Bay Area Real Estate Law Blog

Welcome to the Bay Area Real Estate Law Blog, published by the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer — a boutique real estate and lending law firm located in the heart of Silicon Valley. In this blog, you’ll find blog articles written by attorneys at the firm, providing up-to-date information about all areas of real estate law — from landlord/tenant matters, HOA disputes, land use & zoning issues, easements, boundary disputes, real estate transactions and much, much more! You can use the Advanced Search feature to find articles about a specific subject area, or scroll down to see articles grouped by topic.

Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Recreational Pot In 2018: High-Times Or A Buzz-Kill For California Real Estate?

by Adam Pedersen, Esq. on November 29, 2017

California is set to roll out new guidelines implementing the voter-mandated legalization of recreational marijuana use and production in January of 2018.  At the same time, cities and counties are scrambling to implement their own regulations before the state rules [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes

Progress Report on Rent Control Initiatives in Silicon Valley

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 21, 2017

Few topics have drawn more heated discussions throughout the Silicon Valley real estate industry than the ever-changing and increasing rent control efforts happening all across the region. From 2011 to 2016, the median wage in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and [more]

HOA Litigation

The Basics of Homeowners Association Disputes Part 1 – Mediation

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 16, 2016

HOA disputes are something that we see on a regular basis. Although in a perfect world, none of us would get in disputes with our neighbors, the reality is that disputes between neighbors, or the association and an owner, are [more]

Commercial Real Estate

Hidden Pitfalls of Renewal Clauses in Commercial Leases

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on February 1, 2017

One of the most overlooked clauses in commercial leases is the option to renew. Essentially, an option to renew is merely an offer by which the lessor binds himself in advance to make a contact if the lessee accepts on [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes

San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on June 12, 2017

The rental market in San Jose, currently the most expensive in America according to the 13th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey of 2017, has experienced a recent spike in activity leading up to the enactment of a City ordinance [more]

Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Legal Update

Sheriff’s Sales to Third Parties Cannot be Set Aside

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 19, 2017

Howard Rich (“Buyer”) purchased a single-family residence at a sheriff’s sale in July 2011. The prior owner, Yung-Shen Steven Lee (“Debtor”), had a judgment against him. The judgment holder, Spyglass Hill Community Association (“HOA”), sought and completed the execution sale [more]

Construction Disputes, Construction Law, Contract Disputes

Construction Contract Tips for Owners — Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 3, 2017

A remodel of your home can be a substantial investment. Nonetheless, it oftentimes shocks me to see the contracts that parties enter into regarding construction. This article is intended to highlight some of the issues that homeowners should look out [more]

Disclosure

Conditions That California Sellers May Not Have to Disclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

(this article was written by Evy L. Eschbacher, the newest attorney at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer) Selling a home can be on of the biggest steps in anyone’s life. Whether it involves letting go of old memories, [more]

Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

How to Determine Your Primary Residence – Part 2, the Homestead Exemption

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 31, 2016

In 2011, Andy Diaz (“Diaz”) lived in a property in Fullerton, CA (“Property”) with his then wife.  In 2011, Diaz suffered severe health problems.  Later in 2011, Diaz and wife divorced.  Due to his health problems, after several months of [more]

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Landlords Subject to New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on September 28, 2016

Multiple attempts have been made by California legislators in the past several years to limit the growing number of predatory Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) lawsuits in California, whereby landlords and business owners are being sued for ADA accessibility violations. [more]

Bankruptcy, Eviction

Court Allows Owner to Evict Tenant who has Filed Bankruptcy

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 29, 2016

Sholem Perl (“Perl”) owned a duplex in Los Angeles. Perl defaulted on his loan and the property was foreclosed on in 2013. At the foreclosure sale, Eden Place, LLC (“Eden Place”) purchased the property but Perl remained in possession of [more]

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Legal Update, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Nuisance Law Blog Series

on April 5, 2018

It is incredibly important to stay aware of remedies that are available to you in case you are experiencing nuisance from your neighbor. Here you can find a few articles regarding this topic which we hope will find helpful. As [more]

Foreclosure, Legal Update

Foreclosure Bidder Continues Fight After 9th Circuit Decision

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 30, 2016

Over four years ago, I wrote about the unpublished case of Jacobsen v. Aurora Loan Services (2012).  Jacobsen was a foreclosure investor who had been negotiating with borrower O’Brien.  O’Brien had borrowed $1.24M secured by a deed of trust against the property.  [more]

Commercial Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update

Commercial Leasing Considerations for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 31, 2016

This November, Californians will vote on Proposition 64, the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” which will effectively legalize the recreational use of marijuana to people over age 21. California’s Marijuana Legalization Initiative enumerates extensive modifications to the state’s Business and [more]

Neighbor Issues

Appellate Court Upholds Fact-Based Determination of Nuisance

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2016

In the recent case of Mendez v. Rancho Valencia Resort Partners, LLC, the appellate court analyzed whether certain noise constituted a nuisance. The Mendezes (“Neighbor”) filed suit, claiming Rancho Valencia’s (“the Resort”) outdoor festivities constituted a private nuisance.  The Trial [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes

5 Tips for Landlords This Winter

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on December 21, 2016

A landlord’s duty to maintain a habitable unit can morph as the winter months approach here in California. What makes a unit habitable in the summer months can change with the seasons and the drop in temperature. In our recent [more]

Broker/Realtor, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Broker Beware! How to NOT Lose a $925,000 Commission!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on December 22, 2016

A recent case confirmed our oft-repeated advice to get it in writing.  In Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. James Randall, a broker learned this rule the hard way. California’s statute of frauds declares invalid any “agreement authorizing or employing an [more]

HOA Litigation

Buying Into an HOA, Part 3

by Simon Offord, Esq. on January 26, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding [more]

Broker/Realtor, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners For Her Commission

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 16, 2017

Recently, the Sixth District Court of Appeals overturned a state trial court order that originally invalidated a listing broker’s claim against multiple sellers of a vacant parcel of land in Marin County. FACTS:  Licensed broker Bernice Jacobs presented a listing agreement [more]

Broker/Realtor, Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate Law

Two Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change the Commercial Real Estate Landscape

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on April 24, 2017

Prompted by the 2016 landmark ruling in the California Supreme Court Case Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, California Assembly members have introduced Assembly Bill 1059 (“AB 1059”) and Assembly Bill 1626 (“AB 1626”). AB 1626 and 1059 oppose each other and [more]

Commercial Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Sublease Considerations for Commercial Tenant

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 25, 2017

Commercial subleases can be good bargain options for tenants, but there are certain risks involved.  This article is intended to assist tenants in identifying these risks and understanding what can be done to mitigate them. There are many issues for [more]

Neighbor Issues

Bah Humbug! How to Avoid Legal Issues During the Holidays

by Simon Offord, Esq. on December 16, 2015

Winter is the time for festive celebrations, family, friends and giving.  However, we all know there are some Scrooges out there who do not share the joyful spirit. In this blog, we look at some of the real estate related [more]

Legal Update

Supreme Court Enforces DirecTV Binding Arbitration Provision and Finds California State Law Invalid

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

In a recent Supreme Court decision analyzing a California class action, the Court favored DirecTV’s binding arbitration provision and dismissed the class.  DirecTV’s service agreement had a binding arbitration provision against each individual subscriber.  That meant that any subscriber who [more]

Collection Disputes, Legal Update, Mortgage Issues

Court Finds that International Property Owners Cannot Avoid California Jurisdiction

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

In 2007, Maria Soto (“Maria”) obtained a loan from Diana Buchanan (“Buchanan”) secured against a property she owned along with her husband and two other people.  In 2011, after defaulting on the loan, Buchanan sued Maria to collect the debt.  [more]

HOA Litigation

HOA Rules Upheld Once Again

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 5, 2018

Recent cases have generally supported a trend that homeowner’s associations are given a fair amount of deference in establishing their own rules.  A recent case in San Luis Obispo County has yet again provided deference to the homeowner’s association. Oak [more]

Eviction, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Limits a Tenant’s Ability to Challenge an Unlawful Detainer Action

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

Sofia Borsuk (“Borsuk”) was a tenant at LA Hillcreste Apartments in Los Angeles.  In March, 2015, LA Hillcreste served Borsuk with a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.  After Borsuk failed to pay rent, LA Hillcreste attempted to evict [more]

Collection Disputes, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

Supreme Court Finds California’s Anti-Deficiency Statute Protects Borrowers After a Short Sale

on February 9, 2016

THE DECISION:  The Supreme Court of California held that Code of Civil Procedure Section 580b prevents lenders from pursuing borrowers after approving the borrower’s short sale. Previously, the case law had been clear that after a foreclosure sale, the lender [more]

Broker/Realtor, Contract Disputes, First Time Home Buyer, Real Estate Law

Seller is Refusing to Close Escrow? Know Your Options

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on February 29, 2016

If you’ve recently purchased a home, or are looking to buy, you know how tough the market is.  The competition is intense, with there being more buyers than sellers.  Finally, your offer on your “dream home” has been accepted. The [more]

Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues

Court Rules in Favor of Borrowers Suing for Wrongful Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 26, 2016

Tsvetana Yvanova (“Yvanova”) was a borrower who obtained a loan from New Century Mortgage Corporation (“NCMC”) in 2006.  In 2007, NCMC filed for bankruptcy and in 2008, its assets were liquidated.  In 2011, several years after NCMC was liquidated, NCMC [more]

Mortgage Issues

Court Makes it Easier to Strip Mortgages

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 30, 2016

Robert and Darlene Blendheim (“Blendheim”) were borrowers who obtained two mortgages from HSBC Mortgages Services in the amounts of $347,900 and $90,474.  In 2007, the Blendheims filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and obtained their discharge.  The day after receiving [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Landowner Liability, Real Estate Law

Supreme Court Upholds Controversial San Jose Affordable Housing Ordinance

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on April 1, 2016

The Bay Area is known worldwide for a multitude of things, including being the hub of technological advancements, cultural diversity, and championship sports teams.  One of the more recent phenomena however doesn’t have to do with any of those things. [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Denies a Landlord’s Ability to Change House Rules in San Francisco

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 29, 2016

Margaret Foster (“Foster”) lived in the same apartment in San Francisco for more than 40 years.  In 2011, her building was bought by W.J. Britton & Co., Inc. (“Britton”).  As part of new management, Britton sent each tenant a new [more]

Construction Disputes, Disclosure, Real Estate Law

Important Water Considerations for After El Niño

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on April 29, 2016

As predicted, El Niño arrived in California and brought some much needed precipitation with it.  This past winter brought the most rain California has had in quite awhile, with many major reservoirs in better shape than they have been in [more]

Disclosure, Easements, Real Estate Law

Committee Offers Hope for Relief from Airplane Noise to Bay Area Residents

on May 23, 2016

Beginning in early 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) introduced a new program, NextGen, which rerouted flight paths in the South Bay and Peninsula in an effort to improve airport infrastructure, air traffic management, and provide nearly $133 billion in [more]

Foreclosure, Legal Update

Borrower Fails in Preemptive Action Challenging Right to Foreclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 24, 2016

In 2004, Ms. Brown borrowed $450k and secured that loan with a deed of trust against her property in Oakland, California.  The beneficiary under that deed of trust was Washington Mutual Bank, F. A. WAMU failed in 2008 and the [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Airbnb Rental Held to Constitute an Illegal Use of Property

on May 27, 2016

AirBNB (and similar rental sites) have been omnipresent in the news for the last few years.  Controversy has arisen in many cities as regulations and restrictions have been implemented.  The recent case of Chen v. Kraft is an example how [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Holds That Landlord is Not Allowed to Evict a Tenant for an Immaterial Breach of the Lease

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

Juan Juarez (“Tenant”) lived in a rent-controlled apartment complex owned by Boston LLC (“Landlord”) for more than 15 years.  Although his lease required him to obtain renter’s insurance, Tenant did not obtain the insurance.  After 15 years of not having [more]

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Foreclosure, Legal Update, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Finds that a Borrower May Sue for Wrongful Foreclosure Regardless of Ability to Repay Loan

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

In June 2005, Monica Sciarratta (“Borrower”) obtained a loan in the amount of $620,000 from Washington Mutual Bank.  In April 2009, Chase Bank (“Chase”), the servicer of the loan, recorded an assignment of the loan and transferred it to Deutsche [more]

Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Be a “HERO”: Remember to Disclose This Silent Lien

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 5, 2018

Since 2001, California has had PACE programs available throughout the state.  One of the most well known is the “HERO” program, the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity program which was first established in the Riverside County area. In late 2013, San [more]

Disclosure

My Home is a Pokémon Go Hotspot — Do I Have to Disclose?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 5, 2018

Pokémon Go is the latest craze that is literally everywhere we look. It is all over the news, and all over the streets with players of all ages trying to “catch ’em all.”  We have all heard about the stories [more]

Eviction, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Rent-to-Buy Real Estate: Can a Seller File Unlawful Detainer After a Default?

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on April 5, 2018

The recent case of Taylor v. Nu Digital Marketing, Inc. discusses the issue of when it is appropriate for a seller to regain possession of a property from a buyer by filing an unlawful detainer action. In Taylor, the Plaintiffs [more]

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Court & Appearances, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Court Clarifies that an Eviction is not a Protected Activity

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 30, 2014

Monira Ulkarim, a tenant in a shopping mall, had a year-long lease with her landlord, Westfield.  In the middle of the tenancy, the landlord served Ulkarim with a notice of termination of the lease.  Ulkarim alleged that the termination was [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Investment Property Blog Series

on October 10, 2014

The Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together an “Investment Property Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it covers important infomation surrounding investment properties. If you find yourself needing real [more]

Boundary Dispute, Neighbor Issues

California’s Spite Fence Laws – Trees, Hedges, and Shrubs, Oh My!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 26, 2015

California has had a spite fence law since 1885, and until very recently, the courts did not consider whether trees could be a “fence”. 841.4.  Any fence or other structure in the nature of a fence unnecessarily exceeding 10 feet in [more]

Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

Court Whacks Lender for Failing to Get Consent from All Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 29, 2015

In March, 2009, Sally DaVincenzo (“Sally”) and John DeVincenzo (“John”) were borrowers on a promissory note (“Note”) secured against a property in Wasco, California (“Wasco Property”) and a property in Shafter, California (“Shafter Property”).  The Wasco Property was community property [more]

Boundary Dispute, Legal Update, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Titles

Actual Property Damage Required to Obtain Attorney Fee Award in Trespass Action

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 9, 2015

The recent case of Belle Terre Ranch, Inc. v. Wilson clarified that in order to recover attorney fees in a trespass on land for “cultivation” or raising livestock under Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.9, you must obtain an award [more]

Foreclosure, HOA Litigation, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

HOAs May Not Reject Partial Payments on Assessment Liens in Order to Prosecute Foreclosure

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 23, 2015

The recent case of Huntington v. Miller confirmed again that a HOAs must accept partial payments and are limited in their ability to foreclose on an assessment lien when such lien is for less than $1,800.00. In Huntington, an owner [more]

Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescission

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 7, 2015

Larry and Cheryle Jesinoski (“Jesinoskis”) refinanced their loan on February 23, 2007 with Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“Countrywide”).  Three years later, they sent a written letter to rescind the loan pursuant the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”).  A year later, [more]

Landowner Liability, Real Estate Law

Damage Caused by City-Owned Tree May Allow for Recovery Under Inverse Condemnation

by Simon Offord, Esq. on May 27, 2015

The recent case of City of Pasadena v. Superior Court dealt with a situation whereby a city-owned tree fell on a private residence during a windstorm, causing damage.  The insurer for the homeowner paid benefits to the homeowner, and then [more]

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Disclosure

Snakes In the House! Why Realtors® and Sellers Should Remember Their Duty to Disclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 4, 2015

“I do not want them in the house, I do not want them on my blouse, I would not like them in my car, I would not like them near or far, I do not want them here, nor there, [more]

Boundary Dispute

Irrevocable Parol License: Court Grants Rare Right to Use Neighbor’s Property

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 15, 2015

Usually when we write about neighbor disputes, we discuss boundary disputes, a misplaced fence, or property rights gained or lost through adverse possession or easements.  In our previous article, we discussed Adverse Possession, Prescriptive Easements and Equitable Easements, with a [more]

Disclosure

The Watcher – A Reminder that Disclosure Duties Go Beyond Physical Defects

by Simon Offord, Esq. on June 29, 2015

We have written several articles about a seller’s duty to disclose, including articles about the consequences of failure to disclose material facts. Most of these articles discuss physical defects, as these are the issues that most often result in lawsuits. [more]

