Residential Real Estate Professional Practice

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Borrowers' Counsel Can Be Sanctioned over Frivolous Complaints in Foreclosure and Eviction Proceedings, Michigan Court Holds

A Michigan appellate court recently held that a borrower's counsel could be sanctioned for filing a complaint for the purpose of delaying foreclosure or eviction. In Edgett v. Flagstar Bank, after multiple reviews of the...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision in Law v. Siegel, Eliminating Ability to Impose Surcharge on Exempt Property Unless Explicitly...

On March 4, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Law v. Seigel, Case No. 12-5196, 571 U.S. ___ (2014) holding that the bankruptcy court used its equitable powers in contravention of Bankruptcy Code section...more

Second Circuit Rules on False Name Exception Under FDCPA

In a split decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a creditor can be held liable for sending letters using a law firm’s letterhead when plaintiffs alleged that the substance of the...more

10 Days to Launch Your Client Development Efforts: Day 10

Today is the last day of our 10 Days to launch your client development efforts. I hope you have actually done something each of the 10 days based on what you have read. Day 10 is really pretty simple, I want you to focus...more

Controlling the Idiot in the Deal

When I was a young man starting in business I read the book “Winning Through Intimidation” by Robert J. Ringer. The book, though denounced by some at the time, was not really about intimidating people, but of not being...more

ROBO-LITIGATION Re: Attorney Misconduct at Foreclosure Mills

ROBO-LITIGATION Re: Attorney Misconduct at Foreclosure Mills The scale of attorney malfeasance in connection with the foreclosure crisis is enormous. Whether attorneys knowingly filed false documents or simply failed to...more

Who's Who in the Sectional Title Zoo - Nov 2012

People in a sectional title complex need to be familiar with the different groupings of parties running the complex...more

Sectional Forum's Body Corporate Trustees Pack - Nov 2012

Sectional Forum's Body Corporate Trustees Pack...more

Alan Levy Attorneys & Conveyancers Estate Agents Handbook - Code of Conduct - Nov 2012

An Estate Agents Guide to the Correct Code of Conduct regarding the following: General duty to protect the public’s interest; Mandates; Duty to disclose; Duty not to make misrepresentations of false statements or to...more

Section, Exclusive Use Area, Common Property. Which is it? - Nov 2012

When faced with a challenge in a Sectional Title Scheme, involving a part of the property or building, often the first question to be answered is whether the particular part concerned is a Section, Exclusive Use Area or...more

One of the Most Important Steps In Any Construction or Injury Case

During my years of litigation, and equally so now in the field of litigation graphics, I became convinced of the importance of inspecting whatever items and locations that a case revolves around in order to visualize and then...more

Weekly Brief: CFPB, Legal Fees & Hashtag Hijackers

Oct. 18 (Bloomberg Law) -- Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia runs through the week's most important legal news. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is considering a plan to grant unprecedented legal immunity to mortgage lenders....more

Graphics to Help You Better Build Your Construction Case

In construction litigation, almost every description—from Aggregate, Beater Bars and Canusa wraps, to Wonderboard, Yokes and Z-bars—involves specialized language of the trade that must be made understandable. Visual aids enhance understanding, engage the audience and improve the retention of information in ways that oral and written descriptions alone simply cannot. Almost no area of law benefits more from graphics for mediation and trial than cases involving construction issues. The graphics help explain expert witness testimony, show basic layout of the buildings involved and illustrate the story of the case. To give attorneys ideas about how they can build and present their construction cases with timelines, animations and other interactive informational graphics, I prepared the following online guide. more

Task Force on Disaster Preparedness and Response: A Stellar Inaugural Year

Originally published in The Brief, Volume 41, Number 4, Summer 2012. TIPS Chair Randy Aliment’s 2011–2012 theme is Disaster Preparedness and Response. The Disaster Preparedness and Response Task Force was formed in partnership with Thomson Reuters’ West LegalEdcenter, and developed that theme through teleconferences, webcasts, the task force blog, podcasts, articles, community service projects, law student writing competitions, and outstanding CLE programs at each of the fall, midyear, spring, and annual meetings. The task force also was responsible for acquiring new TIPS sponsors for these meetings, Exponent and Agility Recovery. The task force worked actively throughout the year with the ABA’s Standing Committee on Disaster Preparedness. TIPS has been nominated for the Meritorious Service award for the work of the task force in combination with the TIPS Law in Public Service (LIPS) and Animal Law Committees. The nomination is sponsored by the Long Range Planning Committee. Teleconferences. Disasters unfortunately are with us. All we can do is prepare for them. They have occurred in the past, and they will occur in the future. In commemoration of September 11, 2001, the task force sponsored 10 teleconferences hosted by various general committees on the following topics: "September 11th, Ten Years Later, Where Are We in the Handling of Mass Claims within the Legal System?," which featured Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, Kenneth Feinberg, and Sheila Birnbaum; "The Call: Aviation Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response"; "Ten Years Later: Mass Disaster Spawns Canine Heroes"; ?The World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery and Clean-Up Mass Litigation"; "Disaster Preparedness–Disaster Recovery"; "International Approaches to Disaster Preparedness and Response"; "Changes in Insurance Underwriting and Claims Handling since September 11th"; "The Silverstein Properties Trial and the Issue of Contract Certainty in the Aftermath of September 11, 2001"; "September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks: Duties of Corporate Directors and Officers in the Preparation and Execution of Disaster Avoidance and Recovery"; and "Employment Issues When Disaster Strikes." Each of these programs was recorded and is available through Thomson Reuters’ West LegalEdcenter... Please see full alert below for more information. more

