I've had more calls over the past month on residential real estate deals than I had in all of 2012. I think every buyer is well served by having an attorney review a deal before the buyer's right to terminate the deal runs out. It's usually not more than about $500 for me to look for issues and problems. If you decide not to use a real estate agent or broker, the savings can be substantial by having me represent you through closing. I also have a construction background (as in, swinging a hammer and building projects), so I bring to bear some unusual skills in terms of understanding the condition of a property. I also point out zoning, HOA, financing, and other issues you may not have considered. Plus, I like doing real estate deals: house deals are generally happy situations, unlike the desperate lawsuits I'm often involved in. Read More...
In a clear victory for homeowners and property rights, a Travis County court has rejected an HOA ban on short-term rentals. Briarcliff Property Owners Association, Inc. v. Marvin William Hays, Jr., Cause No. D-1-GN-11-002233 (Order of March 14, 2012). Read More...
The Texas Constitution forbids certain lending practices as regards home equity loans and modifications to those loans. If I'm right that many major lenders have been issuing illegal loan modifications of Texas home equity loans for years, and in some instances then trying to conceal that by misrepresenting to borrowers that foreclosure is imminent, the potential liability of these lenders is staggering. A penalty for such misdeeds under the Texas Constitution is FORFEITURE of the loan by the lender. Read More...
Wells Fargo is alleged to have (1) modified Texas home equity loans illegally by including past-due interest and exceeding an 80% loan-to-value ratio, and (2) when it discovered this, covered it up by pressuring homeowners to do a short-sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. My class action takes aim at these practices. Read More...
I recently filed a federal class action lawsuit against big lenders Wells Fargo and HSBC Bank on behalf of Texas home equity borrowers in financial distress and being threatened with foreclosure. The suit alleges a catch-22 where the defendants dangled home equity loan modifications that they couldn't legally offer and didn't intend to give. Read More...
The governing documents (CC&R's -- covenants, conditions, and restrictions) and governing laws for the running of homeowners associations (HOA's) are too legalistic, abstruse, and technical for non-lawyers (i.e., your neighbors) to understand and enforce. That's why lawyers and property managers are getting rich at the expense of homeowners stuck with HOA's. We elect local governments and hire local officials to handle the complexities of property rights. HOA's should handle parties, beautification, and gripe sessions, not foreclosures and restrictions on others' freedoms. Read More...