Collection Disputes

Court Holds Debt Collectors Liable for Attempting to Collect Unenforceable Debts

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 22, 2015

In 2005, Afsheen and Fabiola Alborzian (“Alborzians”) obtained two loans to purchase a residential property.  The first lienholder was Wells Fargo and the second lienholder was JPMorgan Chase Bank (“Chase”).  Eventually, after the Alborzians defaulted on their loans, Well Fargo [more]

Easements

Trespasser’s Injury Must be Greatly Disproportionate To the Owner’s Injury to Obtain Equitable Easement

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 24, 2015

The recent case of Shoen v. Zacarias further analyzed the equitable easement concept and what is required by a trespasser to obtain one. In Shoen, the Zacariases (hereinafter “Trespassers”) were innocently trespassing on a patch of land owned by the [more]

Real Estate Law

5 Things to Consider Before Building a Pool

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 31, 2015

As the heat of the summer continues across California, and temperatures start to creep into the triple digits, having a pool around sounds like a pretty swell option. In the privacy of your own property, you can take a dip to cool [more]

HOA Litigation

HOA Obtains Injunction Requiring Floor Covering

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 20, 2015

The recent case of Ryland Mews v. Munoz dealt with an increasingly common issue in homeowners associations – the installation of hard surface flooring. Ryland Mews (“the HOA”) sued Munoz (“Homeowner”) in response to Homeowner’s installation of hardwood floors in [more]

Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

Court Offers Some Relief for Homeowners under HBOR

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 22, 2015

The case of Monterossa v. Superior Court of Sacramento County (real party in interest, PNC Bank) is the first case to definitively answer a question many litigators have had ever since the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights went into effect. California’s [more]

Legal Update, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Titles

Legal Notice of a Lis Pendens Requires Mailing to All Owners on the Tax Assessor’s Roll

on October 27, 2015

In 2001, John Carr (“Carr”) claimed adverse possession of a vacant lot (the “Property”) in Riverside. The owner of record was a decedent’s estate in probate. In 2003, a judgment was recorded transferring from the estate one half of the [more]

Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Real Estate Law Considerations for Fallen Leaves

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on October 29, 2015

Some Californians believe that California does not exhibit autumn colors. That is because most of the population lives near a coast, where Mediterranean plants dominate the terrain. However, California boasts some of the most beautiful autumn sceneries in the country. The changing colors [more]

Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Landowner Liability, Real Estate Law

Are Short Term Rentals for You?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 16, 2015

Short term rentals are becoming big business, and California and the Bay Area are no exception.  Companies such as Airbnb and VRBO have grown to become massive entities and have drawn a great deal of attention.  So much so that [more]

Eviction, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Affirms that Res Judicata Applies to Stipulated Judgments in Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 20, 2015

In April of 2008, Jeffrey Needelman (“Tenant”) entered into a lease agreement with DeWolf Realty Co., Inc. (“Landlord”) for an apartment in San Francisco.  After the lease expired, Tenant continued on as a month-to-month tenant.  In December of 2011, Landlord [more]

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Banking Issues, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Helps Lender After Mistakes Are Made

on May 27, 2014

Over three years, Navjot LLC obtained three loans secured by the same piece of property.  The first was in 2005 from Washington Mutual.  The second was in 2006 from a group of investors led by MMB First Mortgage Fund, LP.  [more]

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Bankruptcy, Broker/Realtor, Litigation, Real Estate Law

$900K Judgment Against Supervising Broker Dischargeable in Bankruptcy Despite Agent’s Fraud.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 5, 2014

In a lengthy and well-reasoned opinion, the 9th Cir. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel concluded that where the broker was unaware of the agent’s fraud, the state court judgment against the broker was dischargeable and the broker was entitled to a “fresh [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Neighbor Issues Blog Series

on June 9, 2014

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have handled many disputes that arose between neighbors with respect to trees. In an effort to educate our network of California property owners, as well as our followers, we hope you [more]

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Broker/Realtor, Disclosure, Real Estate Law

Court Again Punishes Dual Agents

by Simon Offord, Esq. on June 18, 2014

We have previously stressed to real estate professionals, in our blog articles and in many of our speaking engagements, that dual agency is a very risky proposition for real estate brokers. The courts have consistently gone out of their way [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Courts Give Landlord Relief From Rent Control Ordinances

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 23, 2014

Lakeesha Lyles (“Lyles”) was a tenant living in a rent controlled apartment in Los Angeles since 2003.  Her landlord, Denise Sengadeo-Patel (“Patel”), failed to send her a copy of a rental unit registration statement or the annual rental unit renewal [more]

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Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law

Buying Properties In Bankruptcy – Some Tips For Investors

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 7, 2014

What if you find the perfect house but the owner-seller is in bankruptcy? Sometimes it can be challenging to navigate the bankruptcy system and understand who the decision-maker is in the transaction. If you want to make an offer on [more]

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First Time Home Buyer, HOA Litigation, Real Estate Law

Buying Into an HOA, Part 2

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 15, 2014

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Finds that Notices of Rent Increase Are Not Necessary for Resident Property Managers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 21, 2014

Ceceilia Drumea (“Drumea”) was the resident property manager at an apartment building in Los Angeles for 18 years.  Prior to serving as the property manager, she was a tenant at the property for one year.  During that time, she was [more]

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Broker/Realtor, Legal Update, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Are Mortgage Loan Officers Entitled to Overtime Pay?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 30, 2014

The answer is … maybe.  At one point the industry had some certainty on this issue when, in 2006, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter on September 8, of that year stating that loan officers qualify as [more]

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Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

on August 4, 2014

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Real Estate Case Update Blog Series.” We hope that the information you find here will be relevant for you as it covers a wide spectrum of common [more]

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Civil Litigation Defense, Disclosure, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Sanctions Buyer for Filing Frivolous Failure to Disclose Action

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 11, 2014

The recent case of Peake v. Underwood will hopefully deter frivolous claims against real estate agents. Peake purchased a home from Underwood.  Long after the sale closed, Peake filed suit against Underwood and his agent, claiming Underwood and his agent [more]

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Foreclosure, Landlord/Tenant Disputes

Lender is Responsible for the Condition of the Property Following a Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 21, 2014

Joseph Erlach rented a bedroom and bathroom in a house located in Monterey.  He entered into an agreement with the original owner, Mary Schwann, to rent the property for seven months with the lease ending in October.  In the middle [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Landowner Liability, Real Estate Law

So you Want to be a Landlord

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 15, 2014

For many people, their first experience with becoming a landlord is a bit of an accident.  They buy a new house and decide to lease out their former place until the housing market improves, or they may be moving for [more]

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Litigation, Real Estate Law

Realtor Liability Blog Series

on September 25, 2014

Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Realtor Liability Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it covers a few common liability pitfalls for Realtors®. If you find yourself needing [more]

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Breach of Contract, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Affirms that Liability for Failure to Disclose Requires Relationship

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 30, 2013

The recent case of Hoffman v 162 North Wolfe LLC confirmed the statutory requirement that in order to prevail on a fraud claim for suppression of a material fact, the defendant must have a legal duty to disclose the fact [more]

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First Time Home Buyer, HOA Litigation, Real Estate Law

Buying Into an HOA, Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 21, 2014

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily mandated set of additional disclosures [more]

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Banking Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Gives a Double Win to Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 28, 2014

Vidal Preciado was the owner of a residential property in Alviso, California where he lived with two roommates.  In July 2011, the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”), holder of a loan secured against Preciado’s property, foreclosed on the loan.  [more]

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HOA Litigation, Real Estate Law

Three Things to Look For in Your HOA Docs

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 6, 2014

When buyers receive their disclosures it is often a huge volume of documents and even more so if the buyer is purchasing a condominium, townhouse, or other property governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA).  We are often engaged by Realtors [more]

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Banking Issues, Legal Update, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Loan Modification Blog Series

on May 12, 2014

Have you experienced difficulties when applying for a loan modification? Check out our new blog series! The articles written by our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys will guide you through your rights and obligations during the mortgage refinancing process. As always, if [more]

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Breach of Contract, Contract Disputes, Disclosure, Real Estate Law

Court Clarifies Transfer Disclosure Law for Mixed-Use Property

by Simon Offord, Esq. on May 19, 2014

The recent appellate decision of Richman v. Hartley is critical for California real estate agents and sellers to know as it clarifies the mandatory disclosure requirements for property sales. Richman v. Hartley dealt with the sale of a mixed-use property [more]

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Uncategorized

2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 2

on November 25, 2013

Another year, another set of new or revised laws.  There are hundreds of new or revised laws this year for California, several of which impact the real estate community.  This is the second in our series of three articles highlighting [more]

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Bankruptcy, Lending/Lender Issues, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Anti-Deficiency Statutes Prevent Claims of Fraud for Purchase Money Loans

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 2, 2013

In November 2013, in Heritage Pacific Financial, LLC v. Montano, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit (“BAP”) held that the one-action rule prevents a lender from seeking a deficiency judgment, even for fraud, for a purchase money loan [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Commercial Leases Blog Series

on January 20, 2014

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a Commercial Leases Blog Series. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, we hope that you will find these blogs, written by our knowledgeable attorneys, helpful when [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Legal Update, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Adverse Possession Blog Series

on December 16, 2013

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have many inquiries pertaining to the adverse possession problem. As we know that it is a common concern of a lot of property owners, we put together an Adverse Possession [more]

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Landowner Liability, Legal Update, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

New Lending Laws: Seller Carry Backs and the Truth-in-Lending-Act. What Sellers Need to Know in 2014 About Extending Credit.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 10, 2013

As the California Bureau of Real Estate notes, “’Carry backs’ by sellers are evidenced by promissory notes secured by deeds of trust or mortgages recorded in a junior position that may either be held or sold by assignment or endorsement [more]

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Uncategorized

2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 3

on December 30, 2013

Another year, another set of new or revised laws.  There are hundreds of new or revised laws this year for California, a number of which impact the real estate community.  This is the third in our series of three articles [more]

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Banking Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Requires Lender to Offer a Permanent Loan Modification on Completion of Trial Period

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 6, 2014

Following in the footsteps of several recent cases, the Third Appellate District of California held that JP Morgan Chase was required to grant a permanent loan modification.  In Bushell v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, the Appellate Court found that because the [more]

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Banking Issues, Lending/Lender Issues, Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

What Sellers and Realtors® Need to Know About California’s Financial Privacy Rights

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 14, 2014

When a seller decides to carry-back some portion of the purchase price, he or she becomes a lender. As a lender, the seller is now in possession of the borrower’s financial information, which would ordinarily be private, but is being [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Easements, Real Estate Law

Court Limits Poorly Drafted Easement to Historical Use

by Simon Offord, Esq. on January 27, 2014

The recent case of Rye v. Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Co., Inc. affirms the long-standing principle in easement law that an express easement over a general area does not automatically provide the easement owner exclusive use of the entire area. [more]

Banking Issues, Foreclosure, Real Estate Law

A Bona Fide Lease Survives a Foreclosure Sale

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 3, 2014

The First Appellate Court overturned the Santa Clara Superior Court and held that a bona fide lease survives a foreclosure.  In Nativi v. Deutsche Bank, the Court found that the federal statute, Protecting Tenants Against Foreclosure Act of 2009 (“PTFA”), [more]

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Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Expansion of California’s Anti-Deficiency Laws. Increased Protection for Borrowers After the Foreclosure of Purchase Money Loans.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 10, 2014

Effective January 1, 2014, Senate Bill 426 went into effect and modified California’s anti-deficiency laws to do two things: 1)    Clarify the protection implied in the earlier versions of the statute that prevents lenders from trying to collect on [more]

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Foreclosure, Legal Update, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series

on February 18, 2014

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series.” We hope that this blog will serve you as guidance and contribute to increasing your awareness of your rights and obligations during the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Potential Pitfalls for Real Estate Agents Assisting in Home Improvement Projects

by Simon Offord, Esq. on February 24, 2014

I was recently asked to speak at one of the local real estate associations about restrictions on real estate agents when assisting clients with repairs to property or preparing the property for sale.  It is a very interesting topic because [more]

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Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Real Estate Law

What Is the Difference Between Mediation And Arbitration? And Should I Initial the Arbitration Provision?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 4, 2014

Often the terms “mediation” and “arbitration” are used indiscriminately, but they mean entirely different things for the parties to an agreement containing these provisions. 1. What is Mediation? Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute by mutual agreement. A [more]

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Banking Issues, Foreclosure, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Lenders Have a Duty to Not Misstate the Status of a Foreclosure or Loan Modification

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 10, 2014

There have been a string of recent cases that have been decided in favor of borrowers against their lenders who have failed to offer loan modifications.  The most recent case is Lueras v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP.  In Lueras, [more]

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Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

on March 17, 2014

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer encourage you to stay ahead of the curve by reading our “Real Estate Case Update” blog series. We hope that the information you find here will be relevant for you [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Easements, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Can I Have My Neighbor’s Land?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 24, 2014

As the economy has improved we have seen a steady increase in fence and boundary disputes.  This is an increasingly common issue because when owners remodel their homes, a survey is sometimes required.  The survey reveals that the fence is [more]

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Bankruptcy, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Bankruptcy Court Denies Attorney’s Fees To Debtor Discharging Debts

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 1, 2014

Seyed Hosseini was a medical school graduate who incurred substantial student loans.  After graduating he was unable to pass the medical licensing boards and never became a doctor.  Eventually, after being unable to pass the licensing exam, he filed for [more]

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Foreclosure, HOA Litigation, Real Estate Law

Homeowners’ Association MUST Accept and Apply Partial Payments or Lose Its Right to Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 7, 2014

Most condominium or townhouse owners are familiar with the responsibility of paying their homeowner association’s (“HOA”) dues.  However, many owners do not realize that if they fail to do so, the HOA has the power to place a lien on [more]

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Legal Update, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Nuisance Law Series

on April 14, 2014

If you find yourself dealing with a neighborhood nuisance issue, it is very important to familiarize yourself with remedies that can help mitigate these matters. Check out our Nuisance Law Series! We hope you find these blog articles helpful. As [more]

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First Time Home Buyer, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Titles

How to Take Ownership of Property

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 8, 2013

When a couple, partners, or family members decide to purchase property together they rarely consider how they are going to take title until the property is in escrow.  The purchase of a home is oftentimes the most significant purchase of [more]

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Foreclosure, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Denies a Borrower’s Challenge to Foreclosure of a Secured Loan

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 15, 2013

In Jenkins v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., the Court affirmed a lower court’s decision dismissing a borrower’s challenge to a foreclosure sale based on securitization of her loan.  In reaching its decision to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint the Court [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Remodeling Series

on July 22, 2013

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have seen their share of construction related disputes. In an effort to educate our network of real estate professionals as well as our followers, we hope you find this series of [more]

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Legal Update, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

What Can The Government Make You Pay to Obtain a Permit to Develop Your Own Property?

on July 29, 2013

Cities and counties often require payments of one form or another as a condition to granting a permit to develop property.  Thus, it has not been uncommon for property developers to make significant payments to the government to develop their [more]

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Contract Disputes, Landowner Liability, Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

Commercial Leases – The Right to Assign or Sublet, a Potential Trap for the Unwary Tenant

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 5, 2013

Commercial leases tend to be negotiated for long periods of time (10 or 15 year leases are not uncommon), especially if the tenant is making significant tenant improvements.  Accordingly, when the tenant’s business expands or contracts, a common dispute that [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

New ADA Requirements for Commercial Properties

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 12, 2013

As of July 1, 2013, a new lease disclosure requirement added one more responsibility for owners and lessors of commercial property. Civil Code Section 1938, part of the legislation designed to limit unwarranted lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities [more]

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Collection Disputes, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

A Purchase Money Loan is a Purchase Money Loan Regardless of When It Funds

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 19, 2013

Recently, a California appellate court held that a purchase money loan is a purchase money loan regardless of when the loan proceeds are transferred to the borrower.  In Enloe v. Kelso, a court held that although proceeds of a loan [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Lending/Lender Issues, Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

Creditor Victory in Collection against California Guarantor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 28, 2013

In a case of first impression California, the Court held that the creditor can attach to the proceeds of the sale of property even if the property itself was excluded from guaranty.  [Series AGI West Linn of Appian Group of [more]

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Foreclosure, HOA Litigation, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Again Reaffirms the Requirement to Strictly Comply with HOA Laws

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 3, 2013

The recent case of Diamond v. Superior Court (Casa Del Valle Homeowners Association) has reaffirmed the importance of a Homeowners Association (“HOA”) strictly complying with statutory requirements, in this case to foreclose on a lien for delinquent assessments. Owners in [more]

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Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law

