New California Law Affecting Real Estate Mediation

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Approximately 95% of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement, with a majority of those settlements occurring at mediation. Mediation has been extremely successful for our Read More > ...

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Can A Buyer Back Out of a Non-Contingent Offer?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

In my last article, we discussed liquidated damages in the context of a residential real estate purchase contract.  This article will examine whether a buyer may Read More > ...

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What a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit Really Means

by Lorena Roel, Esq.

It is after Labor Day weekend and that means school supplies, summer vacation credit card bills, and preparing for the holidays. With all these added costs, Read More > ...

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Out of Contract? Not So Fast…

by Adam Pedersen, Esq.

In the highly-competitive real estate market in California, agents are being more aggressive in enforcing contract terms. So before you tell your client that you are Read More > ...

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Liquidated Damages and Buyer’s Refusal to Close Escrow

by Simon Offord, Esq.

Buyers seeking to back out of a purchase contract after all contingencies have been removed is one of the matters we see the most in our Read More > ...

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Selling Your Home with a Tenant Inside

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Being a landlord in California can be very rewarding, but also challenging at times. Being a landlord and trying to sell your home can be even Read More > ...

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5 Things Landlords Should Remember When Evicting Tenants

by Lorena Roel, Esq.

Summer is a time where most things slow down. School is out, vacations are plentiful, and the days are longer. What does not slow down is Read More > ...

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Navigating the Unstable World of Real Estate and Cannabis in California

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Marijuana legalization in California is here, but the fact that the substance is still considered illegal at the Federal level is causing some confusion and hardships Read More > ...

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

by Adam Pedersen, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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New California Law Affecting Real Estate Mediation

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Approximately 95% of pending lawsuits end in a pre-trial settlement, with a majority of those settlements occurring at mediation. Mediation has been extremely successful for our Read More > ...

Read More

Can A Buyer Back Out of a Non-Contingent Offer?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

In my last article, we discussed liquidated damages in the context of a residential real estate purchase contract.  This article will examine whether a buyer may Read More > ...

Read More

What a Three-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit Really Means

by Lorena Roel, Esq.

It is after Labor Day weekend and that means school supplies, summer vacation credit card bills, and preparing for the holidays. With all these added costs, Read More > ...

Read More

Out of Contract? Not So Fast…

by Adam Pedersen, Esq.

In the highly-competitive real estate market in California, agents are being more aggressive in enforcing contract terms. So before you tell your client that you are Read More > ...

Read More

Liquidated Damages and Buyer’s Refusal to Close Escrow

by Simon Offord, Esq.

Buyers seeking to back out of a purchase contract after all contingencies have been removed is one of the matters we see the most in our Read More > ...

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Selling Your Home with a Tenant Inside

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Being a landlord in California can be very rewarding, but also challenging at times. Being a landlord and trying to sell your home can be even Read More > ...

Read More

5 Things Landlords Should Remember When Evicting Tenants

by Lorena Roel, Esq.

Summer is a time where most things slow down. School is out, vacations are plentiful, and the days are longer. What does not slow down is Read More > ...

Read More

Navigating the Unstable World of Real Estate and Cannabis in California

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

Marijuana legalization in California is here, but the fact that the substance is still considered illegal at the Federal level is causing some confusion and hardships Read More > ...

Read More

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

by Adam Pedersen, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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Progress Report on Rent Control Initiatives in Silicon Valley

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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The Basics of Homeowners Association Disputes Part 1 – Mediation

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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Hidden Pitfalls of Renewal Clauses in Commercial Leases

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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San Jose Tenant Protection Ordinance

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Sheriff’s Sales to Third Parties Cannot be Set Aside

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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. Read More > ...

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Construction Contract Tips for Owners — Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Conditions That California Sellers May Not Have to Disclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

(this article was written by Evy L. Eschbacher, the newest attorney at the Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP) Selling a home can be on of the Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Commercial Landlords Subject to New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Allows Owner to Evict Tenant who has Filed Bankruptcy

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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Nuisance Law Blog Series

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 Read More > ...

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Foreclosure Bidder Continues Fight After 9th Circuit Decision

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Commercial Leasing Considerations for the Adult Use of Marijuana Act

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Appellate Court Upholds Fact-Based Determination of Nuisance

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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5 Tips for Landlords This Winter

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Buying Into an HOA, Part 3

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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), Read More > ...

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Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners For Her Commission

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Two Proposed Assembly Bills Could Change the Commercial Real Estate Landscape

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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”) Read More > ...

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Sublease Considerations for Commercial Tenant

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bah Humbug! How to Avoid Legal Issues During the Holidays

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Finds that International Property Owners Cannot Avoid California Jurisdiction

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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.  Read More > ...

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HOA Rules Upheld Once Again

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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. Read More > ...

