Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And now the fighting begins

With the sub-prime mortgage debacle still raging on, some buyers and borrowers are turning to the courts in an attempt to re-coup their losses. Thomas Brom, a senior editor at California Lawyer magazine (Jul. 2008), notes that 170 sub-prime mortgage related law suits were filed in the Federal courts just in the first quarter of 2008. Some California law firms are forming teams to handle the increased business in such areas as nondisclosure, misrepresentation, ERISA violations, and others. Are the claims justified and, if so, will justice be done? I remain skeptical, but I heartily concur with Mr. Brom's final comment that it will " . . . add up to a lot of work for California law firms."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lenders Required To Maintain Foreclosed homes

One of the collateral effects of the foreclosure crisis is the ensuing blight brought on by abandoned and neglected homes. A bill, SB 1137, was signed in to law by the Governor allowing cities and counties to enact ordinances to force the the lenders to maintain the properties. Typical requirements are maintaining landscaping, draining pools and spas (a serious health consideration due to mosquitoes), repairing broken windows, and keeping the premises secured from squatters and vandals. Properties in disrepair lower surrounding property values, further exacerbating the general decline in property values.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My move to Red Oak Realty

Changing brokerages was not an easy decision, but the closing of the Solano Ave. Windermere office presented an opportunity to re-assess my business. As with any difficult decision, returning to first principles and best practices clarifies the choice. The outcome became readily apparent when I narrowed the issues down to a single question: what will best serve my clients right now? Red Oak offers superb marketing, a large cadre of knowledgeable colleagues, extensive administrative support, and convenient offices in both Berkeley and Oakland.