Bankruptcy Series

on September 9, 2013

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have handled many collection disputes. Our current influx of calls pertaining to these types of matters has inspired us to put together a “Bankruptcy Series” consisting of insightful blogs written [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Limits Class Action Suits Against Landlords

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 16, 2013

In a recent Second Appellate District ruling, the court made it more difficult for tenants to sue landlords in class action lawsuits.  In. Hendleman v. Los Altos Apartments, the appellate court upheld a lower court’s decision to deny certification of [more]

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Easements, Real Estate Law

Neighbor Law – How Are Easements Extinguished?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 23, 2013

The more rural the property, the more likely it is that landowners who share a common boundary will have various rights of way or easements with their neighbors to accommodate hillsides, steep turns, and limited access points. This is often [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Denies Request to Adjust Lot Lines After Landslide

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 30, 2013

In the recent case of Joannou v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the appellate court affirmed that under the Cullen Earthquake Act, a homeowner may file a lawsuit to reset property boundaries disturbed due to earth movements.  However, the Court [more]

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Banking Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Ninth Circuit Requires Lender to Offer a Permanent Loan Modification to Qualified Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 7, 2013

In a win for borrowers the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Wells Fargo was required to grant a permanent loan modification to qualified borrowers.  In Corvello v. Wells Fargo, the borrower successfully met the requirements of a [more]

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Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

The “Mortgage Exception” to Merger of Real Property Interests in California

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 14, 2013

California does not actually have a mortgage exception to the doctrine of merger, but the recent case of Hamilton Court, LLC v. East Olympic L.P[i]. comes close to creating one. What is merger and why should lenders care about it? [more]

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Collection Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Attorney Fee Provisions Series

on October 21, 2013

The attorneys at the Law Office of Peter N. Brewer put together an Attorney Fee Provisions Series. We hope that these blogs can provide our colleagues with valuable information regarding the potential to recover attorney’s fees after prevailing in a dispute. Additionally, we hope these blogs will serve [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Contract Disputes, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on October 28, 2013

Another year, another set of new or revised laws.  There are 100s of new or revised laws this year for California, several of which impact the real estate community.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight what we consider [more]

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Contract Disputes, Litigation, Real Estate Law

The Penalty Provision That Wasn’t

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 4, 2013

Under California law a “penalty provision”, or an unreasonable liquidated damages provision, is not enforceable.  Over the years public policy has changed to allow for more stringent enforcement of these provisions.  For example, the standard real estate purchase contract has [more]

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First Time Home Buyer, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Purchasing Property Beware Blog Series

on November 18, 2013

We know that buying a home can be a very stressful process that consists of plenty of unclear aspects. In an effort to educate our network, we hope that you find this series of blogs helpful in your pursuit of [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Boundary Law – A Simple Way to Prevent an Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement Claim from a Neighbor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 12, 2013

Landowners rarely survey their property until they are about to apply for permits for a remodel.  However, surveys can often reveal a misplaced fence, or in more rural areas, personal property such as landscaping, sprinkler systems, chicken coops, and the [more]

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Foreclosure

The Three Most Interesting Foreclosure Cases of 2012

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 20, 2013

In the recent tough times, lenders have had to conduct a number of non-judicial foreclosures.  Of course, the California courts have seen a number of borrower challenges to those foreclosures. In Debrunner v. Deutsche Bank, the California appellate court concluded [more]

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Foreclosure, Legal Update

Technical Omissions Will Not Be Used to Set Aside Non-Judicial Foreclosure Sales.

on February 25, 2013

As a matter of first impression, the California Court of Appeal recently issued a decision in Shuster v. Bac Home Loans Servicing, LP, holding that the omission of a trustee from a deed-of-trust does not preclude enforcement of non-judicial foreclosure  [more]

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Banking Issues, Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law

False Information on the URLA Really Matters

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 4, 2013

In the days before the financial crisis, it was common that borrowers or their loan brokers would intentionally falsify information on the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to qualify for a loan.  This was especially true with so many lenders [more]

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Easements

Easement Blogs

on March 11, 2013

We’ve had some recent easement inquiries and thought, what better way to give our support network perspective than to share this free highly rated educational blog series? The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer are not only qualified to assist you [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Real Estate Law

California Court Reaffirms Line of Cases Regarding the Agreed Boundary Doctrine

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 18, 2013

Our office has seen an uptick in boundary disputes over the last several months.  These disputes commonly arise after one homeowner begins to remodel.  This is because, as part of the construction process, the City will oftentimes require the owner [more]

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Banking Issues, Collection Disputes, Foreclosure, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

What is a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 25, 2013

As of March 1, 2013, Fannie Mae has implemented new deed-in-lieu guidelines, streamlining the process and allowing borrowers who are current with their loan to be eligible.  Previously, only borrowers who were delinquent were eligible.  Now, if borrowers who have [more]

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Legal Update, Real Estate Law

The Evolving Tender Offer Rule: A Review of the Recent Case Law

on April 1, 2013

When homeowners or borrowers seek to challenge foreclosures against them, California courts have long recognized the “full tender rule”, an equitable principle that requires the challenger to tender the amount owed as a prerequisite to making the challenge.  The rule [more]

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Construction Disputes, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Cross-Complaints May Prohibit You From Collecting Attorney Fees

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 8, 2013

Recently, there have been a series of decisions in California that have limited the recovery of attorney fees.  In my previous blog article titled, “Can you Really Get those Attorney Fees? ” I discussed the importance of complying with alternative [more]

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HOA Litigation

Homeowners Association Related Blogs Series

on April 15, 2013

Lately, the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer has received calls regarding Homeowners Association matters.  The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer would like to share a few of their previously posted blogs pertaining to HOA matters. Our firm [more]

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Contract Disputes, Landowner Liability, Legal Update, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Adverse Possession Awarded Without Paying Taxes

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 23, 2013

In past blog articles, we have discussed the doctrine of adverse possession, and some of the difficulties in prevailing on an adverse possession theory.  In order to prevail on an adverse possession claim, the adverse possessor must prove each of [more]

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Litigation, Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

More Risk for Junior Lienholders – Understanding Subordination Agreements

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 29, 2013

Junior Lienholders are by their very nature assuming greater risk because they are not in first position.  In the case of R.E. Loans LLC v. Investors Warranty of America, Inc., the junior lenders were at even more risk because the [more]

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Foreclosure, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Court Eviscerates Lender’s Ability to Resolve Pre-Foreclosure Cases Quickly

on May 6, 2013

In a stunning blow to lenders, the California Court of Appeals eviscerated a lender’s ability to resolve a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit quickly.  In Integan v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, the Court upheld a borrower’s claim that the lender had [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Litigation, Neighbor Issues

Non-Profits Need to be More Diligent to Prevent Adverse Possession Claims

on May 13, 2013

In California one can obtain title to someone else’s property through a process known as “adverse possession.” The requirements for adverse possession are (1) pay the property taxes on the subject property, (2) actual possession that is (3) open and [more]

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Breach of Contract, Real Estate Law

Recent Case Expands Broker’s Duty to Warn

by Simon Offord, Esq. on May 20, 2013

The recent case of Hall v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 2013 DJDAR 5460 (April 26, 2013) has expanded the real estate broker’s duty of care to include an express disclosure and warning of matters included in a home inspection report [more]

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Negotiating Transactions, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Court Keeps it Difficult to Take Property By Adverse Possession

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 28, 2013

Recently there has been a lot of interest in adverse possession claims from the firm’s clients.  From a television interview with one of our attorneys to a tentative verdict in favor of our client denying another party’s attempt to adversely [more]

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Contract Disputes, Disclosure, Real Estate Law

Disclosure Series

on June 3, 2013

As real estate attorneys, the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer cannot stress enough to real estate agents and sellers the importance of properly disclosing information pertaining to property being sold. Here are a few articles that our knowledgeable attorneys [more]

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Collection Disputes, Real Estate Law

California’s Supreme Court Allows Trustee to Void Foreclosure Sale Sold Too Cheaply.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 10, 2013

> What happens if the trustee is instructed by the lender to have a minimum bid of $219k but misses a digit and sets and sells the property at the foreclosure sale for a minimum bid of $21.9k?  You end [more]

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Contract Disputes, Real Estate Law

Party Awarded Attorney Fees Despite Losing Contractual Claims

by Simon Offord, Esq. on June 17, 2013

Attorney fee provisions often drive lawsuits, and become a significant battle after the trial is over.  The recent case of Maynard v. BTI Group was no exception. Catherine Maynard entered into a listing agreement, engaging BTI Group Inc. to broker [more]

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Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Court Eases Service Requirements in Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 24, 2013

In a recent Sixth Appellate District ruling, the Court made it easier for a landlord to serve a tenant with an unlawful detainer complaint.  In Stanford v. Ham, the court found that service of a complaint by posting and mailing [more]

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Contract Disputes, Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Negotiating Commercial Leases – Back to Basics

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 1, 2013

Understanding Square Footage and How it Affects Your Lease Previously, my colleagues wrote blogs regarding commercial leasing considerations for tenants and commercial evictions,  but today I am going to cover one of the most fundamental provisions of the lease – [more]

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Real Estate Law

No More Harassing Depositions

on September 24, 2012

If you have been a party to a lawsuit, or maybe even just a witness, you may have suffered the distinct displeasure of spending days sitting in a conference room while the opposing party’s lawyer asks question after question about [more]

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Breach of Contract, Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

No Deficiency on Settlement Agreement for a Note

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 1, 2012

Recently, in Weinstein v. Rocha, a California appellate court held that if a deficiency is barred by the anti-deficiency statute, a creditor cannot circumvent that protection by pursuing a settlement agreement modifying the terms of the loan. Facts of the [more]

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Easements, Real Estate Law

How Are Easements Created? Part One

by Simon Offord, Esq. on October 8, 2012

Before discussing how to create an easement, we must understand what an easement is. An easement is a non-possessory interest for the use of real property belonging to another for some specific stated purpose. Put simply, an easement is a [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Legal Update

New Law: Landlords in Foreclosure Must Disclose Default to Prospective Tenants

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 15, 2012

Normally a tenant would not learn that his or her unit was in foreclosure until very late in the foreclosure process, when the notice of trustee’s sale is posted on the front door.  However, on September 25, 2012, Governor Jerry [more]

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Mortgage Issues, Negotiating Transactions

Fair is Fair for Competing Lien Holders

on October 23, 2012

On September 27, 2011, the California Court of Appeal held that a holder of a second deed of trust was entitled be a first position lien holder over the bank that recorded its deed of trust first on the property [more]

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Landowner Liability, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Titles

Title Insurance on the Purchase of Multiple Parcels

on October 29, 2012

Often a developer will purchase multiple parcels of property that have been sold together in a single transaction in the past. The developer’s intent is usually to sell those parcels separately later.   In such cases, the developer will obtain title insurance [more]

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Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

Can You Really Get Those Attorney Fees?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 2, 2012

One of the key considerations in any real estate purchase dispute is the attorney fees provision. Given the expense of litigation, many times, the attorney’s fee quickly exceeds the damages in the case. However, a recent California case has placed [more]

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Easements, Real Estate Law

How Are Easements Created? Part Two.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 13, 2012

Before discussing how to create an easement, we must understand what an easement is. An easement is a non-possessory interest for the use of real property belonging to another for some specific stated purpose. Put simply, an easement is a [more]

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Landowner Liability

Tis’ the Season.. to Take Care of Your Property.

on November 19, 2012

During the holiday season it’s especially important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your home is safe and ready for guests. Be sure to perform home maintenance tasks in the coming weeks to avoid any seasonal glitches. Here [more]

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Bankruptcy, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

CREDITORS BEWARE – How Bankruptcy Affects Your Bank Account Levies

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 26, 2012

Creditor Levies on Debtor’s Bank Account but the Debtor Files Bankruptcy Before the Sheriff Turns Over the Money to the Creditor.  Who Gets the Money? Collect Access, LLC (“Collect”) sought to enforce a judgment against Jose J. Hernandez and instructed [more]

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Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Contractor’s Tort Liability Ends at Completion of Construction

on December 3, 2012

In a recent case called Neiman v. Leo A. Daly Company the California Court of Appeal upheld summary judgment awarded to an architect based on his affirmative defense of the “completed and accepted” doctrine. Under this doctrine, once a contractor [more]

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Construction Law, Legal Update, Real Estate Law

Following California’s Right to Repair Act to the “T”

on December 10, 2012

With the increase in new homes sprouting up in the greater Bay Area it is important to understand California’s Right to Repair Act.  The California Court of Appeal recently issued a case of first impression:  Must homeowners serve notice of [more]

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Uncategorized

The Holiday Season is a Time for Giving

on December 24, 2012

Attorney Charles Bronitsky is the new Vice Mayor of Foster City!  Charles has written an article to remind us all what the holiday season is truly about.  His article below may give you ideas on how to make a positive [more]

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Bankruptcy, Real Estate Law

No Automatic Stay For Serial Bankruptcy Filers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 17, 2012

Last month, in In re: Leafty, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth District reaffirmed the statutory bar against debtors filing serial bankruptcies to stop a foreclosure after a creditor has obtained relief from stay in the debtor’s earlier bankruptcy. [more]

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Neighbor Issues

More Crazy Tree Damages.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on January 7, 2013

In an article of just a few months ago I discussed a recent California case, Kallis vs. Sones, that discussed the potential consequences of the wrongful cutting of a neighbor’s tree (SEE “Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay.”).  Since [more]

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Legal Update

New Easement Law Effective January 1, 2013

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 14, 2013

Many property owners share a common driveway to access their property.  In those circumstances, usually one neighbor owns the actual land the driveway is on and the other neighbor has an easement for ingress or egress. Who pays for the [more]

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Bankruptcy, Legal Update

McCoy v. Kuiken (In re Kuiken): Don’t Try to “Get Cute” with your Transfers

on January 21, 2013

On January 4, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (the “B.A.P.”) held that a debtor cannot avoid a lien based on the California homestead exemption when the debtor has not maintained a continuous interest in the property.  This holding [more]

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Foreclosure, Real Estate Law

No Tender is Required Pre-Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 28, 2013

In California, one of the biggest hurdles for borrowers who are challenging a foreclosure sale is the tender offer rule.  The rule requires that the borrower offer repayment of the entire amount owed prior to challenging the foreclosure.  However, in [more]

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Construction Law, Legal Update

Arbitration is no Longer a Safe Haven for Unlicensed Contractors

on February 4, 2013

California Business & Professions Code § 7031 (a) provides, in part, that “no person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor, may bring or maintain any action, or recover in law or equity in any [more]

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Breach of Contract, Real Estate Law

California Court Overturns DRE’s Decision to Deny Broker’s License

by Simon Offord, Esq. on February 11, 2013

In late 2012, the Third Appellate District provided some guidance for the DRE on what is sufficient rehabilitation for a prospective licensee to receive a license. Dave Singh was a police officer in Northern California until 2004.  Singh’s father, Sarbjit, [more]

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Eviction, Real Estate Law

Commercial Evictions… The Three Day Notice

on April 30, 2012

I have recently been handling a number of commercial evictions.  Several years ago I stopped handling residential evictions, but there are a lot of similarities in the process. In California an eviction, (called an Unlawful detainer) is most often initiated [more]

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Contract Disputes, Real Estate Law

Hey Vanna, Can I Buy A Comma?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 1, 2012

How the absence of a comma in a Listing Agreement cost a broker a $340,000 commission. How important is it to be accurate in your listing agreement? Plenty, as one broker found out.  Take the February 2012 case of RealPro [more]

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Bankruptcy, Foreclosure

Bankruptcy Court Finds Exception to “Snapshot” Rule.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 14, 2012

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that in order for debtors to receive the benefit of the homestead exemption after a forced sale of their home, they must reinvest the proceeds in another home.  The Court held that [more]

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Collection Disputes, Mortgage Issues

Do Not Overstep Your Bounds – Court Holds Mortgage Lender to the Higher Standard of Mortgage Broker

by Simon Offord, Esq. on May 21, 2012

In the 2011 case of Smith v. Home Loan Funding, Inc., the Second District Court of Appeals held that a mortgage lender, who represented that they would comparison shop for the best loan, stepped into the role of a mortgage [more]

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Collection Disputes, Negotiating Transactions

Kickbacks, Commission Splits & Loan Fees, Oh My!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 31, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court Finds Mortgage Loan Fees Were Not a Violation of RESPA. Anyone who has ever obtained a residential loan or mortgage is familiar with mysterious fees cropping up on their closing statement. For lenders, mortgage brokers and [more]

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Collection Disputes

Secured Creditors’ Right to Credit Bid Affirmed

on June 4, 2012

This week, in RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC v. Amalgamated Bank, No. 11‐166 (U.S. May 29, 2012) the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a secured lender must be given the right to credit bid up to the full amount [more]

