Our attorneys and paralegals have many years of experience in real estate law — and we use teams so that the most experienced people work together on those cases.
For example, one of our paralegals has years of experience in conducting property appraisals. This helps her when creating contracts for deeds, quitclaim deeds, leases, or when working on a real estate dispute in court, such as a quiet title matter.
We can work with you to:
- Write a contract to transfer ownership from one person to another
- Create a trust to help protect real estate
- Create a deed that transfers ownership when someone dies
- Create a contract to end one person’s ownership of property
- Review a small business owner’s lease to make sure that it is fair.
If you bought real estate and believe you have been cheated, we can help you protect your rights in court. We often are called to court to help a client that has a real estate dispute that needs a judge or jury to resolve it. Our team’s experience in construction law and appraisals is incredibly valuable when it comes to explaining real estate concepts to juries or judges.
Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modifications
In the years following the real estate crisis of 2008-2009, many homeowners had problems paying their mortgage. Some made a poor decision about the amount of debt they could pay. In some cases, mortgage companies used illegal tactics to “qualify” people for homes that they could not realistically afford. When those homeowners experienced problems making payments, thousands of foreclosure actions followed.
For years, our firm has helped people fight foreclosures (when the lender attempts to take ownership of the property because the borrower has failed to make payments) and victims of predatory lending practices by mortgage companies. We do this by making certain that all rules are followed in the foreclosure action, and, in some cases, we take action against the lender if they have taken illegal steps during the mortgage process.
We also help families get loan modifications. The U. S. government has refinance options for homeowners called HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) and modification options called HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program). These programs can help struggling homeowners to stay in their homes using reduced payments and possibly reduction of principal owed if the property has lost significant value.
Most large lenders have their own unique refinance and modification plans; therefore, we try to get you to qualify for government and lender programs in order to increase their chances for success.
To succeed, you must be able to afford to make their PITI payments (Principal for mortgage, Interest for mortgage, Taxes for property, and Insurance for property) without the payments being more than 40% or so of gross income. In other words, you must be able to make the new payments comfortably without creating a financial hardship to be a strong candidate for a refinance or modification program.
The real estate should be worth approximately the loan amount. For example, we would not recommend a modification (unless there were a huge principal reduction) to a family that owes $400,000 on the mortgage if the property is only worth $100,000. Even after the modification, it may not be a good economic decision to keep a home that is worth 25% of the amount owed.
These programs are voluntary; therefore, we cannot sue the lender and force them to give the family a modification. There are strong reasons for the lender to give a modification, but we cannot guarantee success.