Real Estate Law
- Property Sales
- Construction Problems
- Government Approvals and Permits
Buying or selling your home may be the largest and most significant purchase you will make in your life. Even though many real estate transactions use standardized form agreements, just filling in a few blanks can still be tricky.
If legal issues arise you’ll need an attorney’s help. Although real estate agents know a lot about the negotiating and contracting part of the process, they can’t answer legal questions. If you are concerned about any language in your agreements you should have an attorney look the documents over.
In real estate transactions, an attorney serves one main purpose – to protect a buyer and seller from experiencing a financial loss. An attorney familiar with real estate transactions can catch problems or mistakes that could cost you future expense.
Even after default there are several options. Renogotiation of the loan, a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy are potential options. When a lender initiates foreclosure, the process may be either judicial or by advertisement and sale. Regardless as to the form of foreclosure you have options and may have a legal defense that could stall or prevent the loss of your property.
In a judicial foreclosure, the process goes through the Circuit Court of the county where the property is located. Your lender files a lawsuit to prove that you are in default and that the lender should be allowed to foreclose and take your property.
Advertisement and sale is a non-judicial procedure, your property is taken without going to court. Notice is provided and, after 120 days, your property is sold. In this form of foreclosure, homeowners are unable to raise defenses unless they have an attorney, who can remove the foreclosure to the Circuit Court and obtain an injunction to require that the foreclosure occur in a court of law.
Responding to any default on a real estate loan will involve choices. If you are in default or are threatened with foreclosure, you should discuss your options with an attorney.
Construction problems come in many shapes and sizes so it is usually a good thing to consult an attorney as soon as problems arise. These disputes can include claims arising out of building design, construction or repair. As a general rule the first step will be to give the contractor an opportunity to correct the problem.
After that, you may want to pursue litigation or seek relief through Oregon’s Construction Contractor’s Board (CCB). After payment of a small fee, the CCB will schedule an onsite meeting with the homeowner and the contractor and then assist in reaching a settlement.
If no settlement is reached or your contractor does not perform as promised you may have to take him or her to court.
The most important document most businesses will sign is a lease. It is imperative for both the landlord and the business owner to understand the responsibilities imposed and the rights granted in their lease. Not only will this document limit what a business can do, it can create personal liability for the owner if the business fails or moves to a new location location.
Oregon law closely regulates residential leases and rental agreements. As a result, a landlord or tenant must be aware of what the law requires as well as what the rental agreement provides.
Whenever you are reviewing a lease or rental agreement, or when an eviction or lease termination is contemplated, it is a good idea to consult an attorney familiar with this area of the law.
Government Approvals and Permits
Few things can be more frustrating than trying to obtain your first permit. More often than not things will go smoothly, but if you do not understand what is required, if you are having difficulty dealing with an official, or if your permit is denied, you may want to consult with an attorney.
Sometimes relief can be obtained with a phone call, sometimes it may require a change of plans and sometimes it is appropriate to appeal the decision maker. An attorney familiar with the permit process can often help.