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Bankruptcy

Supreme Court Upholds Creditor’s Rights

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 11, 2012

On May 29, 2012, the United States Supreme Court held that a secured lender must be allowed to credit bid on the sale of secured property when it is sold “free and clear” of liens.  In RadLAX Gateway Hotel, LLC [more]

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Neighbor Issues

There Goes the Neighborhood (Part 2)…Damages Available Resulting from Nuisance

by Simon Offord, Esq. on June 25, 2012

In my previous article titled “There Goes the Neighborhood,” I provided an overview of some of the activities that can constitute a nuisance.  In this article, I will discuss the types of remedies that are available if you are able [more]

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Contract Disputes, Negotiating Transactions, Real Estate Law

Preparing Your Disclosures When you Sell Your House

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 2, 2012

Check out this animated video discusses what to look out for while preparing  your disclosure documents when selling your property. Video Script CLIENT:                 We have decided to sell our house! Our Realtor has asked us to fill out some disclosures. [more]

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Foreclosure

California Passes Foreclosure Reduction Act

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 9, 2012

On July 2, 2012, the California Assembly passed the “Foreclosure Reduction Act” which substantially overhauls the non-judicial foreclosure process.  Non-judicial foreclosures constitute the vast majority of foreclosures in California.  While the legislation has not been signed by Governor Brown yet, [more]

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Construction Disputes, Neighbor Issues

Homeowners Association Found to Have Equitable Easement Despite Lack of Recorded Document

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 16, 2012

Sumner Hill is a homeowners association in a gated community in Madera County.  The Sumner Hill residents historically enjoyed access to a private road that leads to the nearby San Joaquin River. That access was jeopardized when a portion of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Collection and Reporting of Energy Data in the Sale of Commercial Buildings – its coming 1/1/13

on June 23, 2012

On October 12, 2007 AB 1103 became law. The law requires that commercial building owners collect and disclose energy consumption data prior to a building’s sale, lease, or finance.  January 1, 2013 is the current trigger date for implementation.  Since [more]

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Legal Update

The California Foreclosure Reduction Act (aka Homeowner’s Bill of Rights) amends California’s non-judicial foreclosure process

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 30, 2012

What?                  The California Foreclosure Reduction Act (aka Homeowner’s Bill of Rights) amends California’s non-judicial foreclosure process. When?                 Goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013, in effect 5 years. Who?                    Affects borrowers, loan servicers, lenders and DRE licensees.  “Smaller banks” are [more]

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Foreclosure, Legal Update

After the Foreclosure, Lender Recovers Against Borrower on Court’s Expanded Definition of “Bad Faith” Waste

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 7, 2012

On June 27, 2012, the Third District Appellate created a new way for lenders to recover on loans after a nonjudicial foreclosure. In Fait v. New Faze Development, the court found that while the antideficiency statutes normally prohibit a lender [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

What is this “Easement” Thing in my Preliminary Report?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 10, 2012

Buying a home can be a very exciting time, and for most people the biggest investment in their lives.  Therefore, it is very important to make sure you know everything you can about the property prior to completing the deal. [more]

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Foreclosure, Real Estate Law

Foreclosure Bidder’s Frivolous Lawsuit Bites the Dust

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 20, 2012

UPDATE: This case was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and was affirmed in part, and reversed/remanded in part. Read the update here: http://bayarearealestatelawyers.com/foreclosure/foreclosure-bidder-continues-fight-after-9th-circuit-decision Robert Jacobsen sued Aurora Loan Services, LLC in Contra Costa County Superior Court seeking to [more]

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Construction Law

It’s a Good Day to be a Developer

on August 24, 2012
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Bankruptcy, Court & Appearances, Foreclosure

How to Determine Your Primary Residence

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 4, 2012

One of the surprising aspects of lending law is the fact that the definition of one of the most basic terms is still in dispute. While one would think the term “primary residence” is clear, there is still substantial litigation [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 10, 2012

In a previous blog, “Get Your Tree out of my Yard” I discussed the potential issues that may arise between adjoining landowners with respect to trees.  In that article, I cautioned against resorting to self-help unless you have consulted an [more]

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Real Estate Law

Lenders Behaving Badly – Borrower Makes a Credible Case for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Fraud and Violation of Foreclosure Statute Section 2924g(d) Against Downey Savings & Loan (U.S. Bank N.A.)

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 17, 2012

The litigation tide turns in favor of the borrower due to the lender’s conduct. [Ragland v. U.S. Bank National Association et al, Filed September 13, 2012, No. G045580] Facts of the Case Pam Ragland was a borrower in Orange County [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law

Home Remodel Contracts – First Things First

on November 29, 2011

In my previous blog article I discussed Fixed Price contracts and Cost Plus contracts. I intend to post a series of blog articles outlining the ways you can protect yourself before home remodel problems arise. Many of us have done [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Insurance for Your Remodel – Something No One Thinks About Until a Catastrophe Happens.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 5, 2011

My colleague Charlie Bronitsky has been sharing tips for revising home improvement contracts and working with General Contractors. As The Homeowner, Make Sure You Are Insured Today’s article is inspired by a Chris Grammar of Allied Brokers.  Chris writes: “Remodel [more]

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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Courts Continue to Punish Negligent Lenders

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 12, 2011

Previously, I wrote about the diverging case law in state and bankruptcy court regarding foreclosure litigation.  In state courts, California has almost unilaterally upheld nonjudicial foreclosure sales and overlooked any deficiencies by the lender.  On the other hand, the bankruptcy [more]

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Landowner Liability, Uncategorized

“Ho Ho Holiday Mayhem!” Avoid the Unwanted Present of a Lawsuit During the Holidays

on December 19, 2011

‘Tis the holiday season.  Time for family get-togethers and holiday parties, whether you like it or not!  However, what happens when Uncle Eddy has one too many egg nogs, trips over a present under the tree, and breaks his leg?  [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Summary of new California Real Estate Laws for 2012

on January 3, 2012

The new year brings with it new laws and some of these may affect you and/or your clients. The following are effective January 1, 2012. NEW DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS: Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) Disclosure of Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures A seller must [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law

Home Improvement Contracts – Part III

on January 9, 2012

This is the third of my home remodel blog article series about how to protect yourself when contracting for a remodeling of your home. To review my previous articles, click on the following articles titled; “Home Remodel Contracts – First [more]

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Banking Issues, Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Basics, Part I

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 16, 2012

In the past several months, I have had numerous private lender clients come to our office and ask me how they should proceed after receiving a notice of bankruptcy from a borrower.  In this article, I will summarize some of [more]

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Contract Disputes, Landowner Liability, Real Estate Law

Wait, This is Binding? Is a Lease is Enforceable Even Though the Agreement Lacks Essential Terms?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on January 23, 2012

In the 2011 case of First Nat. Mortg. Co. v. Federal Realty Inv. Trust, 631 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2011), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s decision that a signed document, entitled “Final Proposal,” was an [more]

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Collection Disputes, Contract Disputes

Advanced Collection Techniques to Collect on Your Judgment or “Pay Up, You Deadbeat!”

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on January 30, 2012

I’ve written in the past about the most passive method of collection, which is to simply record Abstracts of Judgment and assuming your judgment debtor has real property in the county where you have recorded the Abstract, and will eventually [more]

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Construction Disputes, Construction Law, Contract Disputes

Protecting Your Pocketbook During Construction on Your Home

on February 6, 2012

This is my fourth article regarding home remodel contracts. If you have not seen the basics, please take a look at my earlier articles ” Home Remodel Contracts- First things First,”  “Home Remodel Contracts,” and  “Home Improvement Contracts- Part III” [more]

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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Basics, Part II

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 13, 2012

Previously I wrote about the basic bankruptcy terms.  This article  covers more advance topics related to creditors in bankruptcy and protecting their interests. Proof of Claim: A proof of claim is exactly as the name suggests, it is a document [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Can the City Restrict What Kind of Antenna I Can Have?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on February 21, 2012

As a general rule, the First Amendment protects one’s right to receive ‘suitable access’ to meaningful television broadcasts (seriously!).  City ordinances restricting height, screening, and setback of satellite dishes that are content neutral are a valid regulation for health, safety, [more]

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Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Mechanic’s Lien Law Changes

on March 5, 2012

As of January 1, 2011 Mechanic’s Lien law has started changing here in California. Two changes are already in effect and the entire section of the Civil Code relating to Mechanic’s Liens has been rewritten and will be effective on [more]

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Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy 201: Relief From Automatic Stay

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 9, 2012

By: Henry Chuang, Esq. Now that we have covered some basic bankruptcy terms in the prior two articles “Bankruptcy Basics, Part I” and “Bankruptcy Basics, Part II,” this article addresses the single most important motion for most creditors—the motion for [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Insurance Coverage for Damage Caused by Encroachments

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 19, 2012

A very common dispute that we see on a regular basis are encroachments on neighbor’s land.  These encroachments can be anything from a driveway, a portion of a home or balcony, or oftentimes fences or landscaping.  In many situations, the [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Real Estate Law

Co-ownership of Real Property – Fighting the Partition Action Can Cost You.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 26, 2012

There is a fundamental premise in California law that a co-owner of real property has the right to sever the co-ownership at any time by forcing a sale of the property through partition.  The only exception is if the co-owners [more]

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Construction Law, Real Estate Law

Mechanics’ Lien Law Changes Coming Soon

on April 2, 2012

On July 1, 2012, just three months from now, an all new series of mechanics’ lien laws will be in place in California.  This new law, or actually a series of laws, will alter the process that has been in [more]

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Banking Issues, Bankruptcy, Contract Disputes, Foreclosure, Mortgage Issues

Federal Court Holds That There Is Still a Difference Between a Note and a Mortgage

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 9, 2012

Although most people in California refer to a loan secured by a house as a mortgage, the legally accurate terminology is a promissory note secured by a deed of trust.  There are two different theories for these loans.  Some states, [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Where Did My View Go? Homeowners’ Rights to Easements for Air, Light, and Views.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 16, 2012

One of the most important features for some people in deciding whether to purchase a home is it’s view. Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area are no exception. A good view can be worth hundreds of thousands of [more]

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Court & Appearances, Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update: Dual Agents – Longer Liability Exposure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on April 24, 2012

Bad Facts for the Licensee: The buyers bought a house with substantial water damage.  The problem? The sellers had painted over the damaged areas with dark brown paint.  The bigger problem? The buyer’s agent was present and taking photos of [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

Local Private Money Investors Get Nailed with Usury Claim or “When is a Broker Not Really a Broker?” or “The Problem with Fractionalized Notes”

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 11, 2011

In a stunningly horrific recent case against private investors, the California Court of Appeals punishes investors on a multi-lender Note, rewards a borrower in default and allows the true bad actor (the mortgage loan originator) to walk away. Jim Ward [more]

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Bankruptcy

Extreme Deal Hunting: Buying from Bankruptcy Estates

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 18, 2011

By now, short sales and REO’s have entered the mainstream vocabulary to describe properties that are distressed.  Recently, due to the increase number of bankruptcy filings, a new opportunity has arisen; purchasing real or personal property in bankruptcy.  Perhaps the [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Do Trees Qualify as a Fence Under the California Spite Fence Statute?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on July 25, 2011

The California Legislature has carved out specific rules to deal with an issue that commonly causes disputes among neighbors: spite fences.   A “spite fence” is the generic term for any structure that harms a homeowner when that harm is the [more]

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Boundary Dispute, Easements, Neighbor Issues

“Equitable Easements in California” or “It’s Ok to Drive Over Your Neighbor’s Land When You’re Landlocked”

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 1, 2011

Despite modern technology, good maps, title company preliminary reports and computerized indexes at the county recorder’s office, easement issues still arise in case law and in my practice area. The shared driveway is a common scenario and in the recent [more]

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Real Estate Law

Gold or Snowball? The Effect of an “As-Is” Clause on Real Property Purchase Agreements in California.

on August 8, 2011

Often our clients ask us to review their California Association of Realtors (“CAR”) or Peninsula Regional Data Service (“PRDS”) real estate purchase and sale agreements.  One of the contractual provisions that our clients frequently inquire about is the “As-Is” clause.  [more]

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Foreclosure

Extreme Deal Hunting, Part 2: Buying at Foreclosure Sales

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 15, 2011

Last month, I wrote about buying property from bankruptcy estates as a potential way to get a discount on your purchase.  Another way investors are getting large discounts is by buying property at foreclosure sales.  However, while properties can be [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Help, They Flooded My Property!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 22, 2011
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Foreclosure, Mortgage Issues

Borrower “Mass Action” Lawsuits Against Banks Dealt a Double Blow

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 29, 2011

On August 18, 2011, Attorney General Kamala Harris sued three infamous California law firms who had been signing up distressed homeowner clients for ~$5-10k fees to file frivolous lawsuits against lenders. Those law firms have been placed into receivership. The California [more]

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Real Estate Law

Why Can’t Realtors® and Appraisers Play Nice? The New PRDS Real Estate Purchase Contract and Potential Problems for Appraisers

on September 6, 2011

Our office represents real estate brokers in a variety of different matters, including but not limited to commission disputes and failure to disclose lawsuits.  Our office also represents real estate appraisers in administrative (OREA disciplinary hearing) and litigation (e.g. purported [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Finally, Some Standardization in Appraisals

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 12, 2011

Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teamed up to create a standardized system for use by appraisers to improve the quality and consistency of appraisal data. This system has been termed the UMDP, or Uniform Mortgage Data Program. Before the [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

Simple Ways for Lenders and Servicers to Avoid a $10,000.00 Fine

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 19, 2011

By Henry Chuang, Esq. Regulation B was enacted in 1974 to implement the provisions of The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”). ECOA was enacted in order to prevent discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, [more]

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Litigation

Getting Paid After Winning; Additional Tips on Collecting on a Judgment

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 26, 2011

Congratulations, you have now won your case against the defendant and were awarded a judgment.  Oftentimes people assume that the hard work is over and money will just flow into their hands.  However, while the case may be over, you [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Get Your Tree Out of My Yard! An Overview of Neighbor’s Rights Relating to Roots and Branches

by Simon Offord, Esq. on October 3, 2011

In previous blog posts I have discussed some of the many areas of dispute that may arise between neighbors.  This article touches upon another one of those areas of dispute:  damage from neighboring trees. If you share a property line [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

3 Things to Watch for When Buying into an HOA

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 10, 2011

1. CC&R’s Contain Rules That Could Cramp Your Lifestyle. When a buyer is handed a thick stack of documents from the property management company and faced with just a few days to remove the inspection contingency, it’s tempting to avoid [more]

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Foreclosure

Bankruptcy Judge Voids Foreclosure Sale.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 17, 2011

In a surprising ruling in August 2011, a bankruptcy judge in the Central District of California voided a foreclosure sale that occurred before the borrower’s bankruptcy filing.  Normally, a non-judicial foreclosure sale is final as to a bona fide purchaser, [more]

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Construction Disputes

Home Remodel Contracts

on October 24, 2011

There are many different complications that can occur during a remodel. If you are a homeowner looking to enter into a construction contract, this article will give you a brief overview of what you need to look out for. There [more]

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First Time Home Buyer, Real Estate Law

Look Out! Two Things to Watch Out for in a Builder’s Purchase Agreement

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 1, 2011

Most home sales in Northern California use standardized forms for the purchase agreement.  For example, realtors in the Bay Area typically use either the CAR (California Association of Realtors) or PRDS (Peninsula Regional Data Service) forms.  The PRDS forms are [more]

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Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

Mind The Gap! Relief for Property Owners on Slip and Fall Liability

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 7, 2011

Generally, owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition, and repair any known dangerous conditions.  From a liability standpoint, the issues that concern landowners are 1) what condition is safe enough and 2) did they know [more]

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Foreclosure

Ibanez Revisited: Massachusetts Court Voids Trustee’s Deed

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 14, 2011

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Supreme Court voided a foreclosure sale due to the lender’s inability to prove that it had obtained the right to foreclose.  (See my article on Ibanez for an analysis of the case and impact on [more]

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Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Negotiating Transactions

Tenant Considerations in a Commercial Lease

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 22, 2011

Commercial leases generally have many more complexities than the average residential lease, and are oftentimes involve and require significant negotiation.  This article will look at a few of the many areas that tenants should consider before entering into a commercial [more]

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Civil Litigation Defense

I Have Been Sued! How Much Will My Defense Cost?

on November 5, 2010

Since I have been named as defendant, how much will it cost to defend this lawsuit? When the initial lawyer/client interview takes place our clients have a lot of questions, but sooner or later the discussion turns to the cost [more]

