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Do real estate disputes always require court intervention?

Although the darkest hours of the housing crisis may be over, an attorney that focuses on real estate law might caution against assuming that the mortgage industry has been completely reformed.

Granted, there are ways that a lender can protect itself, with foreclosure being a highly visible option. Yet foreclosure procedures are governed by state law and can present an administrative hassle. Since a borrower generally is afforded an opportunity to redeem the property, a needless administrative expense might be incurred.

Are there other options for resolving real estate disputes? Our firm focuses on this area of law and can provide advocacy in a broad range of matters. For example, if a business is experiencing a temporary cash flow issue, it might be in both parties’ best interest to simply renegotiate the terms of a commercial lease.

Yet problems may arise well before a commercial tenant has occupied a property. For example, land use and zoning appeals might be brought in the middle of a project’s construction. Although a developer may have obtained all the necessary approvals from the applicable zoning authority, disputes might still arise that can bring construction to a halt.

If construction involves a variety of contractors and subcontractors, commercial property might be encumbered by a mechanic’s lien. If a dispute arises between developers and project owners, attempts might be made to foreclose on those mechanic’s liens.

As a recent article reminds us, disputes might even arise in the case of large-scale projects with securitized mortgages. If an inflated rating was given to certain mortgage securities, both federal and state laws might be implicated. A real estate attorney can help draft transactional documents that plan for contingencies, but third-party actions might give rise to unforeseen liabilities. When disputes arise, a real estate attorney can be your advocate.

Source: Telegram & Gazette, “S&P paying $1.38B to settle charges over crisis-era ratings,” Feb. 3, 2015

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