Real Estate Practice
We routinely serve the interests of our clients across a wide spectrum of real estate matters. We have extensive experience in representing builders, developers, real estate owners and tenants in all aspects of real property acquisition, disposition, leasing and operation.
From preparing and negotiating real estate purchase agreements and leases, to conducting due diligence and negotiating loan documents, we understand how to structure a deal and listen to our clients to meet their needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are title endorsements?
Endorsements are “riders” to the title policies which will normally expand the standard coverage provided by the title policy. These endorsements can relate to such things as: contiguity (insurance that two or more parcels are contiguous to one another); zoning (insurance that property has specific zoning designation and that a certain use is permitted); issues related to variable rate mortgages (insuring that a mortgage will not become invalid or unenforceable resulting from a change in the interest rate); access (insuring that the real estate has access to a physically open public road); as well as numerous other matters.
What is a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?
A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure is a process by which a debtor deeds real estate subject to a mortgage in favor of the lender, directly to the lender without the lender having to go through the foreclosure process.
What is the difference between a general warranty deed and a limited warranty deed?
A general warranty deed is a deed that expressly guaranties the grantor’s good, clear title. In addition, it provides that the grantor will guaranty to defend the grantee’s right of title against all claims arising from any period prior to the date that the grantor transferred property to the grantee, whether or not the grantor owned the property at the time the defect occurred.
A limited warranty deed also guaranties the grantor’s good, clear title; however, the limited warranty deed only requires the grantor to defend the grantee’s right to title against such claims that arose during the time that the grantor actually owned the property.
What is the difference between a title search, a title commitment and a title policy?
A title search is nothing more than a snapshot of the liens and encumbrances that exist on a particular piece of real estate. However, the title company performing the title search does not normally have any liability to the person requesting the search if it is incorrect.
A title commitment incorporates a title search, but also lists certain requirements by which the owner or the lender may obtain a title policy.
A title policy is indemnity insurance against a loss resulting from defects in the title to the real estate. Typically, the title policy states that the owner is the outright owner of the real estate subject only to the exceptions contained in the policy. If a lien, encumbrance or other defect in the title occurs prior to the issuance of the policy, but is not known until after the issuance of the policy, the owner of the policy will be covered for such damage that occurs up to limits set forth in the policy.
What risks are associated with a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure?
A Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure will not extinguish junior liens on the real estate. Therefore, if junior liens exist on the real estate, the lender will still need to go through the foreclosure process to have those liens extinguished. In addition, the Deed must contain “anti-merger language” to ensure that the lender’s mortgage does not merge into the lender’s ownership of the real estate thereby propelling any junior liens ahead of the lender’s mortgage. As well, the lender will want to obtain an appraisal on the real estate to make sure that the value of the real estate is not in excess of the remaining balance owed by the debtor to the lender.