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Litigation

How Is The Deposition Scheduled?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 2, 2010

A party to a lawsuit will request that the deposition occur.  The request for the witness to appear is known as a Notice of Deposition.  The Notice of Deposition will state the date, time, and location of the deposition.  It [more]

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Foreclosure, Mortgage Issues

How Does Robo-signing Impact Foreclosure Investors?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 17, 2010

The Impact of Robo-signing on Foreclosure Investors and REO Purchasers in California By: Henry Chuang, Esq. Recently, with the announcements of foreclosure moratoriums from some of the largest banks in the nation, including JP Morgan and GMAC, there has been [more]

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Mortgage Issues

My Lender Foreclosed and Now They Want to Sue Me for More Money!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2010

With the spate of defaults on home loans, people have become increasingly concerned with life after foreclosure.  One of the primary issues that people raise is whether or not a bank can sue the borrower after the home is foreclosed [more]

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Breach of Contract

Some of the Contract is Illegal, Does it Still Have to be Paid?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on December 7, 2010

Many people enter into contracts with individuals or entities who purport to be licensed real estate brokers, without looking into whether they are actually licensed. If you later find out the “agent” was not licensed, do you still have to [more]

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Bankruptcy, Boundary Dispute, Breach of Contract, Construction Disputes, Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Litigation, Neighbor Issues, Real Estate Law

We’ve Seen Some Weird Stuff

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on December 13, 2010

Over the years, we have encountered a number of strange fact patterns which tend to stand out in our collective memory. Below is a list of some of the more unusual: Seller was a hoarder who entered into contract to [more]

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Civil Litigation Defense, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Listing or Selling an Overencumbered Property? Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

on January 6, 2011

Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area the real estate community has seen a drop in residential property values. This drop was particularly noticeable in portions of Santa Clara County, Alameda County and Contra Costa County. As a result of this [more]

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Foreclosure

Ibanez and Its Effects on California

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on February 22, 2011

On January 7, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez, held that a foreclosure sale was void if the lender could not prove that it had the power to foreclose at the time of the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Do I Have to Tell Them EVERYTHING?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 10, 2011

You are a homeowner in Palo Alto in the process of selling your home, and the question arises: What do I have to disclose to the seller about the house?  As the seller, you do not want to jeopardize your [more]

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Civil Litigation Defense, Lending/Lender Issues, Litigation, Real Estate Law

As a Borrower, Suing an Appraiser or an Appraisal Management Company May Not be a Wise Decision.

on March 25, 2011

Our office is regularly contacted by borrowers/homeowners who are struggling to make their loan payments and are now contemplating suing an appraiser or the appraiser’s management company.  The homeowners claim that their mortgage was based on an appraisal that was [more]

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Litigation, Real Estate Law

Do I Need Padded Walls?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on March 30, 2011

Sadly, when someone gets injured on a landowner’s property, one of the first thoughts the landowner may have is “I am going to be held liable for this?”  This article is meant to give landowners a brief overview of liability [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

Chase Settles Class Action Wrongful Foreclosure Suit for $56 Million

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on March 9, 2011

On April 21, 2011, JPMorgan Chase agreed to settle a class action lawsuit filed by active-duty military personnel for claims of wrongful foreclosure.  In Rowles v. Chase, three members of the armed forces sued Chase alleging violations of the Servicemembers [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

As a Lender, Can I Sue an Appraiser or His/Her Appraisal Management Company?

on May 17, 2011

Lenders often contact our office when a loan has taken a turn for the worse:  the borrower has defaulted, the borrower has no money, and the property securing the loan is substantially “underwater.”  While we advise the lenders regarding their [more]

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Neighbor Issues

There Goes the Neighborhood…An Overview of Nuisance Law

by Simon Offord, Esq. on May 23, 2011

What can you do if someone moves in to your Palo Alto neighborhood and suddenly the neighborhood you were used to has completely changed?  In certain instances, the newcomer’s presence may constitute a nuisance, and you may be able to [more]

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Litigation

HOA Litigation: A How To Guide

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on May 31, 2011

Recently, there has been a rise in disputes between homeowners and their Homeowners’ Associations (“HOAs”).  While many HOAs are willing to work with their members, others prove to be less accommodating.  In these cases, the law has provided specific procedures [more]

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Construction Disputes

Homeowner’s Rights Under SB800, Including The Ramifications of the Homebuilder-Seller Unsuccessfully Trying to Circumvent SB800’s Pre-Litigation Procedures

on June 6, 2011

In February 2011, a new California Appellate decision was published effecting a homeowner’s rights after purchasing a newly constructed home. However, before delving into this legal development, this article will briefly review the statutory law behind the ruling. Several years [more]

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Mortgage Issues

The Deed of Reconveyance – What Happens if You Pay Off Your Loan and The Trustee Does Not Clear Title?!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 13, 2011

A brief refresher of how the Deed of Trust works.  Despite common parlance, California is not a “mortgage” state.  For example, if Betty Borrower purchases a house in San Jose and puts down $100k and borrows $400k from Wells Fargo [more]

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Foreclosure

California Backs MERS Right to Foreclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on June 20, 2011

Recently, there have been a series of decisions throughout the nation about Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”).  Some, predominantly cases in state court, hold that MERS can foreclose and there are no issues with the legality of MERS.  (Taylor [more]

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Litigation

I Won! Now How Do I Get Paid?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on June 27, 2011

Introduction Many times, obtaining a judgment does not guarantee you will be paid.  Unfortunately, judgment creditors cannot simply rely on the debtor to write a check for the judgment, but instead creditors have to be proactive in collecting their debts.  [more]

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Real Estate Law

Revoke a DRE License? Show Me Clear and Convincing Proof.

on June 7, 2011

When a real estate transaction falls through and a lawsuit results, real estate brokers and salespersons have multiple concerns. One concern is the lawsuit itself. Lawsuits can be very stressful, expensive, and time consuming. However, another major concern is the [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

The MERS Problem and Why Lenders Need Possession of the Note

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 21, 2010

There has been lot of recent case law over the “MERS” problem, which is when the loan instruments get split up – ie, the promissory note is endorsed in blank, and the deed of trust is recorded with MERS, which [more]

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Court & Appearances

How Long Will It Take For My Case To Go To Trial?

on August 21, 2010

As real estate and lending law trial attorneys in Palo Alto, we often appear in the Superior Courts of Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Alameda County, and San Francisco County. In our experience, a case typically reaches trial within [more]

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Bankruptcy

I Am A Secured Creditor – How Long Will I Wait To Get Paid By A Borrower Who Just Declared Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

on August 21, 2010

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is often thought of as the bankruptcy relief that offers the debtor some “breathing room” from his creditors. The Chapter 13 debtor is one who should have some steady income and be able to pay off his [more]

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Court & Appearances

What Is This “Discovery” Thing All About?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on August 23, 2010

If you become involved in a lawsuit in California, there is a good chance that you will be exposed to the “Discovery’ process. So what does that mean? To put it simply, discovery is the process by which parties to [more]

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Lending/Lender Issues

I Made A Loan To A Borrower And Secured It With The Borrower’s Home. The Borrower Has Stopped Making His Loan Payments. How Long Can The Borrower Stay In The House?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on August 23, 2010

Dear Private Money Lender – Presently, if you choose to start foreclosure in California, it will be at least eight months before you can actually sell the house at Trustee’s Sale. This prolonged time period is due to the California [more]

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Litigation

What Is A Deposition?

on September 14, 2010

A deposition is a discovery tool that is frequently used in lawsuits. At a deposition, a witness is asked questions and he/she must respond under oath. A court reporter attends the deposition and transcribes the questions and the responses into [more]

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Bankruptcy

I Am A Private Money Lender Who Made A Loan To A Borrower Who Has Just Filed Bankruptcy. Why Do I Need To Get A New Appraisal On Property When The Borrower Is In Bankruptcy?

on September 14, 2010

As lenders know, when a borrower files for bankruptcy, the act of filing clamps down on any and all collection efforts against that borrower and her property– the automatic bankruptcy stay is immediately in effect. Do Not Pass Go, and [more]

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Litigation

I’ve Been Sued – Now What?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 14, 2010

A few months after building a new fence around your Bay Area home, your neighbor storms over, complaining that he had a survey done and found out that the fence is on his property. The two of you cannot come [more]

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Foreclosure

After A Borrower’s Default – What Lenders Can Expect

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 14, 2010

California Law allows for two types of foreclosures, judicial and non-judicial foreclosures. While judicial foreclosures are considered in situations where there might be a deficiency, due to the time and expense, it is almost never pursued. Instead, almost all lenders [more]

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Breach of Contract

If The Buyer Is Suing The Seller For Failure To Disclose, Why Is The Listing Agent Or Selling Agent Also Named In The Complaint?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on September 14, 2010

This firm defends real estate brokers and salespersons. The typical scenario the firm sees in a “bad house case” (a purchase and sale transaction in California where seller has failed to disclose a defect) is that both the listing agent [more]

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Mortgage Issues

Just Because A Lender Says You Qualify For A Loan Does Not Mean They Are Saying You Can Afford It!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on September 16, 2010

In the published portion of the recent decision by the California Court of Appeals (Perlas v. GMAC Mortgage), the Court held that merely because a lender determines that a borrower qualified for a loan does not suggest that the borrowers [more]

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Real Estate Law

Real Estate Deeds – Getting the Property Transferred to the Right Person at the Right Time

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 13, 2010

Family members often try to simplify a real estate transaction by avoiding the use of professionals. However, a transfer of a piece of real estate can and usually does have legal, practical and tax implications, even when done correctly. When [more]

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Real Estate Titles

Investors Beware! Do Not Rely On Information From A Title Company Without An Abstract Or Insurance Policy

by Simon Offord, Esq. on October 13, 2010

With the decline of the real estate market, there has been an epidemic of foreclosures. As a result, many investors have made it their business to purchase distressed real estate at bargain rates. However, before making such purchases, it is [more]

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Foreclosure

What Lenders Should Know about Temporary Restraining Orders and Foreclosures in California

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 13, 2010

There are only two silver bullets to stop a foreclosure sale. One is the automatic stay provision from when the borrower files bankruptcy, and the other way to stop the trustee sale is through a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and [more]

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Mortgage Issues

Alternatives to Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 14, 2010

As discussed in a previous article Unlawful Detainer Actions (“UD”) can be long, costly, and may even be prohibited by the Helping Families Save Their Home Act. In the face of these difficulties, many lenders have come up with alternatives [more]

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Litigation

Who Can Be Deposed In A Lawsuit?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 14, 2010

Any party to the lawsuit or anyone with information relevant to the lawsuit can be deposed. For example, in a Palo Alto house purchase dispute, you may get deposed even if you are not the buyer or the seller.  Often [more]

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Litigation

I Want To File A Lawsuit! How Much Will It Cost?

on October 20, 2010

I want to file a lawsuit.  As a plaintiff, how much will my case cost? When the initial lawyer/client interview takes place our clients have a lot of questions, but sooner or later the discussion turns to the cost for [more]

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Real Estate Law

What’s His or HERS?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on October 26, 2010

Energy efficiency in the home is quickly becoming a hot topic and important consideration in the purchase and sale of residential real estate, especially in Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area. The passing of AB 1809 clarifies existing [more]

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Foreclosure

Caution to REO Investors

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on October 29, 2010

REO Investors – California Law Favors the Bidder in Foreclosure Defense Lawsuits When foreclosure investors and REO purchasers in California attend a trustee’s sale and pay cash for the house, they want to know that the sale is final. That [more]

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Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Leasing Basics – Understanding Lease Types

by Simon Offord, Esq. on April 5, 2018

One of the first issues that comes up in negotiating a commercial lease is the rental structure, and how the landlord and tenant’s responsibilities for items outside the base rent are paid.  Generally, the leases are structured by making the [more]

Real Estate Law

Peter Brewer Featured in Super Lawyers Magazine

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on July 31, 2017

Super Lawyers® is an organization that rates attorneys by region and publishes award-winning magazines every year. Peter Brewer has held the distinction of Super Lawyers since 2010. However, this year, Peter received additional recognition. In the 2017 Northern California edition [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners for Her Commission

on March 16, 2017

Recently, the Sixth District Court of Appeals in California overturned a lower court ruling that originally prevent a real estate broker from collecting a commission when only one owner (out of five) executed the listing agreement. Read more on our [more]

Disclosure

Commercial Landlords Subject to New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 4, 2016

California has seen an uptick in predatory ADA lawsuits, where landlords and business owners are being sued for accessibility violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To counter the rise in these lawsuits, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a [more]

Bankruptcy, Eviction

Court Allows Owner to Evict Tenant Who Has Filed Bankruptcy

by Henry Chuang, Esq. on November 4, 2016

Many previously-decided cases have held that an owner cannot evict a tenant who has filed bankruptcy, without approval of the bankruptcy court. Fighting the automatic stay is often a struggle for owners who want to remove the party that defaulted. [more]

Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues

How to Determine Your Primary Residence – Part 2, the Homestead Exemption

on August 31, 2016
Eviction, Lending/Lender Issues, Real Estate Law

Rent-to-Buy Real Estate: Can a Seller File Unlawful Detainer After a Default?

on August 17, 2016
Disclosure

My Home is a Pokémon Go Hotspot — Do I Have to Disclose?

on July 28, 2016

Pokémon Go is the latest craze that is literally everywhere we look. It is all over the news, and all over the streets with players of all ages trying to “catch ’em all.”  We have all heard about the stories [more]

Lending/Lender Issues, Mortgage Issues, Real Estate Law

Be a “HERO”: Remember to Disclose This Silent Lien

by Julia M. Wei, Esq. on July 25, 2016

Since 2001, California has had PACE programs available throughout the state.  One of the most well known is the “HERO” program, the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity program which was first established in the Riverside County area. In late 2013, San [more]

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Disclosure

Conditions That California Sellers May Not Have to Disclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

(this article was written by Evy L. Eschbacher, the newest attorney at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer) Selling a home can be on of the biggest steps in anyone’s life. Whether it involves letting go of old memories, [more]

Disclosure

Important Water Considerations for After El Niño

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As predicted, El Niño arrived in California and brought some much needed precipitation with it.  This past winter brought the most rain California has had in quite awhile, with many major reservoirs in better shape than they have been in [more]

Disclosure

Committee Offers Hope for Relief from Airplane Noise to Bay Area Residents

on November 29, 2017

Beginning in early 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) introduced a new program, NextGen, which rerouted flight paths in the South Bay and Peninsula in an effort to improve airport infrastructure, air traffic management, and provide nearly $133 billion in [more]

Disclosure

My Home is a Pokémon Go Hotspot — Do I Have to Disclose?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Pokémon Go is the latest craze that is literally everywhere we look. It is all over the news, and all over the streets with players of all ages trying to “catch ’em all.”  We have all heard about the stories [more]

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Disclosure

Snakes In the House! Why Realtors® and Sellers Should Remember Their Duty to Disclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

“I do not want them in the house, I do not want them on my blouse, I would not like them in my car, I would not like them near or far, I do not want them here, nor there, [more]

Disclosure

The Watcher – A Reminder that Disclosure Duties Go Beyond Physical Defects

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

We have written several articles about a seller’s duty to disclose, including articles about the consequences of failure to disclose material facts. Most of these articles discuss physical defects, as these are the issues that most often result in lawsuits. [more]

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Disclosure

Court Again Punishes Dual Agents

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

We have previously stressed to real estate professionals, in our blog articles and in many of our speaking engagements, that dual agency is a very risky proposition for real estate brokers. The courts have consistently gone out of their way [more]

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Disclosure

Court Sanctions Buyer for Filing Frivolous Failure to Disclose Action

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Peake v. Underwood will hopefully deter frivolous claims against real estate agents. Peake purchased a home from Underwood.  Long after the sale closed, Peake filed suit against Underwood and his agent, claiming Underwood and his agent [more]

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Disclosure

Court Clarifies Transfer Disclosure Law for Mixed-Use Property

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent appellate decision of Richman v. Hartley is critical for California real estate agents and sellers to know as it clarifies the mandatory disclosure requirements for property sales. Richman v. Hartley dealt with the sale of a mixed-use property [more]

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Disclosure

Disclosure Series

on November 29, 2017

As real estate attorneys, the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer cannot stress enough to real estate agents and sellers the importance of properly disclosing information pertaining to property being sold. Here are a few articles that our knowledgeable attorneys [more]

Disclosure

Commercial Landlords Subject to New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

California has seen an uptick in predatory ADA lawsuits, where landlords and business owners are being sued for accessibility violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To counter the rise in these lawsuits, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a [more]

