Articles on “Real Estate”

CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT RULES THAT DUAL AGENCY CREATES DOUBLE FIDUCIARY DUTY FOR AGENTS

Monday, November 28th, 2016

The California Supreme Court ruled that both sales agents working for the same broker in a dual agency transaction owe fiduciary duties to both the buyer and seller. This means the listing agent in a dual agency transaction has a fiduciary responsibility to inform and advise the buyer, someone whom the listing agent has probably never met and with whom he/she traditionally does not communicate directly. Conversely, the buyer’s agent has the same fiduciary responsibility to inform and advise the seller.

Read the full article »

A LISTING AGENT IS NOT LIABLE TO THE BUYER FOR MAKING A STATEMENT OF FACT REGARDING THE PROPERTY THAT IS ACCURATE BUT OUTDATED. THE SELLING AGENT IS LIABLE FOR FAILING TO EXPLAIN IT.

Monday, April 21st, 2014

The buyer of an undeveloped parcel of real estate sued the seller, listing agent and listing broker when he discovered that the property he purchased was unbuildable even though the MLS description written by the listing agent stated a geologist report concluded it was buildable.  The listing agent failed to disclose in the MLS that the geologist report was 25 years old and outdated.  The court ruled that the seller and listing agent were not liable because the MLS statement was factually accurate.  However the selling agent was found liable because he failed to review the report and failed to inform his buyer the report was unreliable.Saffie v. Schmeling (2014) 224 Cal.App.4th 563

Read the full article »

COURT CONFIRMS $100,000 JUDGMENT AGAINST PROPERTY OWNER WHO CUT DOWN A TREE STRADDLING THE PROPERTY LINE WITH HIS NEIGHBOR

Friday, October 12th, 2012

A property owner cut down a mature 70 feet tall Aleppo pine tree whose trunk was located partly on his property and partly on the neighbor’s property.   He cut down the tree thinking the tree was his and that it presented a safety hazard.  When sued by the neighbor, the trial court awarded double damages in excess of $100,000 and the appellate court affirmed.   Kallis v. Sones (2012) 146 Cal.Rptr.3d 419.

Read the full article »

AFTER JANUARY 1, 2013, HOMEOWNERS WHO REFINANCE PURCHASE MONEY LOANS AND THEN DEFAULT, WILL RETAIN ANTI-DEFICIENCY PROTECTION FOLLOWING FORECLOSURE

Monday, September 17th, 2012

CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNER BILL OF RIGHTS BECOMES LAW JANUARY 1, 2013

Monday, July 30th, 2012

In July 2012, the California legislature passed into law, the Homeowner Bill of Rights (SB 900) to help struggling homeowners by providing safeguards in the loan modification, short sale and foreclosure processes.

Read the full article »

RESPA DOES NOT PROHIBIT UNEARNED FEES CHARGED BY A SINGLE SETTLEMENT SERVICE PROVIDER

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The Supreme Court of the United States held that a lender who charges consumers an unearned fee does NOT violate RESPA §2607(b), unless the fee was given and accepted between two or more persons.  It does not bar unearned fees charged by a single service provider.  Freeman v. Quicken Loans, 566 U.S.(2012)

Read the full article »

HOMEOWNER WHO LOST HOME IN FORECLOSURE CAN SUE TO SET ASIDE TRUSTEE SALE IF LOAN WAS PREDATORY

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The 6th District Court of Appeals in California opened the door for a homeowner to sue their lender and possibly recover their home after foreclosure, if the borrower can prove that the circumstances and terms of the underlying loan were egregious, oppressive and predatory.  Lona v. Citibank 202 CA4th 89 (2011).

Read the full article »

NEW LAWS AFFECTING REAL ESTATE IN 2012

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The California legislature enacted the following new laws for 2012 that are relevant to real estate.

Read the full article »

NEW LAW PROTECTS HOMEOWNERS FROM LOAN LIABILITY AFTER A SHORT SALE

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

As of July 15, 2011, upon completion of a short sale with lenders’ approval, California law protects homeowners from ALL lenders with unpaid mortgage loan balances on the property after the sale.  The old law provided debt deficiency protection from the primary (1st) lien holder only, but not from junior a (2nd ) lienholder, who could still sue the borrower after the short sale.  New Senate Bill 458 amends Code of Civil Procedure §580e to provide liability protection to qualifying property owners from ALL mortgage lenders, not just the first lender.

Read the full article »

DRE TAKES ACTION AGAINST BROKER FOUND LIABLE FOR FRAUD IN MISREPRESENTING THE SQUARE FOOTAGE OF A RESIDENCE

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Where a civil judgment for fraud based on misrepresentation of the square footage of a residence was entered in favor of a buyer against his real estate broker the broker’s real estate license may not be suspended by the Department of Real Estate unless the judgment is based on “clear and convincing” proof of fraud. Grubb Company Inc. v. Department of Real Estate 194 CA 4th 1494 (2011).

Read the full article »