Civil Remedies Residential Real Estate

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Copyright in House Plans

A couple, the Ecklunds, approached Oakcraft Homes, a custom home-builder. Based on their discussions, Oakcraft prepared a house plan and gave a copy of the plan to the Ecklunds. The couple later took that plan to a rival home...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Coastal Act Decision with Takings Implications

In September 2014, the Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District issued a surprising decision, finding that even if an applicant maintains that it is accepting imposed permit conditions “under protest” and expressly...more

What Do You Do When The Bank Wants Your Condemnation Award?

Property owners typically have a lot on their minds when they find out that the government is going to be taking their property. For residential owners, they need to worry about where they are going to live with their...more

It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: Equitable Estoppel in Construction Defect Claims

More than 20 years ago, the Watergate scandal taught us “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that does the damage. The ensuing decades have brought a steady stream of individuals and companies that had to learn the truth...more

Bankruptcy Court Finds Debtor Entitled to a "Free House" Because Mortgage Foreclosure Complaint Barred by New Jersey Statute of...

Mortgage lenders should be aware of the New Jersey statute of limitations on mortgage foreclosure complaints. In In re Washington, 2014 Bankr. LEXIS 4649 (Bankr. D.N.J. Nov. 5, 2014), the United States Bankruptcy Court for...more

Equitable Redemption: California Legislature Breathes New Life Into an Old Doctrine

A revision to the California Enforcement of Judgments Law (EJL) this year resurrected the judicial doctrine of equitable redemption and almost went unnoticed. It is a significant remedy for former real property owners who...more

How Borrower Got 'Free House' In NJ Bankruptcy Case

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey recently held in In re Washington, No. 14-14573-TBA, (Bankr. D.N.J. Nov. 5, 2014) that the mortgagee and mortgage servicer (“the creditors”) are time-barred...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of $56M MBS Suit against Bank of America

On November 25, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the dismissal of IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG’s suit against Bank of America. IKB alleged that BofA fraudulently misrepresented the quality of...more

Recent Developments in Arizona Construction Law

Notable 2014 Case Law: Bonds - In Ponderosa Fire District v. Coconino County, 235 Ariz. 597 (Ct. App. Ariz. 2014), the Court of Appeals considered whether the County had discretion to decide not to call...more

Failure to Check DMV Records Rendered Search for Defendant Inadequate

In this Home Owners Association (HOA) lien foreclosure case, the Plaintiff was unable to locate the Defendant for service. HOA’s attorney filed an affidavit for service by publication, alleging...more

DOJ Announces Record Year of Over $5 billion in False Claims Act Recoveries

2014 was a banner year for federal recoveries under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). In a press release dated November 20, 2014, the DOJ announced that its total recoveries – including those from both settlements and judgments –...more

Court Finds FHFA Claims Against Nomura Are Not Time-Barred

On November 18, Judge Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s motion for partial summary judgment on the statute of limitations...more

Dispute Over Landscaping Repairs Results in Personal Penalties against Condo Directors and a Fascinating Governance War Story

Court decisions holding corporate directors personally liable for acting in bad faith tend to be few and far between in Canadian jurisprudence. The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Boily et al v Carleton Condominium...more

Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

Texas insurance carrier clients writing significant property insurance business in Texas all confirm a disturbing trend. Historically, Texas insurers have seen less than 2 percent of their property insurance claims result in...more

CFPB Fines Mortgage Lender for Violating Loan Originator Compensation Rule

On November 13, the CFPB ordered a residential mortgage lender to pay $730,000 for violating the Loan Originator Compensation Rule. According to the complaint filed by the CFPB, from June 2011 to October 2013, the mortgage...more

An Appeal of a Bankruptcy Sale Order May Be Moot Regardless of Whether the Seller Actually Had the Authority to Sell the Assets

A pair of recent decisions by the Ninth Circuit in In re Mortgages Ltd. underscore the power of the equitable mootness doctrine and the importance of obtaining stays of bankruptcy court orders to avoid having appeals of the...more

Recent Changes to the Mechanics’ Law

Mechanics’ Lien - • An In Rem lien (against real property). • For the payment of all debts due by an owner to a contractor (or by a contractor to his subcontractors) for Labor or Materials furnished....more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

The Limits of CEQA Mitigation – Recent Judicial Applications of Nollan and Dolan

Perhaps foremost among the judicially recognized fundamental constraints on lead agencies’ power to impose various types of mitigation measures on project approvals in the CEQA process is the “doctrine of unconstitutional...more

“First” Deeds of Trust now Second in Line?

Never a dull moment. We at Crunched Credit are probably guilty of excess and perhaps myopic focus on our federal government and its regulatory apparatus; it is such a consistently reliable source of commentary and outrage. ...more

Eminent Domain Begins for County of Sacramento Road Projects

As traffic continues to increase and roadways become more congested, California’s transportation infrastructure needs to keep up. While there has been a concerted focus on alternative methods of transportation (such as rail,...more

A further update on state AG/regulator lawsuits using Dodd-Frank authority

Below is an update on the lawsuits we have been following that state attorneys general and a state regulator have brought using their Dodd-Frank enforcement authority. Under Dodd-Frank Section 1042, a state AG or regulator is...more

There is Still No Private Right of Condemnation (Generally)

Most people understand the basic concept of eminent domain: the government takes someone’s private property and pays the owner “just compensation” for the taking. Sometimes, however, the government “takes” (or “damages”)...more

Construction Law Alert: Appellate Court Rules General Contractors Can Contractually Subordinate Mechanics Lien Rights

In Moorefield Construction, Inc. v. Intervest-Mortgage Investment Co., 230 Cal. App. 4th 146 (4th Dist. 2014), a California appellate court upheld an agreement executed by a general contractor which subordinated its...more

Automatic Stay Prevents Attachment of After-Acquired Judgment Lien

On Sept. 23, 2013, in Rodriguez v. Gelman (In re Local Service), 503 B.R. 136 (Bankr. D. Colo. 2013), the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado addressed an issue of first impression in that district; namely,...more

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