Disclosure

My Home is a Pokémon Go Hotspot — Do I Have to Disclose?

on November 29, 2017

Pokémon Go is the latest craze that is literally everywhere we look. It is all over the news, and all over the streets with players of all ages trying to “catch ’em all.”  We have all heard about the stories [more]

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Real Estate Law

Recreational Pot In 2018: High-Times Or A Buzz-Kill For California Real Estate?

by Adam Pedersen, Esq. on November 29, 2017

California is set to roll out new guidelines implementing the voter-mandated legalization of recreational marijuana use and production in January of 2018.  At the same time, cities and counties are scrambling to implement their own regulations before the state rules [more]

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Real Estate Law

Nuisance Law Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

It is incredibly important to stay aware of remedies that are available to you in case you are experiencing nuisance from your neighbor. Here you can find a few articles regarding this topic which we hope will find helpful. As [more]

Real Estate Law

Broker Beware! How to NOT Lose a $925,000 Commission!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

A recent case confirmed our oft-repeated advice to get it in writing.  In Westside Estate Agency, Inc. v. James Randall, a broker learned this rule the hard way. California’s statute of frauds declares invalid any “agreement authorizing or employing an [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners For Her Commission

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently, the Sixth District Court of Appeals overturned a state trial court order that originally invalidated a listing broker’s claim against multiple sellers of a vacant parcel of land in Marin County. FACTS:  Licensed broker Bernice Jacobs presented a listing agreement [more]

Real Estate Law

Two Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change the Commercial Real Estate Landscape

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Prompted by the 2016 landmark ruling in the California Supreme Court Case Horiike v. Coldwell Banker, California Assembly members have introduced Assembly Bill 1059 (“AB 1059”) and Assembly Bill 1626 (“AB 1626”). AB 1626 and 1059 oppose each other and [more]

Real Estate Law

Sublease Considerations for Commercial Tenant

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Commercial subleases can be good bargain options for tenants, but there are certain risks involved.  This article is intended to assist tenants in identifying these risks and understanding what can be done to mitigate them. There are many issues for [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Limits a Tenant’s Ability to Challenge an Unlawful Detainer Action

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Sofia Borsuk (“Borsuk”) was a tenant at LA Hillcreste Apartments in Los Angeles.  In March, 2015, LA Hillcreste served Borsuk with a 3-day notice to pay rent or quit.  After Borsuk failed to pay rent, LA Hillcreste attempted to evict [more]

Real Estate Law

Seller is Refusing to Close Escrow? Know Your Options

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

If you’ve recently purchased a home, or are looking to buy, you know how tough the market is.  The competition is intense, with there being more buyers than sellers.  Finally, your offer on your “dream home” has been accepted. The [more]

Real Estate Law

Supreme Court Upholds Controversial San Jose Affordable Housing Ordinance

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The Bay Area is known worldwide for a multitude of things, including being the hub of technological advancements, cultural diversity, and championship sports teams.  One of the more recent phenomena however doesn’t have to do with any of those things. [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Denies a Landlord’s Ability to Change House Rules in San Francisco

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Margaret Foster (“Foster”) lived in the same apartment in San Francisco for more than 40 years.  In 2011, her building was bought by W.J. Britton & Co., Inc. (“Britton”).  As part of new management, Britton sent each tenant a new [more]

Real Estate Law

Important Water Considerations for After El Niño

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As predicted, El Niño arrived in California and brought some much needed precipitation with it.  This past winter brought the most rain California has had in quite awhile, with many major reservoirs in better shape than they have been in [more]

Real Estate Law

Committee Offers Hope for Relief from Airplane Noise to Bay Area Residents

on November 29, 2017

Beginning in early 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) introduced a new program, NextGen, which rerouted flight paths in the South Bay and Peninsula in an effort to improve airport infrastructure, air traffic management, and provide nearly $133 billion in [more]

Real Estate Law

Airbnb Rental Held to Constitute an Illegal Use of Property

on November 29, 2017

AirBNB (and similar rental sites) have been omnipresent in the news for the last few years.  Controversy has arisen in many cities as regulations and restrictions have been implemented.  The recent case of Chen v. Kraft is an example how [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Holds That Landlord is Not Allowed to Evict a Tenant for an Immaterial Breach of the Lease

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Juan Juarez (“Tenant”) lived in a rent-controlled apartment complex owned by Boston LLC (“Landlord”) for more than 15 years.  Although his lease required him to obtain renter’s insurance, Tenant did not obtain the insurance.  After 15 years of not having [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Finds that a Borrower May Sue for Wrongful Foreclosure Regardless of Ability to Repay Loan

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In June 2005, Monica Sciarratta (“Borrower”) obtained a loan in the amount of $620,000 from Washington Mutual Bank.  In April 2009, Chase Bank (“Chase”), the servicer of the loan, recorded an assignment of the loan and transferred it to Deutsche [more]

Real Estate Law

Be a “HERO”: Remember to Disclose This Silent Lien

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Since 2001, California has had PACE programs available throughout the state.  One of the most well known is the “HERO” program, the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity program which was first established in the Riverside County area. In late 2013, San [more]

Real Estate Law

Rent-to-Buy Real Estate: Can a Seller File Unlawful Detainer After a Default?

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Taylor v. Nu Digital Marketing, Inc. discusses the issue of when it is appropriate for a seller to regain possession of a property from a buyer by filing an unlawful detainer action. In Taylor, the Plaintiffs [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Clarifies that an Eviction is not a Protected Activity

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Monira Ulkarim, a tenant in a shopping mall, had a year-long lease with her landlord, Westfield.  In the middle of the tenancy, the landlord served Ulkarim with a notice of termination of the lease.  Ulkarim alleged that the termination was [more]

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Real Estate Law

Investment Property Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together an “Investment Property Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it covers important infomation surrounding investment properties. If you find yourself needing real [more]

Real Estate Law

Actual Property Damage Required to Obtain Attorney Fee Award in Trespass Action

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Belle Terre Ranch, Inc. v. Wilson clarified that in order to recover attorney fees in a trespass on land for “cultivation” or raising livestock under Code of Civil Procedure § 1021.9, you must obtain an award [more]

Real Estate Law

HOAs May Not Reject Partial Payments on Assessment Liens in Order to Prosecute Foreclosure

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Huntington v. Miller confirmed again that a HOAs must accept partial payments and are limited in their ability to foreclose on an assessment lien when such lien is for less than $1,800.00. In Huntington, an owner [more]

Real Estate Law

Damage Caused by City-Owned Tree May Allow for Recovery Under Inverse Condemnation

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of City of Pasadena v. Superior Court dealt with a situation whereby a city-owned tree fell on a private residence during a windstorm, causing damage.  The insurer for the homeowner paid benefits to the homeowner, and then [more]

Real Estate Law

5 Things to Consider Before Building a Pool

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As the heat of the summer continues across California, and temperatures start to creep into the triple digits, having a pool around sounds like a pretty swell option. In the privacy of your own property, you can take a dip to cool [more]

Real Estate Law

Legal Notice of a Lis Pendens Requires Mailing to All Owners on the Tax Assessor’s Roll

on November 29, 2017

In 2001, John Carr (“Carr”) claimed adverse possession of a vacant lot (the “Property”) in Riverside. The owner of record was a decedent’s estate in probate. In 2003, a judgment was recorded transferring from the estate one half of the [more]

Real Estate Law

Real Estate Law Considerations for Fallen Leaves

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Some Californians believe that California does not exhibit autumn colors. That is because most of the population lives near a coast, where Mediterranean plants dominate the terrain. However, California boasts some of the most beautiful autumn sceneries in the country. The changing colors [more]

Real Estate Law

Are Short Term Rentals for You?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Short term rentals are becoming big business, and California and the Bay Area are no exception.  Companies such as Airbnb and VRBO have grown to become massive entities and have drawn a great deal of attention.  So much so that [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Affirms that Res Judicata Applies to Stipulated Judgments in Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In April of 2008, Jeffrey Needelman (“Tenant”) entered into a lease agreement with DeWolf Realty Co., Inc. (“Landlord”) for an apartment in San Francisco.  After the lease expired, Tenant continued on as a month-to-month tenant.  In December of 2011, Landlord [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Helps Lender After Mistakes Are Made

on November 29, 2017

Over three years, Navjot LLC obtained three loans secured by the same piece of property.  The first was in 2005 from Washington Mutual.  The second was in 2006 from a group of investors led by MMB First Mortgage Fund, LP.  [more]

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Real Estate Law

$900K Judgment Against Supervising Broker Dischargeable in Bankruptcy Despite Agent’s Fraud.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a lengthy and well-reasoned opinion, the 9th Cir. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel concluded that where the broker was unaware of the agent’s fraud, the state court judgment against the broker was dischargeable and the broker was entitled to a “fresh [more]

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Real Estate Law

Neighbor Issues Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have handled many disputes that arose between neighbors with respect to trees. In an effort to educate our network of California property owners, as well as our followers, we hope you [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Again Punishes Dual Agents

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

We have previously stressed to real estate professionals, in our blog articles and in many of our speaking engagements, that dual agency is a very risky proposition for real estate brokers. The courts have consistently gone out of their way [more]

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Real Estate Law

Courts Give Landlord Relief From Rent Control Ordinances

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Lakeesha Lyles (“Lyles”) was a tenant living in a rent controlled apartment in Los Angeles since 2003.  Her landlord, Denise Sengadeo-Patel (“Patel”), failed to send her a copy of a rental unit registration statement or the annual rental unit renewal [more]

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Real Estate Law

Buying Properties In Bankruptcy – Some Tips For Investors

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

What if you find the perfect house but the owner-seller is in bankruptcy? Sometimes it can be challenging to navigate the bankruptcy system and understand who the decision-maker is in the transaction. If you want to make an offer on [more]

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Real Estate Law

Buying Into an HOA, Part 2

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Finds that Notices of Rent Increase Are Not Necessary for Resident Property Managers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Ceceilia Drumea (“Drumea”) was the resident property manager at an apartment building in Los Angeles for 18 years.  Prior to serving as the property manager, she was a tenant at the property for one year.  During that time, she was [more]

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Real Estate Law

Are Mortgage Loan Officers Entitled to Overtime Pay?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The answer is … maybe.  At one point the industry had some certainty on this issue when, in 2006, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter on September 8, of that year stating that loan officers qualify as [more]

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Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Real Estate Case Update Blog Series.” We hope that the information you find here will be relevant for you as it covers a wide spectrum of common [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Sanctions Buyer for Filing Frivolous Failure to Disclose Action

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Peake v. Underwood will hopefully deter frivolous claims against real estate agents. Peake purchased a home from Underwood.  Long after the sale closed, Peake filed suit against Underwood and his agent, claiming Underwood and his agent [more]

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Real Estate Law

So you Want to be a Landlord

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

For many people, their first experience with becoming a landlord is a bit of an accident.  They buy a new house and decide to lease out their former place until the housing market improves, or they may be moving for [more]

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Real Estate Law

Realtor Liability Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Realtor Liability Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it covers a few common liability pitfalls for Realtors®. If you find yourself needing [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Affirms that Liability for Failure to Disclose Requires Relationship

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Hoffman v 162 North Wolfe LLC confirmed the statutory requirement that in order to prevail on a fraud claim for suppression of a material fact, the defendant must have a legal duty to disclose the fact [more]

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Real Estate Law

Buying Into an HOA, Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily mandated set of additional disclosures [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Gives a Double Win to Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Vidal Preciado was the owner of a residential property in Alviso, California where he lived with two roommates.  In July 2011, the Bank of New York Mellon (“BNYM”), holder of a loan secured against Preciado’s property, foreclosed on the loan.  [more]

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Real Estate Law

Three Things to Look For in Your HOA Docs

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

When buyers receive their disclosures it is often a huge volume of documents and even more so if the buyer is purchasing a condominium, townhouse, or other property governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA).  We are often engaged by Realtors [more]

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Real Estate Law

Loan Modification Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

Have you experienced difficulties when applying for a loan modification? Check out our new blog series! The articles written by our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys will guide you through your rights and obligations during the mortgage refinancing process. As always, if [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Clarifies Transfer Disclosure Law for Mixed-Use Property

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent appellate decision of Richman v. Hartley is critical for California real estate agents and sellers to know as it clarifies the mandatory disclosure requirements for property sales. Richman v. Hartley dealt with the sale of a mixed-use property [more]

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Real Estate Law

Anti-Deficiency Statutes Prevent Claims of Fraud for Purchase Money Loans

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In November 2013, in Heritage Pacific Financial, LLC v. Montano, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit (“BAP”) held that the one-action rule prevents a lender from seeking a deficiency judgment, even for fraud, for a purchase money loan [more]

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Real Estate Law

Commercial Leases Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a Commercial Leases Blog Series. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, we hope that you will find these blogs, written by our knowledgeable attorneys, helpful when [more]

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Real Estate Law

Adverse Possession Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have many inquiries pertaining to the adverse possession problem. As we know that it is a common concern of a lot of property owners, we put together an Adverse Possession [more]

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Real Estate Law

New Lending Laws: Seller Carry Backs and the Truth-in-Lending-Act. What Sellers Need to Know in 2014 About Extending Credit.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As the California Bureau of Real Estate notes, “’Carry backs’ by sellers are evidenced by promissory notes secured by deeds of trust or mortgages recorded in a junior position that may either be held or sold by assignment or endorsement [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Requires Lender to Offer a Permanent Loan Modification on Completion of Trial Period

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Following in the footsteps of several recent cases, the Third Appellate District of California held that JP Morgan Chase was required to grant a permanent loan modification.  In Bushell v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, the Appellate Court found that because the [more]

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Real Estate Law

What Sellers and Realtors® Need to Know About California’s Financial Privacy Rights

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

When a seller decides to carry-back some portion of the purchase price, he or she becomes a lender. As a lender, the seller is now in possession of the borrower’s financial information, which would ordinarily be private, but is being [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Limits Poorly Drafted Easement to Historical Use

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Rye v. Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal Co., Inc. affirms the long-standing principle in easement law that an express easement over a general area does not automatically provide the easement owner exclusive use of the entire area. [more]

Real Estate Law

A Bona Fide Lease Survives a Foreclosure Sale

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The First Appellate Court overturned the Santa Clara Superior Court and held that a bona fide lease survives a foreclosure.  In Nativi v. Deutsche Bank, the Court found that the federal statute, Protecting Tenants Against Foreclosure Act of 2009 (“PTFA”), [more]

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Real Estate Law

Expansion of California’s Anti-Deficiency Laws. Increased Protection for Borrowers After the Foreclosure of Purchase Money Loans.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Effective January 1, 2014, Senate Bill 426 went into effect and modified California’s anti-deficiency laws to do two things: 1)    Clarify the protection implied in the earlier versions of the statute that prevents lenders from trying to collect on [more]

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Real Estate Law

Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer put together a “Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series.” We hope that this blog will serve you as guidance and contribute to increasing your awareness of your rights and obligations during the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Potential Pitfalls for Real Estate Agents Assisting in Home Improvement Projects

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

I was recently asked to speak at one of the local real estate associations about restrictions on real estate agents when assisting clients with repairs to property or preparing the property for sale.  It is a very interesting topic because [more]

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Real Estate Law

What Is the Difference Between Mediation And Arbitration? And Should I Initial the Arbitration Provision?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Often the terms “mediation” and “arbitration” are used indiscriminately, but they mean entirely different things for the parties to an agreement containing these provisions. 1. What is Mediation? Mediation is a way to resolve a dispute by mutual agreement. A [more]

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Real Estate Law

Lenders Have a Duty to Not Misstate the Status of a Foreclosure or Loan Modification

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

There have been a string of recent cases that have been decided in favor of borrowers against their lenders who have failed to offer loan modifications.  The most recent case is Lueras v. BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP.  In Lueras, [more]

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Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer encourage you to stay ahead of the curve by reading our “Real Estate Case Update” blog series. We hope that the information you find here will be relevant for you [more]

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Real Estate Law

Can I Have My Neighbor’s Land?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As the economy has improved we have seen a steady increase in fence and boundary disputes.  This is an increasingly common issue because when owners remodel their homes, a survey is sometimes required.  The survey reveals that the fence is [more]

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Real Estate Law

Bankruptcy Court Denies Attorney’s Fees To Debtor Discharging Debts

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Seyed Hosseini was a medical school graduate who incurred substantial student loans.  After graduating he was unable to pass the medical licensing boards and never became a doctor.  Eventually, after being unable to pass the licensing exam, he filed for [more]

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Real Estate Law

Homeowners’ Association MUST Accept and Apply Partial Payments or Lose Its Right to Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Most condominium or townhouse owners are familiar with the responsibility of paying their homeowner association’s (“HOA”) dues.  However, many owners do not realize that if they fail to do so, the HOA has the power to place a lien on [more]

