA Class Action Alleging “Captive Reinsurance Scheme” Allowed To Proceed

A Pennsylvania federal court recently denied a motion to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit in which homeowners claim violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 based on an alleged “captive...more

NAIC Report – 2014 Summer National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) met for its Summer National Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, August 14-19. International regulatory standards were a prime focus of the meeting, as the International...more

NYC puts a stop to deed fraud

Ever heard of deed fraud? It’s a form of fraud that has gone largely unnoticed in New York City in past years, but thanks to recent efforts to crack down on these crimes, two people have been arrested in the Big Apple...more

The Napa Earthquake: Now Is The Time To Think About Insurance Coverage

In the aftermath of this weekend’s earthquake, we at Farella Braun + Martel would like to offer our insights. If you have a business that was affected by the earthquake, now is the time to look at your insurance policies,...more

Miami Developers Utilizing Non Traditional Sources of Venture Capital

With all the current and planned building projects taking place in South Florida, it seems the recent real estate crash has largely been forgotten. However, the collapse still haunts traditional lending institutions, many of...more

Mortgage Q&A with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

To address outstanding questions regarding the new mortgage rules that took effect in January 2014, CFPB staff provided non-binding, informal guidance in a webinar hosted by the American Bankers Association (ABA)....more

Goldman Reaches Settlement with FHFA

On August 22, Goldman Sachs and FHFA announced a US$3.15 billion settlement of claims brought by FHFA against Goldman in two separate lawsuits related to RMBS purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. ...more

Who Will Think of the Tenants: Split in Authority Regarding the Interplay Between Bankruptcy Code Sections 363(f) and 365(h)(1)(A)

A useful tool granted to trustees (and debtors-in-possession) in bankruptcy is the ability to assume or reject leases.1 The trustee can exploit this power to the estate's economic advantage, either assuming or rejecting the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Contractor May Recover in Quantum Meruit Where Home Improvement Contract Does Not Satisfy...

Homeowners Raymond and Donna Mantia contracted Shafer Electric & Construction (“Shafer”) to build a two-car garage addition onto their house. Shafer’s proposal was extremely detailed as to the work to be completed. Despite...more

Colorado Construction Monitor - Summer 2014

In this Issue: - Denver’s construction activity approaching historic peak of 2007 - Market Update - Condominium Construction Defects Legislation Introduced - Whether for Cause or Convenience,...more

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