Residential Real Estate General Business

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Oral Waiver Insufficient to Defeat Contractor’s Liability for Building Code Violation

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, in Downey, et al. v. Chutehall Construction Co., Ltd., 88 Mass. App. Ct. 795 (January 6, 2016), recently held that an oral waiver of compliance with the building code by a homeowner does not...more

REAL NEWS – WINTER EDITION 2015/16

IN THIS EDITION - Ben Barrison reports on the long awaited Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Marks & Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited (pg 03); We dedicate two...more

CREFC and MBA/CREF: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Alternate Universes

That whole alternate universe thing, the conceit of so many sci-fi novels, is clearly not merely the product of fevered minds. It’s real. Or, at least it seemed awfully real after having been at the CREFC meeting in Miami...more

Did the Fourth Circuit Just Create a Cause of Action for “Unconscionable Inducement” Under West Virginia Law?

In McFarland v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 14-2126 (4th Cir. Jan. 15, 2016), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals examined the argument that a loan was substantively unconscionable because it vastly exceeded the worth of the...more

Property Insurance Diminution in Value Class Action: Georgia Federal Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Claim

A while back, I wrote about a Georgia Supreme Court decision, Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Co., that held that diminution in value of real property is potentially covered under a property insurance...more

Rating Agency Developments

On January 25, 2016, DBRS updated its methodology for rating Subscription Loans (Capital Call). On January 21, 2016, Fitch updated its U.S. RMBS Master Rating Criteria....more

Eleven Banks Reach Settlement with Commonwealth of Virginia on RMBS Claims

On Friday, January 22, 2016, eleven banks, including Merrill Lynch, RBS, and Barclays, agreed to settle claims brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia in a 2014 action alleging misrepresentations as to the nature, quality,...more

Ambac and J.P. Morgan Reach $995M RMBS Settlement

On Monday, January 25, 2016, monoline insurer Ambac Assurance Corporation (“Ambac”) reached a $995 million settlement with J.P. Morgan, resolving two RMBS actions pending before Justice Ramos in the Supreme Court of the State...more

Texas Federal Court Rejects Insured’s Attempt To Destroy Diversity By Naming Adjuster As Defendant

The insured in Patel v. Acceptance Indem. Ins. Co., No. 4:15-CV-944-A, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10300 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 28, 2016), alleged that Acceptance Indemnity Insurance Company and its adjuster, Charles Payne, did not fully...more

Coverage for Direct Physical Loss Does Not Necessarily Include “Matching” or Require “Aesthetic Uniformity”

When a property insurance policy covers a multi-story building or multi-building property, and a portion sustains damage, there is often a question regarding the extent to which undamaged property should be replaced to ensure...more

Not Enough Activity to Be a Developer

If you suffer a loss on the disposition of real property, you want to be treated as a developer for income tax purposes - that is, to be treated as engaged in a trade or business. That way, you can get ordinary loss treatment...more

In Flannery v. SEC, First Circuit Rebukes Commission, Signals Departure from Deferential Review

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in Flannery v. SEC that the Securities and Exchange Commission lacked substantial evidence in finding securities law violations by two executives in...more

Application Deadline for the CITF Grant and Loan Program – February 26, 2016

The deadline to submit applications for Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund (CITF) grants and loans is February 26, 2016. There is an estimated $6,600,000 available in grants and loans for approved applicants. The...more

Banking & Financial Services E-Note - January 2016

In Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Estrella Perez, et al., No. 3D15-58, 2015 WL 8347002 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 9, 2015), Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in dismissing a foreclosure case on...more

Backsies! When Can You Rescind a Real Property Purchase Agreement?

You buy a house and then discover that the seller didn’t disclose a material fact about the property—say, the sewage system you thought was owned by the city was actually owned by 13 different residents in the area, and...more

FinCEN Imposes New Reporting Requirements on New York and Miami Real Estate Markets

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) recently announced two geographic targeting orders (GTOs) imposing new reporting and recordkeeping requirements on title insurance companies operating in New York City and...more

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules That Condominium Assessment Liens Could Extinguish First-Priority Mortgages

First mortgage holders in Rhode Island beware: in a 4-1 decision handed down on December 4, 2015, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that pursuant to the Rhode Island Condominium Act, RIGL § 34-36.1-1.01 et seq., liens...more

Disclose of Cash Real Estate Purchases

The purchase of real estate without bank financing presents an opportunity for those with unclean funds to launder those funds and make them appear legitimate, at least in the opinion of the Financial Crimes Enforcement...more

Construction Group News: Arbitrators' Award of Attorney's Fees Thrown Out Because the Parties' Agreement Did Not Provide for It

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently voided an arbitration panel’s award of attorney’s fees because the terms of the parties’ arbitration agreement did not specifically provide that the prevailing party could be...more

Landlords and tenants: To Airbnb or not Airbnb, that is the question

If you own or occupy residential real property, a question may come to mind. As Shakespeare might have put it, “To BNB or not BNB, that is the question.”...more

“Insanity Defense” Fails To Preserve Coverage For Insured’s Arson

Missouri resident James Roller set fire to his garage in an attempt to commit suicide. When smoke and fumes surrounded him he changed his mind, fled the garage, and alerted his wife of the fire. Mrs. Roller called 911. A...more

Contractors can be Liable for Following Owners’ Directives

In Downey v. Chutehall Construction Co. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-001-16), the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled a contractor can be liable for violating building codes despite the fact that the party suing it directed the...more

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Order Affects Miami-Dade County Residential Purchases Exceeding $1 Million

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on Jan. 13, 2016, issued a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO or the Order) requiring title insurance companies, subsidiaries and agents (each a...more

Are You My Brokers? The Evolving Legal Status of the Real Estate Salesperson

Under the Real Estate Law that governs the regulation of brokers and salespersons by the Bureau of Real Estate, a salesperson is theoretically subject to supervision and control at all times by the broker that employs the...more

Trustees Seek Approval of $4.5 Billion Settlement

On January 20, trial commenced before Justice Marcy Friedman in New York County Supreme Court to determine whether Deutsche Bank, U.S. Bank, and the other trustees of 330 RMBS trusts acted reasonably when they reached a $4.5...more

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