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Real Estate Law

Nuisance Law Series

on November 29, 2017

If you find yourself dealing with a neighborhood nuisance issue, it is very important to familiarize yourself with remedies that can help mitigate these matters. Check out our Nuisance Law Series! We hope you find these blog articles helpful. As [more]

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Real Estate Law

How to Take Ownership of Property

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

When a couple, partners, or family members decide to purchase property together they rarely consider how they are going to take title until the property is in escrow.  The purchase of a home is oftentimes the most significant purchase of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Denies a Borrower’s Challenge to Foreclosure of a Secured Loan

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In Jenkins v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., the Court affirmed a lower court’s decision dismissing a borrower’s challenge to a foreclosure sale based on securitization of her loan.  In reaching its decision to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint the Court [more]

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Real Estate Law

Remodeling Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have seen their share of construction related disputes. In an effort to educate our network of real estate professionals as well as our followers, we hope you find this series of [more]

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Real Estate Law

What Can The Government Make You Pay to Obtain a Permit to Develop Your Own Property?

on November 29, 2017

Cities and counties often require payments of one form or another as a condition to granting a permit to develop property.  Thus, it has not been uncommon for property developers to make significant payments to the government to develop their [more]

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Real Estate Law

Commercial Leases – The Right to Assign or Sublet, a Potential Trap for the Unwary Tenant

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Commercial leases tend to be negotiated for long periods of time (10 or 15 year leases are not uncommon), especially if the tenant is making significant tenant improvements.  Accordingly, when the tenant’s business expands or contracts, a common dispute that [more]

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Real Estate Law

New ADA Requirements for Commercial Properties

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As of July 1, 2013, a new lease disclosure requirement added one more responsibility for owners and lessors of commercial property. Civil Code Section 1938, part of the legislation designed to limit unwarranted lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities [more]

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Real Estate Law

A Purchase Money Loan is a Purchase Money Loan Regardless of When It Funds

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently, a California appellate court held that a purchase money loan is a purchase money loan regardless of when the loan proceeds are transferred to the borrower.  In Enloe v. Kelso, a court held that although proceeds of a loan [more]

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Real Estate Law

Creditor Victory in Collection against California Guarantor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a case of first impression California, the Court held that the creditor can attach to the proceeds of the sale of property even if the property itself was excluded from guaranty.  [Series AGI West Linn of Appian Group of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Again Reaffirms the Requirement to Strictly Comply with HOA Laws

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Diamond v. Superior Court (Casa Del Valle Homeowners Association) has reaffirmed the importance of a Homeowners Association (“HOA”) strictly complying with statutory requirements, in this case to foreclose on a lien for delinquent assessments. Owners in [more]

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Real Estate Law

Bankruptcy Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have handled many collection disputes. Our current influx of calls pertaining to these types of matters has inspired us to put together a “Bankruptcy Series” consisting of insightful blogs written [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Limits Class Action Suits Against Landlords

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a recent Second Appellate District ruling, the court made it more difficult for tenants to sue landlords in class action lawsuits.  In. Hendleman v. Los Altos Apartments, the appellate court upheld a lower court’s decision to deny certification of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Neighbor Law – How Are Easements Extinguished?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The more rural the property, the more likely it is that landowners who share a common boundary will have various rights of way or easements with their neighbors to accommodate hillsides, steep turns, and limited access points. This is often [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Denies Request to Adjust Lot Lines After Landslide

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In the recent case of Joannou v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the appellate court affirmed that under the Cullen Earthquake Act, a homeowner may file a lawsuit to reset property boundaries disturbed due to earth movements.  However, the Court [more]

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Real Estate Law

Ninth Circuit Requires Lender to Offer a Permanent Loan Modification to Qualified Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a win for borrowers the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that Wells Fargo was required to grant a permanent loan modification to qualified borrowers.  In Corvello v. Wells Fargo, the borrower successfully met the requirements of a [more]

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Real Estate Law

The “Mortgage Exception” to Merger of Real Property Interests in California

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

California does not actually have a mortgage exception to the doctrine of merger, but the recent case of Hamilton Court, LLC v. East Olympic L.P[i]. comes close to creating one. What is merger and why should lenders care about it? [more]

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Real Estate Law

Attorney Fee Provisions Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Office of Peter N. Brewer put together an Attorney Fee Provisions Series. We hope that these blogs can provide our colleagues with valuable information regarding the potential to recover attorney’s fees after prevailing in a dispute. Additionally, we hope these blogs will serve [more]

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Real Estate Law

2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Another year, another set of new or revised laws.  There are 100s of new or revised laws this year for California, several of which impact the real estate community.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight what we consider [more]

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Real Estate Law

The Penalty Provision That Wasn’t

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Under California law a “penalty provision”, or an unreasonable liquidated damages provision, is not enforceable.  Over the years public policy has changed to allow for more stringent enforcement of these provisions.  For example, the standard real estate purchase contract has [more]

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Real Estate Law

Purchasing Property Beware Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

We know that buying a home can be a very stressful process that consists of plenty of unclear aspects. In an effort to educate our network, we hope that you find this series of blogs helpful in your pursuit of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Boundary Law – A Simple Way to Prevent an Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement Claim from a Neighbor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Landowners rarely survey their property until they are about to apply for permits for a remodel.  However, surveys can often reveal a misplaced fence, or in more rural areas, personal property such as landscaping, sprinkler systems, chicken coops, and the [more]

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Real Estate Law

False Information on the URLA Really Matters

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In the days before the financial crisis, it was common that borrowers or their loan brokers would intentionally falsify information on the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to qualify for a loan.  This was especially true with so many lenders [more]

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Real Estate Law

California Court Reaffirms Line of Cases Regarding the Agreed Boundary Doctrine

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Our office has seen an uptick in boundary disputes over the last several months.  These disputes commonly arise after one homeowner begins to remodel.  This is because, as part of the construction process, the City will oftentimes require the owner [more]

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Real Estate Law

What is a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As of March 1, 2013, Fannie Mae has implemented new deed-in-lieu guidelines, streamlining the process and allowing borrowers who are current with their loan to be eligible.  Previously, only borrowers who were delinquent were eligible.  Now, if borrowers who have [more]

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Real Estate Law

The Evolving Tender Offer Rule: A Review of the Recent Case Law

on November 29, 2017

When homeowners or borrowers seek to challenge foreclosures against them, California courts have long recognized the “full tender rule”, an equitable principle that requires the challenger to tender the amount owed as a prerequisite to making the challenge.  The rule [more]

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Real Estate Law

Cross-Complaints May Prohibit You From Collecting Attorney Fees

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently, there have been a series of decisions in California that have limited the recovery of attorney fees.  In my previous blog article titled, “Can you Really Get those Attorney Fees? ” I discussed the importance of complying with alternative [more]

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Real Estate Law

Adverse Possession Awarded Without Paying Taxes

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In past blog articles, we have discussed the doctrine of adverse possession, and some of the difficulties in prevailing on an adverse possession theory.  In order to prevail on an adverse possession claim, the adverse possessor must prove each of [more]

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Real Estate Law

More Risk for Junior Lienholders – Understanding Subordination Agreements

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Junior Lienholders are by their very nature assuming greater risk because they are not in first position.  In the case of R.E. Loans LLC v. Investors Warranty of America, Inc., the junior lenders were at even more risk because the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Eviscerates Lender’s Ability to Resolve Pre-Foreclosure Cases Quickly

on November 29, 2017

In a stunning blow to lenders, the California Court of Appeals eviscerated a lender’s ability to resolve a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit quickly.  In Integan v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, the Court upheld a borrower’s claim that the lender had [more]

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Real Estate Law

Recent Case Expands Broker’s Duty to Warn

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Hall v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 2013 DJDAR 5460 (April 26, 2013) has expanded the real estate broker’s duty of care to include an express disclosure and warning of matters included in a home inspection report [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Keeps it Difficult to Take Property By Adverse Possession

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently there has been a lot of interest in adverse possession claims from the firm’s clients.  From a television interview with one of our attorneys to a tentative verdict in favor of our client denying another party’s attempt to adversely [more]

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Real Estate Law

Disclosure Series

on November 29, 2017

As real estate attorneys, the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer cannot stress enough to real estate agents and sellers the importance of properly disclosing information pertaining to property being sold. Here are a few articles that our knowledgeable attorneys [more]

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Real Estate Law

California’s Supreme Court Allows Trustee to Void Foreclosure Sale Sold Too Cheaply.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

> What happens if the trustee is instructed by the lender to have a minimum bid of $219k but misses a digit and sets and sells the property at the foreclosure sale for a minimum bid of $21.9k?  You end [more]

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Real Estate Law

Party Awarded Attorney Fees Despite Losing Contractual Claims

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Attorney fee provisions often drive lawsuits, and become a significant battle after the trial is over.  The recent case of Maynard v. BTI Group was no exception. Catherine Maynard entered into a listing agreement, engaging BTI Group Inc. to broker [more]

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Real Estate Law

Court Eases Service Requirements in Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a recent Sixth Appellate District ruling, the Court made it easier for a landlord to serve a tenant with an unlawful detainer complaint.  In Stanford v. Ham, the court found that service of a complaint by posting and mailing [more]

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Real Estate Law

Negotiating Commercial Leases – Back to Basics

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Understanding Square Footage and How it Affects Your Lease Previously, my colleagues wrote blogs regarding commercial leasing considerations for tenants and commercial evictions,  but today I am going to cover one of the most fundamental provisions of the lease – [more]

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Real Estate Law

No More Harassing Depositions

on November 29, 2017

If you have been a party to a lawsuit, or maybe even just a witness, you may have suffered the distinct displeasure of spending days sitting in a conference room while the opposing party’s lawyer asks question after question about [more]

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Real Estate Law

How Are Easements Created? Part One

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Before discussing how to create an easement, we must understand what an easement is. An easement is a non-possessory interest for the use of real property belonging to another for some specific stated purpose. Put simply, an easement is a [more]

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Real Estate Law

Can You Really Get Those Attorney Fees?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

One of the key considerations in any real estate purchase dispute is the attorney fees provision. Given the expense of litigation, many times, the attorney’s fee quickly exceeds the damages in the case. However, a recent California case has placed [more]

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Real Estate Law

How Are Easements Created? Part Two.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Before discussing how to create an easement, we must understand what an easement is. An easement is a non-possessory interest for the use of real property belonging to another for some specific stated purpose. Put simply, an easement is a [more]

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Real Estate Law

CREDITORS BEWARE – How Bankruptcy Affects Your Bank Account Levies

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Creditor Levies on Debtor’s Bank Account but the Debtor Files Bankruptcy Before the Sheriff Turns Over the Money to the Creditor.  Who Gets the Money? Collect Access, LLC (“Collect”) sought to enforce a judgment against Jose J. Hernandez and instructed [more]

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Real Estate Law

Contractor’s Tort Liability Ends at Completion of Construction

on November 29, 2017

In a recent case called Neiman v. Leo A. Daly Company the California Court of Appeal upheld summary judgment awarded to an architect based on his affirmative defense of the “completed and accepted” doctrine. Under this doctrine, once a contractor [more]

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Real Estate Law

Following California’s Right to Repair Act to the “T”

on November 29, 2017

With the increase in new homes sprouting up in the greater Bay Area it is important to understand California’s Right to Repair Act.  The California Court of Appeal recently issued a case of first impression:  Must homeowners serve notice of [more]

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Real Estate Law

No Automatic Stay For Serial Bankruptcy Filers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Last month, in In re: Leafty, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth District reaffirmed the statutory bar against debtors filing serial bankruptcies to stop a foreclosure after a creditor has obtained relief from stay in the debtor’s earlier bankruptcy. [more]

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Real Estate Law

No Tender is Required Pre-Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In California, one of the biggest hurdles for borrowers who are challenging a foreclosure sale is the tender offer rule.  The rule requires that the borrower offer repayment of the entire amount owed prior to challenging the foreclosure.  However, in [more]

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Real Estate Law

California Court Overturns DRE’s Decision to Deny Broker’s License

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In late 2012, the Third Appellate District provided some guidance for the DRE on what is sufficient rehabilitation for a prospective licensee to receive a license. Dave Singh was a police officer in Northern California until 2004.  Singh’s father, Sarbjit, [more]

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Real Estate Law

Commercial Evictions… The Three Day Notice

on November 29, 2017

I have recently been handling a number of commercial evictions.  Several years ago I stopped handling residential evictions, but there are a lot of similarities in the process. In California an eviction, (called an Unlawful detainer) is most often initiated [more]

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Real Estate Law

Hey Vanna, Can I Buy A Comma?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

How the absence of a comma in a Listing Agreement cost a broker a $340,000 commission. How important is it to be accurate in your listing agreement? Plenty, as one broker found out.  Take the February 2012 case of RealPro [more]

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Real Estate Law

Preparing Your Disclosures When you Sell Your House

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Check out this animated video discusses what to look out for while preparing  your disclosure documents when selling your property. Video Script CLIENT:                 We have decided to sell our house! Our Realtor has asked us to fill out some disclosures. [more]

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Real Estate Law

Collection and Reporting of Energy Data in the Sale of Commercial Buildings – its coming 1/1/13

on November 29, 2017

On October 12, 2007 AB 1103 became law. The law requires that commercial building owners collect and disclose energy consumption data prior to a building’s sale, lease, or finance.  January 1, 2013 is the current trigger date for implementation.  Since [more]

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Real Estate Law

What is this “Easement” Thing in my Preliminary Report?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a home can be a very exciting time, and for most people the biggest investment in their lives.  Therefore, it is very important to make sure you know everything you can about the property prior to completing the deal. [more]

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Real Estate Law

Foreclosure Bidder’s Frivolous Lawsuit Bites the Dust

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

UPDATE: This case was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and was affirmed in part, and reversed/remanded in part. Read the update here: http://bayarearealestatelawyers.com/foreclosure/foreclosure-bidder-continues-fight-after-9th-circuit-decision Robert Jacobsen sued Aurora Loan Services, LLC in Contra Costa County Superior Court seeking to [more]

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Real Estate Law

Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a previous blog, “Get Your Tree out of my Yard” I discussed the potential issues that may arise between adjoining landowners with respect to trees.  In that article, I cautioned against resorting to self-help unless you have consulted an [more]

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Real Estate Law

Lenders Behaving Badly – Borrower Makes a Credible Case for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Fraud and Violation of Foreclosure Statute Section 2924g(d) Against Downey Savings & Loan (U.S. Bank N.A.)

