Real Estate & Construction Updates

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Florida Ad Valorem Property Tax Refund Interest

The Florida Legislature, in its continuing attempt to level the property tax playing field, provided that interest be paid on taxes collected above the tax ultimately warranted by the property assessment. ...more

Second Circuit Notes Split with Ninth Circuit Over Whether Failure to Make Adequate Disclosures Under Item 303 of Regulation S-K...

In Stratte-McClure v. Morgan Stanley, No. 13-0627-cv, 2015 WL 136213 (2d Cir. Jan. 12, 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of securities fraud claims against Morgan Stanley...more

Newly Amended Dual Agency Disclosure Law: Much Ado About Nothing

As of January 1, 2015, the duty of a real estate agent to disclose in writing his or her representation of a buyer, seller, tenant and/or landlord, including any dual agency relationship, in residential real property...more

Real Estate Cases: Bad Faith Filing Does Not Necessarily Mean That You Are A Bad Person

In re Sterling Bluff Investors, LLC, 515 B.R. 902 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. 2014) – A mortgagee moved to dismiss a real estate debtor’s chapter 11 case, or in the alternative for relief from the automatic stay. It contended...more

SEC & AGs Fine & Suspended S&P for MBS Rating Violations

The SEC and the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts this week fined Standard & Poor’s almost $77 million, suspended S&P from conduit-fusion CMBS ratings work for a year and imposed other undertakings, for...more

Large National Bank Faces Class Action Suit Over Alleged SCRA Violations

On January 15, an Army Reserve sergeant filed a class action suit against a large national bank for allegedly violating the SCRA limitation on a lender’s ability to foreclose on an active duty service member’s property. ...more

What’s In A Title?

While it is true that you most often cannot tell much about a book by its title, the same does not hold true when it comes to real estate, as how title is held to real estate, does tell you a lot. The question faced by a...more

Renewable Energy Update - January 2015

Renewable Energy Focus: Solar sector created more jobs in 2014 than oil and gas extraction industry - The solar industry added jobs at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the national average last year, according...more

CFPB Unveils Know Before You Owe “Owning A Home” Initiative

On January 13, the CFPB published a report based on results from its recent survey of consumers who had recently taken out new mortgages. The survey, jointly conducted by the CFPB and the FHFA, found that (i) almost half of...more

CFPB Report Explores Consumers’ Mortgage Shopping Experience

In a report released on January 13, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that nearly half of consumers do not shop among multiple lenders before applying for a mortgage loan. Even fewer—about one of every...more

MIA Announces Opportunity for Comment on Draft Proposed Regulation 31.01.02 on Emergency Powers

On January 23, 2015, the Maryland Insurance Administration issued Bulletin 15-04 to announce a thirty-day opportunity for comment on Draft Proposed Regulation 31.01.02 – Emergency Powers. ...more

The City of Fairfax and Affordable Housing

Legislation proposed in the Virginia House of Delegates would give the City of Fairfax specific authority to adopt an affordable housing ordinance offering bonus development density in projects that provide an affordable...more

No Tax on Subdivision

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that taxpayers could not be reassessed when they subdivided a parcel into two parcels but retained title. Raup v. Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 237 C.D. 2014 (Pa....more

Supreme Court Eases Requirements for Homeowners Rescinding Mortgages

The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. that borrowers exercising their right to rescind mortgages under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) only need to provide written notice to...more

No Safe Haven: DOJ Can and Will Seize Proceeds of Wholly Foreign Corruption

Nine pieces of real property in the New Orleans area purchased and owned by Honduran government official Mario Roberto Zelaya Rojas (“Zelaya”) are proceeds of criminal activity and subject to seizure, according to a civil...more

Florida Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

This past year brought a number of important insurance decisions in Florida, some favorable to insurers and others that reaffirm the challenges for insurers litigating in Florida. For example, after a broad statutory...more

Insurance Client Alert: Denial of Summary Judgment Does Not Automatically Establish Duty to Defend

In McMillin Companies v. American Safety Indemnity (No. D063586, filed 1/20/15), a California appeals court ruled that an insurer's loss of a summary judgment motion on the duty to defend does not necessarily establish that a...more

Part 201 Revisions – Streamlining the Pathways to Closure

On January 10, 2015, Governor Snyder signed SB 891 into law, enacting revisions to Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act ("Part 201), Michigan’s environmental remediation law. The revisions cover...more

Post-Confirmation: Ignoring Court Orders Is Not A Good Idea

In re Castle Home Builders, Inc., 520 B.R. 98 (Bankr. N.D. Ill. 2014) – The debtors obtained confirmation of plans of reorganization that restructured prepetition mortgage loans.  When the servicer for some of the...more

The CFPB & UDAAP: A “Know It When You See It” Standard?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) continued and expanded reliance on its sweeping authority to prohibit unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts or practices (UDAAP) continues to command the attention of financial...more

A Deluge Of Dismissals: Indiana Tax Court Dismisses 11 Property Tax Exemption Appeals For Lack Of Jurisdiction

When it rains, it pours. On January 20, the Indiana Tax Court issued eleven rulings dismissing property tax exemption appeals for lack of jurisdiction....more

State AGs Take Sides as U.S. Supreme Court Hears Housing Discrimination Case

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, on the question of whether disparate impact claims for discrimination are...more

Special Alert: CFPB Finalizes Amendments to TILA-RESPA Integrated Mortgage Disclosures

On January 20, 2015, the CFPB finalized amendments to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (“TRID”) rule that make a number of amendments, clarifications, and corrections, including...more

A New Year and a New Arizona Anti-Deficiency Statute

In 2014, the Arizona Legislature enacted significant changes to the anti-deficiency statutes, which protect certain residential borrowers from a deficiency judgment following foreclosure. These statutory changes, which apply...more

SOTU mentions housing!

President Obama’s State of the Union address touched briefly on housing issues. With a focus on “middle class economics”, it was inevitable that we would hear about homeownership rather than rental housing. He mentioned lower...more

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