General Business Residential Real Estate

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Payments to Investors in a Securitization Structure Protected from Avoidance

In what appears to be a matter of first impression, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently held that payments made to investors in a two tiered securitization structure commonly employed in...more

Supreme Court of Texas Examines an Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause for the First Time

In JAW The Pointe, L.L.C. v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2015 Tex. LEXIS 343 (Tex. Apr. 24, 2015), the Supreme Court of Texas had occasion to consider an insurance clause that federal courts and lower courts of appeals have...more

Insurance – Property Casualty – Vandalism Exclusion

Hung Van Ong v. Fire Insurance Exchange - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (April 3, 2015) - California’s standard form for fire insurance policies (Insurance Code section 2071) requires coverage for...more

NY Proposes New Title Insurance Regulations To Help Reduce Closing Costs

On April 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled new title insurance regulations aimed at reducing title insurance closing costs of up to 20 percent for new homebuyers by eliminating kickbacks and other improper...more

FHA Revises Single-Family Housing Policy HandBook, Extends Effective Dates

On April 30, the FHA announced revisions to its Single Family Housing Policy HandBook (HandBook) and extended the effective date for various policies contained within from June 15 to September 14, 2015....more

Don’t Forget Your Corporate Formalities … It’ll Cost You

Many individuals believe that it is easy to protect themselves in starting a business by simply setting up a new corporation or LLC. But it is important that shareholders or members abide by corporate formalities. Even the...more

Why Your Property Management Business Needs a Lawyer

A wise move when performing regular commercial transactions with members of the public is to organize or incorporate that business to limit one’s personal liability in the event problems occur. ...more

Tennessee Court of Appeals Determines Homeowners’ Action Against Contractor Barred by Statute of Repose

In Hayes v. Coopertown’s Mastersweep, Inc. 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 2224 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2015), plaintiff homeowners contracted with defendant Mastersweep to inspect the home’s fireplace due to consistent “smoke trouble.”...more

Mortgage Lenders Should Timely Consider Protection Afforded by Closing Protection Letters

Mortgage lenders and servicers frequently consider potential indemnity due under finally issued lender’s title insurance policies and strive to submit timely claims when a covered defect arises. These same parties should also...more

Agencies Issue Final Rule on Minimum Requirements for Appraisal Management Companies

Six federal financial regulatory issued a final rule that implements minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies, or AMCs. An AMC is an entity that provides appraisal...more

FHFA Announces Fannie and Freddie’s Revised Requirements for Private Mortgage Insurances Companies

On April 17, the FHFA announced that Fannie and Freddie have revised the requirements for private mortgage insurance companies insuring mortgage loans that Fannie and Freddie either own or guarantee. By setting financial and...more

2015 Update of Arizona's Anti-Deficiency Laws

Deadline for seeking deficiency. Section 33-814(A) of the Arizona Revised Statutes allows a foreclosing creditor (the "beneficiary"), within 90 days after the date of a trustee's sale, to commence an action to recover a...more

Construction Defect Reform Bill Defeated

Senate Bill 15-177, a bill introduced to reform Colorado’s construction defect litigation process, was defeated in a House of Representatives Committee on April 28, 2015 without being presented for a full vote in the House....more

Smelly Cat – Closely-Divided New Hampshire Supreme Court Addresses Whether Cat Urine Is a Pollutant

Last Friday, New Hampshire’s highest court unanimously held that the pungent aroma of cat urine could constitute physical loss or damage under a property policy. In Mellin v. Northern Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1869572, 2015...more

Pros and Cons of Preferred Equity Investments

Real estate owners and developers have been increasingly turning toward preferred equity structures and investments in order to raise much needed capital for the purchase, renovation and development of real property where...more

Foreclosure Sales: When Is the “Deed” Done?

In re Betchan, 524 B.R. 830 (Bankr. E.D. Wash. 2015) – A mortgagee was the highest bidder at a foreclosure sale that took place shortly before the debtor filed bankruptcy. The lender requested relief from the...more

Prudential Settles $2B RMBS Suit with Bank of America and Merrill Lynch & Co.

On April 22, 2015, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch reached an agreement with several Prudential Insurance Co. affiliates to settle two lawsuits brought by Prudential. Prudential had alleged that Bank of America and Merrill...more

The Implied Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege Under State Farm v. Lee: A Refresher Course

Whether a party has impliedly waived the attorney-client privilege poses a mixed question of law and fact. Twin City Fire Insurance Co. v. Burke, 204 Ariz. 251, 254, 63 P.3d 282, 285 (2003). In State Farm v. Lee, the Arizona...more

Texas Supreme Court Enforces Anti-Concurrent Causation, Bars Coverage Where Wind and Flood Combine to Cause the Loss

Last Friday, Texas’ highest court unanimously endorsed lower court and federal court decisions giving effect to anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clauses and held that such provisions bar coverage where a combination of an...more

A New Australian Standard (AS 11000) to Replace the General Conditions of Contract (AS 4000 and AS 2124)

The AS 4000 and AS 2124 General Conditions of Contract are widely used forms of procurement in the Australian construction industry. A technical committee has recently drafted a new standard form contract (AS 11000) to...more

Spring Cleaning: Out With the Old, In With the New Pennsylvania Withdraws Endorsement 1010 and Introduces Endorsement 1530

Effective April 1, 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance (DOI) approved the Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Pennsylvania’s (TIRBOP) filing of Pennsylvania Endorsement 1530, along with the withdrawal of Pennsylvania...more

Security on Large Construction Projects. The Payment Remedy You Probably Never Heard of

California has a number of statutory payment remedies available on construction projects. Some, such as the mechanics lien, are relatively well known and often utilized. Others, such as the stop payment notice, are somewhat...more

2015 Federal Budget – Financial Services Highlights

Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled his first budget on April 21, 2015 (Budget). Several proposals in the Budget will be of interest to financial services clients, including proposals for a consumer protection framework for...more

Privity Of Contract Is Still The Rule For Breach-Of-Implied-Warranty Claims Against Subcontractors, Even For New Home Construction

Arizona has long recognized the existence of an implied warranty arising out of new home construction. In Columbia Western Corp. v. Vela., the Arizona Court of Appeals expanded implied warranty liability to cover...more

The Basics Of Filing A Private Mechanic’s Lien In Kentucky

A mechanic’s lien is an invaluable tool for contractors and others who supply labor or materials for improvements to real property. In its most basic sense, a mechanic’s lien provides security for these groups so that they...more

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