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The litigation tide turns in favor of the borrower due to the lender’s conduct. [Ragland v. U.S. Bank National Association et al, Filed September 13, 2012, No. G045580] Facts of the Case Pam Ragland was a borrower in Orange County [more]

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Real Estate Law

Insurance for Your Remodel – Something No One Thinks About Until a Catastrophe Happens.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

My colleague Charlie Bronitsky has been sharing tips for revising home improvement contracts and working with General Contractors. As The Homeowner, Make Sure You Are Insured Today’s article is inspired by a Chris Grammar of Allied Brokers.  Chris writes: “Remodel [more]

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Real Estate Law

Summary of new California Real Estate Laws for 2012

on November 29, 2017

The new year brings with it new laws and some of these may affect you and/or your clients. The following are effective January 1, 2012. NEW DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS: Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) Disclosure of Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures A seller must [more]

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Real Estate Law

Wait, This is Binding? Is a Lease is Enforceable Even Though the Agreement Lacks Essential Terms?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In the 2011 case of First Nat. Mortg. Co. v. Federal Realty Inv. Trust, 631 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2011), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s decision that a signed document, entitled “Final Proposal,” was an [more]

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Real Estate Law

Can the City Restrict What Kind of Antenna I Can Have?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As a general rule, the First Amendment protects one’s right to receive ‘suitable access’ to meaningful television broadcasts (seriously!).  City ordinances restricting height, screening, and setback of satellite dishes that are content neutral are a valid regulation for health, safety, [more]

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Real Estate Law

Mechanic’s Lien Law Changes

on November 29, 2017

As of January 1, 2011 Mechanic’s Lien law has started changing here in California. Two changes are already in effect and the entire section of the Civil Code relating to Mechanic’s Liens has been rewritten and will be effective on [more]

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Real Estate Law

Insurance Coverage for Damage Caused by Encroachments

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

A very common dispute that we see on a regular basis are encroachments on neighbor’s land.  These encroachments can be anything from a driveway, a portion of a home or balcony, or oftentimes fences or landscaping.  In many situations, the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Co-ownership of Real Property – Fighting the Partition Action Can Cost You.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

There is a fundamental premise in California law that a co-owner of real property has the right to sever the co-ownership at any time by forcing a sale of the property through partition.  The only exception is if the co-owners [more]

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Real Estate Law

Mechanics’ Lien Law Changes Coming Soon

on November 29, 2017

On July 1, 2012, just three months from now, an all new series of mechanics’ lien laws will be in place in California.  This new law, or actually a series of laws, will alter the process that has been in [more]

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Real Estate Law

Where Did My View Go? Homeowners’ Rights to Easements for Air, Light, and Views.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

One of the most important features for some people in deciding whether to purchase a home is it’s view. Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area are no exception. A good view can be worth hundreds of thousands of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Real Estate Case Update: Dual Agents – Longer Liability Exposure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Bad Facts for the Licensee: The buyers bought a house with substantial water damage.  The problem? The sellers had painted over the damaged areas with dark brown paint.  The bigger problem? The buyer’s agent was present and taking photos of [more]

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Real Estate Law

Gold or Snowball? The Effect of an “As-Is” Clause on Real Property Purchase Agreements in California.

on November 29, 2017

Often our clients ask us to review their California Association of Realtors (“CAR”) or Peninsula Regional Data Service (“PRDS”) real estate purchase and sale agreements.  One of the contractual provisions that our clients frequently inquire about is the “As-Is” clause.  [more]

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Real Estate Law

Why Can’t Realtors® and Appraisers Play Nice? The New PRDS Real Estate Purchase Contract and Potential Problems for Appraisers

on November 29, 2017

Our office represents real estate brokers in a variety of different matters, including but not limited to commission disputes and failure to disclose lawsuits.  Our office also represents real estate appraisers in administrative (OREA disciplinary hearing) and litigation (e.g. purported [more]

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Real Estate Law

Finally, Some Standardization in Appraisals

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac teamed up to create a standardized system for use by appraisers to improve the quality and consistency of appraisal data. This system has been termed the UMDP, or Uniform Mortgage Data Program. Before the [more]

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Real Estate Law

3 Things to Watch for When Buying into an HOA

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

1. CC&R’s Contain Rules That Could Cramp Your Lifestyle. When a buyer is handed a thick stack of documents from the property management company and faced with just a few days to remove the inspection contingency, it’s tempting to avoid [more]

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Real Estate Law

Look Out! Two Things to Watch Out for in a Builder’s Purchase Agreement

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Most home sales in Northern California use standardized forms for the purchase agreement.  For example, realtors in the Bay Area typically use either the CAR (California Association of Realtors) or PRDS (Peninsula Regional Data Service) forms.  The PRDS forms are [more]

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Real Estate Law

Mind The Gap! Relief for Property Owners on Slip and Fall Liability

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Generally, owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition, and repair any known dangerous conditions.  From a liability standpoint, the issues that concern landowners are 1) what condition is safe enough and 2) did they know [more]

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Real Estate Law

We’ve Seen Some Weird Stuff

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Over the years, we have encountered a number of strange fact patterns which tend to stand out in our collective memory. Below is a list of some of the more unusual: Seller was a hoarder who entered into contract to [more]

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Real Estate Law

Listing or Selling an Overencumbered Property? Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

on November 29, 2017

Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area the real estate community has seen a drop in residential property values. This drop was particularly noticeable in portions of Santa Clara County, Alameda County and Contra Costa County. As a result of this [more]

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Real Estate Law

Do I Have to Tell Them EVERYTHING?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

You are a homeowner in Palo Alto in the process of selling your home, and the question arises: What do I have to disclose to the seller about the house?  As the seller, you do not want to jeopardize your [more]

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Real Estate Law

As a Borrower, Suing an Appraiser or an Appraisal Management Company May Not be a Wise Decision.

on November 29, 2017

Our office is regularly contacted by borrowers/homeowners who are struggling to make their loan payments and are now contemplating suing an appraiser or the appraiser’s management company.  The homeowners claim that their mortgage was based on an appraisal that was [more]

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Real Estate Law

Do I Need Padded Walls?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Sadly, when someone gets injured on a landowner’s property, one of the first thoughts the landowner may have is “I am going to be held liable for this?”  This article is meant to give landowners a brief overview of liability [more]

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Real Estate Law

Revoke a DRE License? Show Me Clear and Convincing Proof.

on November 29, 2017

When a real estate transaction falls through and a lawsuit results, real estate brokers and salespersons have multiple concerns. One concern is the lawsuit itself. Lawsuits can be very stressful, expensive, and time consuming. However, another major concern is the [more]

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Real Estate Law

Real Estate Deeds – Getting the Property Transferred to the Right Person at the Right Time

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Family members often try to simplify a real estate transaction by avoiding the use of professionals. However, a transfer of a piece of real estate can and usually does have legal, practical and tax implications, even when done correctly. When [more]

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Real Estate Law

What’s His or HERS?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Energy efficiency in the home is quickly becoming a hot topic and important consideration in the purchase and sale of residential real estate, especially in Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area. The passing of AB 1809 clarifies existing [more]

Real Estate Law

Peter Brewer Featured in Super Lawyers Magazine

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Super Lawyers® is an organization that rates attorneys by region and publishes award-winning magazines every year. Peter Brewer has held the distinction of Super Lawyers since 2010. However, this year, Peter received additional recognition. In the 2017 Northern California edition [more]

Real Estate Law

Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners for Her Commission

on November 29, 2017

Recently, the Sixth District Court of Appeals in California overturned a lower court ruling that originally prevent a real estate broker from collecting a commission when only one owner (out of five) executed the listing agreement. Read more on our [more]

Real Estate Law

Be a “HERO”: Remember to Disclose This Silent Lien

by Julia M. Wei, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Since 2001, California has had PACE programs available throughout the state.  One of the most well known is the “HERO” program, the Home Energy Retrofit Opportunity program which was first established in the Riverside County area. In late 2013, San [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Nuisance Law Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

It is incredibly important to stay aware of remedies that are available to you in case you are experiencing nuisance from your neighbor. Here you can find a few articles regarding this topic which we hope will find helpful. As [more]

Neighbor Issues

Appellate Court Upholds Fact-Based Determination of Nuisance

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In the recent case of Mendez v. Rancho Valencia Resort Partners, LLC, the appellate court analyzed whether certain noise constituted a nuisance. The Mendezes (“Neighbor”) filed suit, claiming Rancho Valencia’s (“the Resort”) outdoor festivities constituted a private nuisance.  The Trial [more]

Neighbor Issues

Bah Humbug! How to Avoid Legal Issues During the Holidays

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Winter is the time for festive celebrations, family, friends and giving.  However, we all know there are some Scrooges out there who do not share the joyful spirit. In this blog, we look at some of the real estate related [more]

Neighbor Issues

California’s Spite Fence Laws – Trees, Hedges, and Shrubs, Oh My!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

California has had a spite fence law since 1885, and until very recently, the courts did not consider whether trees could be a “fence”. 841.4.  Any fence or other structure in the nature of a fence unnecessarily exceeding 10 feet in [more]

Neighbor Issues

Real Estate Law Considerations for Fallen Leaves

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Some Californians believe that California does not exhibit autumn colors. That is because most of the population lives near a coast, where Mediterranean plants dominate the terrain. However, California boasts some of the most beautiful autumn sceneries in the country. The changing colors [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Neighbor Issues Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have handled many disputes that arose between neighbors with respect to trees. In an effort to educate our network of California property owners, as well as our followers, we hope you [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Adverse Possession Blog Series

on November 29, 2017

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer have many inquiries pertaining to the adverse possession problem. As we know that it is a common concern of a lot of property owners, we put together an Adverse Possession [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Can I Have My Neighbor’s Land?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As the economy has improved we have seen a steady increase in fence and boundary disputes.  This is an increasingly common issue because when owners remodel their homes, a survey is sometimes required.  The survey reveals that the fence is [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Nuisance Law Series

on November 29, 2017

If you find yourself dealing with a neighborhood nuisance issue, it is very important to familiarize yourself with remedies that can help mitigate these matters. Check out our Nuisance Law Series! We hope you find these blog articles helpful. As [more]

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Neighbor Issues

What Can The Government Make You Pay to Obtain a Permit to Develop Your Own Property?

on November 29, 2017

Cities and counties often require payments of one form or another as a condition to granting a permit to develop property.  Thus, it has not been uncommon for property developers to make significant payments to the government to develop their [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Court Denies Request to Adjust Lot Lines After Landslide

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In the recent case of Joannou v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the appellate court affirmed that under the Cullen Earthquake Act, a homeowner may file a lawsuit to reset property boundaries disturbed due to earth movements.  However, the Court [more]

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Neighbor Issues

2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Another year, another set of new or revised laws.  There are 100s of new or revised laws this year for California, several of which impact the real estate community.  Over the next few weeks, we will highlight what we consider [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Boundary Law – A Simple Way to Prevent an Adverse Possession or Prescriptive Easement Claim from a Neighbor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Landowners rarely survey their property until they are about to apply for permits for a remodel.  However, surveys can often reveal a misplaced fence, or in more rural areas, personal property such as landscaping, sprinkler systems, chicken coops, and the [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Adverse Possession Awarded Without Paying Taxes

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In past blog articles, we have discussed the doctrine of adverse possession, and some of the difficulties in prevailing on an adverse possession theory.  In order to prevail on an adverse possession claim, the adverse possessor must prove each of [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Non-Profits Need to be More Diligent to Prevent Adverse Possession Claims

on November 29, 2017

In California one can obtain title to someone else’s property through a process known as “adverse possession.” The requirements for adverse possession are (1) pay the property taxes on the subject property, (2) actual possession that is (3) open and [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Court Keeps it Difficult to Take Property By Adverse Possession

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recently there has been a lot of interest in adverse possession claims from the firm’s clients.  From a television interview with one of our attorneys to a tentative verdict in favor of our client denying another party’s attempt to adversely [more]

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Neighbor Issues

More Crazy Tree Damages.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In an article of just a few months ago I discussed a recent California case, Kallis vs. Sones, that discussed the potential consequences of the wrongful cutting of a neighbor’s tree (SEE “Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay.”).  Since [more]

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Neighbor Issues

There Goes the Neighborhood (Part 2)…Damages Available Resulting from Nuisance

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In my previous article titled “There Goes the Neighborhood,” I provided an overview of some of the activities that can constitute a nuisance.  In this article, I will discuss the types of remedies that are available if you are able [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Homeowners Association Found to Have Equitable Easement Despite Lack of Recorded Document

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Sumner Hill is a homeowners association in a gated community in Madera County.  The Sumner Hill residents historically enjoyed access to a private road that leads to the nearby San Joaquin River. That access was jeopardized when a portion of [more]

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Neighbor Issues

What is this “Easement” Thing in my Preliminary Report?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a home can be a very exciting time, and for most people the biggest investment in their lives.  Therefore, it is very important to make sure you know everything you can about the property prior to completing the deal. [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In a previous blog, “Get Your Tree out of my Yard” I discussed the potential issues that may arise between adjoining landowners with respect to trees.  In that article, I cautioned against resorting to self-help unless you have consulted an [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Can the City Restrict What Kind of Antenna I Can Have?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

As a general rule, the First Amendment protects one’s right to receive ‘suitable access’ to meaningful television broadcasts (seriously!).  City ordinances restricting height, screening, and setback of satellite dishes that are content neutral are a valid regulation for health, safety, [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Insurance Coverage for Damage Caused by Encroachments

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

A very common dispute that we see on a regular basis are encroachments on neighbor’s land.  These encroachments can be anything from a driveway, a portion of a home or balcony, or oftentimes fences or landscaping.  In many situations, the [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Where Did My View Go? Homeowners’ Rights to Easements for Air, Light, and Views.

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

One of the most important features for some people in deciding whether to purchase a home is it’s view. Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay Area are no exception. A good view can be worth hundreds of thousands of [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Do Trees Qualify as a Fence Under the California Spite Fence Statute?

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The California Legislature has carved out specific rules to deal with an issue that commonly causes disputes among neighbors: spite fences.   A “spite fence” is the generic term for any structure that harms a homeowner when that harm is the [more]

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Neighbor Issues

“Equitable Easements in California” or “It’s Ok to Drive Over Your Neighbor’s Land When You’re Landlocked”

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Despite modern technology, good maps, title company preliminary reports and computerized indexes at the county recorder’s office, easement issues still arise in case law and in my practice area. The shared driveway is a common scenario and in the recent [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Help, They Flooded My Property!

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017
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Neighbor Issues

Get Your Tree Out of My Yard! An Overview of Neighbor’s Rights Relating to Roots and Branches

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

In previous blog posts I have discussed some of the many areas of dispute that may arise between neighbors.  This article touches upon another one of those areas of dispute:  damage from neighboring trees. If you share a property line [more]

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Neighbor Issues

3 Things to Watch for When Buying into an HOA

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

1. CC&R’s Contain Rules That Could Cramp Your Lifestyle. When a buyer is handed a thick stack of documents from the property management company and faced with just a few days to remove the inspection contingency, it’s tempting to avoid [more]

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Neighbor Issues

Mind The Gap! Relief for Property Owners on Slip and Fall Liability

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Generally, owners have a duty to maintain their property in a safe condition, and repair any known dangerous conditions.  From a liability standpoint, the issues that concern landowners are 1) what condition is safe enough and 2) did they know [more]

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Neighbor Issues

We’ve Seen Some Weird Stuff

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Over the years, we have encountered a number of strange fact patterns which tend to stand out in our collective memory. Below is a list of some of the more unusual: Seller was a hoarder who entered into contract to [more]

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Neighbor Issues

There Goes the Neighborhood…An Overview of Nuisance Law

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

What can you do if someone moves in to your Palo Alto neighborhood and suddenly the neighborhood you were used to has completely changed?  In certain instances, the newcomer’s presence may constitute a nuisance, and you may be able to [more]

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HOA Litigation

The Basics of Homeowners Association Disputes Part 1 – Mediation

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

HOA disputes are something that we see on a regular basis. Although in a perfect world, none of us would get in disputes with our neighbors, the reality is that disputes between neighbors, or the association and an owner, are [more]

HOA Litigation

Buying Into an HOA, Part 3

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding [more]

HOA Litigation

HOA Rules Upheld Once Again

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Recent cases have generally supported a trend that homeowner’s associations are given a fair amount of deference in establishing their own rules.  A recent case in San Luis Obispo County has yet again provided deference to the homeowner’s association. Oak [more]

HOA Litigation

HOAs May Not Reject Partial Payments on Assessment Liens in Order to Prosecute Foreclosure

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Huntington v. Miller confirmed again that a HOAs must accept partial payments and are limited in their ability to foreclose on an assessment lien when such lien is for less than $1,800.00. In Huntington, an owner [more]

HOA Litigation

HOA Obtains Injunction Requiring Floor Covering

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Ryland Mews v. Munoz dealt with an increasingly common issue in homeowners associations – the installation of hard surface flooring. Ryland Mews (“the HOA”) sued Munoz (“Homeowner”) in response to Homeowner’s installation of hardwood floors in [more]

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HOA Litigation

Buying Into an HOA, Part 2

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily-mandated set of additional disclosures regarding [more]

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HOA Litigation

Buying Into an HOA, Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Buying a new home can be an overwhelming process. The amount of paperwork is staggering. When buying property that is part of a homeowners’ association (HOA), the paper work is increased due to a statutorily mandated set of additional disclosures [more]

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HOA Litigation

Three Things to Look For in Your HOA Docs

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

When buyers receive their disclosures it is often a huge volume of documents and even more so if the buyer is purchasing a condominium, townhouse, or other property governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA).  We are often engaged by Realtors [more]

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HOA Litigation

Homeowners’ Association MUST Accept and Apply Partial Payments or Lose Its Right to Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq. on November 29, 2017

Most condominium or townhouse owners are familiar with the responsibility of paying their homeowner association’s (“HOA”) dues.  However, many owners do not realize that if they fail to do so, the HOA has the power to place a lien on [more]

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HOA Litigation

Court Again Reaffirms the Requirement to Strictly Comply with HOA Laws

by Simon Offord, Esq. on November 29, 2017

The recent case of Diamond v. Superior Court (Casa Del Valle Homeowners Association) has reaffirmed the importance of a Homeowners Association (“HOA”) strictly complying with statutory requirements, in this case to foreclose on a lien for delinquent assessments. Owners in [more]

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HOA Litigation

Homeowners Association Related Blogs Series

on November 29, 2017

Lately, the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer has received calls regarding Homeowners Association matters.  The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter N. Brewer would like to share a few of their previously posted blogs pertaining to HOA matters. Our firm [more]

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