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Eller & Detrich
2727 East 21st Street, Suite 200
Strategic Solutions at Law..
If you've ever sold a house, you know how complicated even a simple transaction involving property can be. Real estate and property can seem like a confusing mass of regulations and statutes to people inexperienced in property law. Fortunately, property lawyers are trained professionals who specialize in streamlining the process of buying and selling property.
Short Sales, Investors, and Property Lawyers
If you are trying to complete a short sale on a property, or if you are purchasing a vacation home, you may be a consumer who needs a property lawyer. However, the majority of people who use residential property lawyers are developers or investors who are engaged in multiple complicated real estate transactions.
A property lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of any potential investment before investors make a costly mistake. Property lawyers also make sure that all transactions are conducted within the bounds of the law, and prevent future lawsuits by taking care with documentation and paperwork. It may also be beneficial to hire a property lawyer to examine other options for financing or developing a real estate transaction.
Homeowners Associations and Community Associations
While homeowners associations are initially set up for the benefit of subdivision residents, conflicts over homeowners association agreements or community association agreements can require the services of a property lawyer. If your HOA has put a lien on your property due to a violation, or if you are being fined, you may need to consult a property lawyer who is well-versed in homeowners association law to avoid losing your home to the homeowners association.
Property lawyers can become especially necessary for battling a homeowners association because it is very likely that the HOA will have a lawyer of its own. Trying to defend yourself against a seasoned attorney for the homeowners association is likely to be frustrating, costly, and time-consuming. Hiring a specialist property lawyer can take some of the weight off your shoulders so that you can focus on other parts of your life.
Foreclosure Defense Property Lawyers
American foreclosures are at an all-time high, especially in real estate markets where many homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. However, when mortgage lenders foreclose on homes, they often cut corners, depriving you of the rights you are legally entitled to. When this happens, you need to find a property lawyer who can defend you and keep you in your home.
Foreclosure defense is a relatively new specialty among property lawyers. They perform intense investigations of mortgage lender practices, and if any documents have been signed by bank employees who did not read them, or if other violations of consumer protection law are noticed, you may not only get to keep your home—you may even be entitled to compensation under the law.
Mortgage lenders have opposed the recent development of firms of property lawyers specializing in foreclosure defense, but it is important to remember that the mortgage companies will always have attorneys on their side. In order to be fairly represented in foreclosure proceedings, you may need a property lawyer in your corner.
Property Lawyers and Loan Modification
Several options exist to help consumers modify their home loans if they are facing foreclosure. Property lawyers can help to determine if any of these loan modification programs are right for you. Loan modification can reduce your payments and make it easier to continue paying for your mortgage. If your situation would not be helped by loan modification, your property lawyer can let you know about your other options, including strategic defaults and short sales.
Disputes Over Property
Sometimes, interested parties may disagree about property boundaries or who holds the title to a piece of property. Trying to investigate these legal issues without training as a property lawyer is very complicated. Boundary and title records are often difficult to search through and even more difficult to fully understand. Property law in America dates back to British common law, and is not always intuitive to an ordinary consumer—or even a real estate developer. Hiring property lawyers to assess the legal situation and research land boundaries or titles can ensure that your real estate investment is protected from lawsuits in the future.
Eminent Domain and Property Lawyers
When the government needs to take a piece of property (for instance, in order to build an interstate highway or military base), it can begin a process called “eminent domain,” in which the property owner is forced to give up the property to the government. However, property owners have rights in an eminent domain proceeding, and should find a property lawyer to represent their interests.
If your property is being taken in eminent domain proceedings, you are entitled to fair compensation under the law. Often, the government's first offer for compensation will be considerably below what you may feel your property is worth. A property lawyer can ensure that you get the best possible value out of your property when it is seized for eminent domain purposes.
Questions to Ask Your Property Lawyer
Since property lawyers can be engaged in so many different types of legal proceedings, it is important that your property lawyer isn't just an experienced attorney in general, but that he or she is experienced in the kind of case you have. An experienced foreclosure defense property lawyer may be perfect for a distressed homeowner who cannot make payments, but for a person involved in a dispute with a homeowners association, a different kind of property lawyer is needed.
Most property lawyers will allow you to have an initial consultation with them for free, which allows you to assess their experience and ability as a lawyer. Ask how many cases of this type they have handled before, what the outcome of those cases has been, and what the fee structure looks like. Remember that there are no bad questions—your property lawyer knows that you do not have the same level of expertise in law, and will explain any concepts that you are unfamiliar with or unclear about.