Levy Interest and Administration Charges Resolution - Jun 2012

Levy Interest and Administration Charges Resolution - June 2012more

Alan Levy Attorneys' Lease Agreement between a Body Corporate and an Owner in respect of the leasing of Common Property by the Body Corporate to an Owner - May 2012

Alan Levy Attorneys' Lease Agreement between a Body Corporate and an Owner in respect of the leasing of Common Property by the Body Corporate to an Ownermore

How to Create the Most Effective Demonstratives for Real Estate Cases

At Cogent Legal, real estate and land use cases are among our favorite to support. They can offer up rich and tangible imagery to shape for jury scrutiny. Not surprisingly, trial teams for such cases, on occasion, come to us focused on a document-centric visual presentation—that is, focused on contracts and emails. In these instances we try to remind them of the following two tips to help win the attention and “discerning bias” of the jury: 1) tie the presentation to the property, and 2) show the tangible consequences of the case. more

OPERATING EXPENSE CLAUSES IN COMMERCIAL LEASES: The Capital Expenses Exclusion

Our last note highlighted the importance of effectively negotiating exclusions to Operating Expenses and offered examples of some exclusions that, if not properly negotiated, can significantly impact the tenant’s bottom line. This note focuses on another important exclusion from its lease that every tenant must aggressively negotiate to obtain, in some form. This important exclusion is the Capital Expenses exclusion. It is fair to say that of all the exclusions to Operating Expenses, this is the single most important one because it is the one with the most money at stake. more

The Consumer Protection Act - Landlords' Classical Questions - Jan 2012

Landlords' Classical Questions on The Consumer Protection Actmore

The Consumer Protection Act - Tenants' Classical Questions - Jan 2012

Tenants' Classical Questions on the Consumer Protection Actmore

PAIA Downloads for Home Owners' Associations - Nov 2011

The Guide to PAIA submissions for Home Owners’ Associationsmore

PAIA Downloads for Body Corporates - Nov 2011

The Guide to PAIA submissions for Body Corporatesmore

Congress Goes After Infamous Foreclosure Mill Fraud Firm Steven Baum

On November 4, 2011, Congress' Committee on Oversight and Reform's Ranking Member Elijah Cummings demands infamous foreclosure Mill Steven Baum to produce documents because Congress is investigating his alleged "improper or illegal actions in the processing of foreclosures." This 4 page letter details years of improper practices, judges lambasting Baum for his sloppy filings and disdains Baum for his beyond the pale Halloween party where his employees mock the very people they foreclsoed upon and left them homeless by dressing up as homeless people sitting on street corners begging for work, putting up signs "Baum Estates" as if Baum owns everyone's homes now, and worse, details how Baum's demonic party built a coffin for an attorney that filed a class action suit against him, Susan Chana Lask,ripped her eyes out from her picture and placed that in the coffin with threatening epitets. What must be noted is a famous murderer used to rip the eyes out of his victims' pictures before murdering them. Also noted, Ms. Lask successfully settled that suit which Baum describes as a "thorn in his side". Baum's disgusting practices are also being investigated by NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Baum has recently been fined $2 Million Dollars by the Department of Justice. Jduge's have literally stated in decisions he operates from another "universe". Baum is a disgrace to the practice of law to permit his employees to mock people and kill off officers of the courts; it is nothing short of being mentally unbalanced and certainly questions his fitness to practice law as multiple case decisions confirm. Then again, his wife recently divorced him in 2011. One wonders if he ripped her eyes out too na dput her in a coffin.more

UK REITs: A New Dawn

UK Real Estate Investment Trusts (UK REITs) were introduced by the Finance Act 2006 to give investors a tax-efficient way of getting exposure to commercial property. This special tax regime came into force on 1 January 2007 and, by February 2007, nine of the UK's largest listed property companies had converted to REIT status. These included, amongst others, Land Securities, British Land, Great Portland Estates and Primary Health Properties. Despite the initial impetus, UK REITs have not managed to attract the interest of smaller property companies and housing associations, principally as a result of certain restrictive qualifying rules and a 2% entry/conversion charge. However, the UK Treasury has recently issued the results of its informal consultation, indicating that it is poised to abolish the conversion charge for companies joining the UK REIT regime and relax the current listing requirements by allowing REITs to be listed or admitted on the PLUS Market or the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). These and other changes to the UK REIT regime outlined in this article are expected to be included in the Finance Bill 2012.more

Taxing Times: HMRC set to fine firms £3,000 for "assisting in preparation of incorrect SDLT returns"

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) has announced that it intends to start imposing the maximum penalty of £3,000 in respect of online and paper SDLT returns under section 96 of the Finance Act 2003, due to worryingly high numbers of errors on submitted SDLT returns.more

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