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Seller is Refusing to Close Escrow? Know Your Options

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Rules in Favor of Borrowers Suing for Wrongful Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Makes it Easier to Strip Mortgages

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Supreme Court Upholds Controversial San Jose Affordable Housing Ordinance

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 & Read More > ...

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Important Water Considerations for After El Niño

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Borrower Fails in Preemptive Action Challenging Right to Foreclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Airbnb Rental Held to Constitute an Illegal Use of Property

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Clarifies that an Eviction is not a Protected Activity

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Investment Property Blog Series

Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP put together an “Investment Property Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Whacks Lender for Failing to Get Consent from All Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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”) Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Supreme Court Resolves Circuit Split Over TILA Rescission

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

“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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Holds Debt Collectors Liable for Attempting to Collect Unenforceable Debts

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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5 Things to Consider Before Building a Pool

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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. Read More > ...

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HOA Obtains Injunction Requiring Floor Covering

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Offers Some Relief for Homeowners under HBOR

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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. Read More > ...

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Real Estate Law Considerations for Fallen Leaves

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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Are Short Term Rentals for You?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Helps Lender After Mistakes Are Made

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Neighbor Issues Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP have handled many disputes that arose between neighbors with respect to trees. In an effort to educate our network Read More > ...

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Court Again Punishes Dual Agents

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Courts Give Landlord Relief From Rent Control Ordinances

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Buying Properties In Bankruptcy – Some Tips For Investors

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Buying Into an HOA, Part 2

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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), Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Are Mortgage Loan Officers Entitled to Overtime Pay?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP put together a “Real Estate Case Update Blog Series.” We hope that the information you find here will Read More > ...

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Court Sanctions Buyer for Filing Frivolous Failure to Disclose Action

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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So you Want to be a Landlord

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Realtor Liability Blog Series

Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP put together a “Realtor Liability Blog Series.” We hope you find the information in this series to be informative as it Read More > ...

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Court Affirms that Liability for Failure to Disclose Requires Relationship

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Buying Into an HOA, Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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), Read More > ...

Read More
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Court Gives a Double Win to Borrowers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Three Things to Look For in Your HOA Docs

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Loan Modification Blog Series

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 Read More > ...

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Court Clarifies Transfer Disclosure Law for Mixed-Use Property

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 2

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Commercial Leases Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP put together a Commercial Leases Blog Series. Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, we hope that Read More > ...

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Adverse Possession Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP have many inquiries pertaining to the adverse possession problem. As we know that it is a common concern Read More > ...

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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.

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 Read More > ...

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2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 3

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Limits Poorly Drafted Easement to Historical Use

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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A Bona Fide Lease Survives a Foreclosure Sale

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP put together a “Wrongful Foreclosure Blog Series.” We hope that this blog will serve you as guidance and Read More > ...

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Potential Pitfalls for Real Estate Agents Assisting in Home Improvement Projects

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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.  Read More > ...

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Real Estate Case Update Blog Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP encourage you to stay ahead of the curve by reading our “Real Estate Case Update” blog series. We Read More > ...

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Can I Have My Neighbor’s Land?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Court Denies Attorney’s Fees To Debtor Discharging Debts

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Nuisance Law Series

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 Read More > ...

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How to Take Ownership of Property

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Remodeling Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP have seen their share of construction related disputes. In an effort to educate our network of real estate professionals Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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New ADA Requirements for Commercial Properties

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Creditor Victory in Collection against California Guarantor

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Again Reaffirms the Requirement to Strictly Comply with HOA Laws

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP have handled many collection disputes. Our current influx of calls pertaining to these types of matters has inspired Read More > ...

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Court Limits Class Action Suits Against Landlords

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Neighbor Law – How Are Easements Extinguished?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Denies Request to Adjust Lot Lines After Landslide

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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. comes Read More > ...

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Attorney Fee Provisions Series

The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP 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 Read More > ...

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2014 New Laws Impacting Real Estate – Part 1

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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The Penalty Provision That Wasn’t

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Purchasing Property Beware Blog Series

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, Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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The Three Most Interesting Foreclosure Cases of 2012

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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False Information on the URLA Really Matters

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Easement Blogs

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 Read More > ...

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California Court Reaffirms Line of Cases Regarding the Agreed Boundary Doctrine

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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What is a Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Cross-Complaints May Prohibit You From Collecting Attorney Fees

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Homeowners Association Related Blogs Series

Lately, Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP has received calls regarding Homeowners Association matters.  The attorneys at Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP would like to share a few of Read More > ...

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Adverse Possession Awarded Without Paying Taxes

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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More Risk for Junior Lienholders – Understanding Subordination Agreements

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Recent Case Expands Broker’s Duty to Warn

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Keeps it Difficult to Take Property By Adverse Possession

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Disclosure Series

As real estate attorneys, Brewer Offord & Pedersen LLP cannot stress enough to real estate agents and sellers the importance of properly disclosing information pertaining to Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

> 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 Read More > ...

