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Michigan Law Blog

Four Accused In Alleged Scheme To Sell Vacant Properties Across Detroit

On behalf of Fabrizio & Brook, P.C. posted in Birmingham Patch September 26, 2017 

Among the victims are 19 people from the Detroit area and four others from out of state and as far away as Ireland DETROIT, MI — Four people face numerous felony charges in what authorities describe as a scheme to con potential home owners into buying vacant properties across the city. Victims of the scheme, including 19 people from the Detroit area and four others from out of state and as far away as Ireland, were given forged ownership documents and fake deeds, authorities said.

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Keeping up with the CFPB

On behalf of Fabrizio & Brook, P.C. posted in DS news on Friday, September 1, 2017.

The Legal League 100 conducted a webinar Thursday afternoon to discuss changes in CFPB’s servicing rules. Three panelists joined in the discussion: Michelle Garcia Gilbert of Gilbert Garcia Group; Rose Marie Brook of Fabrizio & Brook, P.C.; and Stephen Hladik of Hladik, Onorato & Federman, LLP.

Continue reading   http://www.dsnews.com/daily-dose/08-31-2017/keeping-up-with-the-cfpb

The Hurdles of Housing Inventory

On behalf of Fabrizio & Brook, P.C. posted in DS news on Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

It’s a shortage of skilled labor and higher development costs that are keeping construction starts low and housing inventory strapped, according to new data from Freddie Mac. According to the GSE, the number of open construction jobs has increased steadily since the housing crisis nearly a decade ago.

According to Freddie, the housing market has largely recovered since the Great Recession—with one holdout: inventory.

“A decade after the Great Recession, the housing market is rebounding,” Freddie Mac reported. “House prices today are higher than they were at the peak in the summer of 2006, near-record-low mortgage rates have boosted housing demand, and sales volume is robust. The spoiler is the lean inventory of houses for sale.”

Currently, the nation has just a five-month supply of homes and, according to Freddie, “residential construction is not doing much to fill the gap.”

Continue reading   http://www.dsnews.com/daily-dose/08-01-2017/hurdles-housing-inventory

What is a lawyer's role when you purchase a home?

For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest financial transaction -- and the most complex -- they will complete. Because of this, most people will have dozens of questions about the process.

An experienced real estate attorney is a valuable ally when you purchase a home, a business or other piece of property. While you might believe that retaining an attorney is simply too expensive, there is no set fee for what a real estate attorney will charge. You can also ask that your attorney only handle specific tasks in order to keep the fee as low as possible. For example, you may want your attorney to handle:

How we help with the complexities of real estate law

Whenever you're buying and selling real estate, you're investing a terrific amount of capital in a tangible and valuable asset. This means that any mistakes made during the process can be highly detrimental, both in the short-term and the long-term. This is especially true for business owners, who need to keep a very close eye on assets, debts and the distribution of the cash the company has on hand. Below are a few areas in which we can help with these complex cases.

-- Real estate contracts. You never want to assume anything about a real estate contract, no matter how straightforward it seems. You must know about every clause in the contract, how said contract can be broken, when it is fully binding and how it impacts the rights of both the buyer and seller.

Quiet title claims and property ownership in Michigan

Despite what many people think, claims on real estate properties are not always clear. There may be several people who have interest in owning a piece of land outright and there are cases where people seek to have partial ownership of that land. For those seeking to clarify their ownership of a real estate, a quiet title action may be the wisest decision.

What are quiet title claims?

In situations where there are several parties who may have ownership interests, it may not be initially obvious who has the greatest claim to the property. In these types of circumstances, the property has what is known as a "clouded" title. This is when a quiet title claim should be made.

Beyond 'squatters' rights': Understanding adverse possession in Michigan

Many homeowners may not think adverse possession laws are relevant to them. After all, "squatters' rights" conjures up images of trespassers and homesteaders.

In practice, adverse possession laws are more likely to be invoked to settle relatively minor disputes over where property lines are drawn. Many of these disputes stem from misunderstanding rather than ill will.

Property line disputes between neighbors

There's a difference between having a neighbor you don't really get along with and having a neighbor who may be actively breaking the law. Landowners do have a lot of rights on their own property, but that doesn't mean they can do anything they want, especially if it impacts your life dramatically.

For example, neighbors may have disputes over their property lines. Often, this can be solved by having a survey done to find out where the line really is. In some cases, people may have spent decades assuming land was theirs when it really wasn't on their lot at all.

What do I need to know about real estate disclosures?

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should know certain things about real estate disclosures. They can come in different forms, but they are basically an opportunity for the buyer to learn as much as possible about the seller's experience in the property.

A seller's disclosures can include a wide range of knowledge about the property. For example, it could include the fact that a window leaks due to work that was done without a permit. Sellers can be protected being named in a lawsuit later with the proper disclosure. It's a chance for the seller to let potential buyers know about anything that could negatively affect the value, enjoyment or usefulness of the property.

Credit reports during collection actions may be off-limits

A recent court case out of Washington state may not have much effect on Michigan cases at the moment, but it could eventually lead to a Congressional fix for the Fair Credit and Reporting Act.

When creditors are trying to collect judgments, one of the best tools they have is a debtor's credit report. The report can show that a debtor has tried to get a new loan or has opened a savings account. These reports can lead a creditor to locate income information on a loan application that doesn't quite jive with how broke the creditor is told during debtor's examinations.

Look into easements before buying property

Thinking of buying some property and assuming you'll have 100 percent control over it once you own it? Thanks to easements, this is not always the case.

An easement doesn't take away your ownership, but it does mean that someone else has the right to do certain things on your land, with or without your permission. When you see the title for the property, the easement should be listed, so always check first. You can remove it, but only if the other party agrees. If not, it has to stay, so that should factor into your purchase decision.

4 steps to creating a limited liability company

If you're looking to create a new company, one of the first things you have to decide is what type of business you want to form. The type of business you start heavily impacts how you manage it, and it also becomes a deciding factor in how you can finance your business. One type of business you might consider is a limited liability company.

An LLC doesn't come with all the complexities of a corporation, but it does provide some financial protection for your personal assets. To figure out if an LLC is the right choice for you, you should first talk to a professional who is familiar with business litigation and law. Once you decide an LLC is the right format, you'll have to choose a business name.