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Party Awarded Attorney Fees Despite Losing Contractual Claims

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Eases Service Requirements in Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Negotiating Commercial Leases – Back to Basics

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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No More Harassing Depositions

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 Read More > ...

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No Deficiency on Settlement Agreement for a Note

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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How Are Easements Created? Part One

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Fair is Fair for Competing Lien Holders

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 Read More > ...

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Title Insurance on the Purchase of Multiple Parcels

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 Read More > ...

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Can You Really Get Those Attorney Fees?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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How Are Easements Created? Part Two.

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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CREDITORS BEWARE – How Bankruptcy Affects Your Bank Account Levies

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Contractor’s Tort Liability Ends at Completion of Construction

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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The Holiday Season is a Time for Giving

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 Read More > ...

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No Automatic Stay For Serial Bankruptcy Filers

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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More Crazy Tree Damages.

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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New Easement Law Effective January 1, 2013

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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No Tender is Required Pre-Foreclosure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Arbitration is no Longer a Safe Haven for Unlicensed Contractors

California Business & Professions Code § 7031 (a) provides, in part, that “no person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of a contractor, Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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. Read More > ...

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Commercial Evictions… The Three Day Notice

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 Read More > ...

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Hey Vanna, Can I Buy A Comma?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Court Finds Exception to “Snapshot” Rule.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Kickbacks, Commission Splits & Loan Fees, Oh My!

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Secured Creditors’ Right to Credit Bid Affirmed

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 Read More > ...

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Supreme Court Upholds Creditor’s Rights

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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Preparing Your Disclosures When you Sell Your House

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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California Passes Foreclosure Reduction Act

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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, Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Foreclosure Bidder’s Frivolous Lawsuit Bites the Dust

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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It’s a Good Day to be a Developer

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How to Determine Your Primary Residence

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Get Consent Before You Cut, or Pay!

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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.  Read More > ...

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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.

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, Read More > ...

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Home Remodel Contracts – First Things First

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Courts Continue to Punish Negligent Lenders

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

‘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 Read More > ...

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Summary of new California Real Estate Laws for 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 Read More > ...

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Home Improvement Contracts – Part III

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Basics, Part I

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Protecting Your Pocketbook During Construction on Your Home

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Basics, Part II

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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: Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Mechanic’s Lien Law Changes

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy 201: Relief From Automatic Stay

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Insurance Coverage for Damage Caused by Encroachments

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Mechanics’ Lien Law Changes Coming Soon

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, Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Real Estate Case Update: Dual Agents – Longer Liability Exposure

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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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.

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 Read More > ...

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Extreme Deal Hunting: Buying from Bankruptcy Estates

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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, Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Extreme Deal Hunting, Part 2: Buying at Foreclosure Sales

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Help, They Flooded My Property!

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Finally, Some Standardization in Appraisals

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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. Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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3 Things to Watch for When Buying into an HOA

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Bankruptcy Judge Voids Foreclosure Sale.

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Home Remodel Contracts

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Ibanez Revisited: Massachusetts Court Voids Trustee’s Deed

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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.  Read More > ...

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Tenant Considerations in a Commercial Lease

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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How Is The Deposition Scheduled?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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How Does Robo-signing Impact Foreclosure Investors?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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We’ve Seen Some Weird Stuff

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Ibanez and Its Effects on California

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Do I Have to Tell Them EVERYTHING?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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Do I Need Padded Walls?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Chase Settles Class Action Wrongful Foreclosure Suit for $56 Million

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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. Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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There Goes the Neighborhood…An Overview of Nuisance Law

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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HOA Litigation: A How To Guide

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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California Backs MERS Right to Foreclose

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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I Won! Now How Do I Get Paid?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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The MERS Problem and Why Lenders Need Possession of the Note

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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What Is This “Discovery” Thing All About?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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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.

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 Read More > ...

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What Is A Deposition?

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. Read More > ...

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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?

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 Read More > ...

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I’ve Been Sued – Now What?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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After A Borrower’s Default – What Lenders Can Expect

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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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.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Alternatives to Unlawful Detainer Actions

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Who Can Be Deposed In A Lawsuit?

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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 Read More > ...

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What’s His or HERS?

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Caution to REO Investors

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Commercial Leasing Basics – Understanding Lease Types

by Simon Offord, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Peter Brewer Featured in Super Lawyers Magazine

by Peter N. Brewer, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Finds Listing Agent Can Fight Multiple Owners for Her Commission

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 Read More > ...

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Commercial Landlords Subject to New Accessibility Disclosure Requirements

by Ashlee D. Gonzales, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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Court Allows Owner to Evict Tenant Who Has Filed Bankruptcy

by Henry Chuang, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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

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

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

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 Read More > ...

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

by Julia M. Wei, Esq.

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 Read More > ...

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