Blog Archives

Top Two Real Estate Scams People Fall For

Our real estate fraud attorneys at Schorr Law are frequently called upon to resolve all sorts of fraudulent real estate deals. We have a lot of experience dealing with real estate scams that even the smartest people fall for. 1. Forged Deeds The most common scam we see are sales involving forged deeds.   This occurs when the seller really is not the true owner of the property, instead they have forged the prior owner’s signature in order to obtain legal title to the property.   The average buyer has no way to protect themselves against a forged deed.  There is no protection because even if the buyer had no knowledge of the forgery, the buyer can be forced to give the property back to the person whose

Posted in Forged Deeds, Real Estate Fraud

Is Foreclosure Debt Collection? 

Recently the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal shed some light on homeowners/mortgagors who, pursuant to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), sue foreclosing lenders for unlawful debt collection.   Although the Ninth Circuit has definitively decided on this matter, unfortunately, case law is still unsettled for these types of actions. For now, litigants in state courts can refer to the Ninth Circuit’s decision as good persuasive authority.  In Ho v. ReconTrust Company, NA, Judge Kozkinski held that under the FDCPA merely enforcing a security interest is not “debt collection.” (Ho v. ReconTrust Company, NA (2016) 840 F.3d 618, 624.)  However, even though the Ninth Circuit has taken a view on this issue, other circuits disagree.  (See Wilson v. Draper & Goldberg PLLC, 443 F.3d 373, 378-79 (4th Cir.

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Posted in Foreclosure, Mortgage Lender Dispute, Real Estate Attorney Los Angeles

The Effect of SNDAs in Commercial Leases at a Foreclosure Sale

A tenant’s rights and obligations after foreclosure will depend on whether the lease had priority over the deed of trust (“DOT”) or mortgage in foreclosure. (See RNT Holdings, LLC v. United General Title Insurance Company, 230 Cal. App. 4th 1289 (2d Dist. 2014).) Ordinarily, when a DOT or mortgage has priority over a subsequent lease, the lease is terminated by the foreclosure of the DOT. Thus, the tenant would no longer have a right to possession. However, a lease that is recorded prior to the DOT has priority over that DOT and will normally be unaffected in the event that the DOT is foreclosed on. The result is that the purchaser from a foreclosure sale will have title that is subject to the lease. (See

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Posted in Commercial Lease, Foreclosure, Leases

Quitclaim Deed Fraud

According to a recent ABA Journal article, some Court clerks are developing methods to deal with quitclaim deed fraud.  Specifically, the ABA notes that: Anyone who wishes to generally can file a document at the county courthouse, and most property owners likely would have no idea that a fraudulent claim to ownership had been made. However, some court officials are starting to develop new systems intended to protect those targeted in such schemes, which are much more common than they used to be. Among those taking a proactive approach is the Pinellas County, Florida, clerk’s office, which is encouraging property owners to sign up for a free service…[notifying the property owner of any transfers in their name]. We believe this is a great idea as

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Posted in Quit Claim, Quit Claim Deed Fraud

Buyer of Residential Income Property’s Easiest Way to Cancel Sale Without Breaching Contract

After a entering into a residential income property purchase agreement (as set forth in C.A.R. Form RIPA), a buyer retains substantial ability to cancel the agreement without the cancellation being deemed a breach of the agreement.  Smart buyers will want to make sure they understand their cancellation options before they sign the purchase agreement, so here is a quick run down of the easy/ most common ways to get out of the deal without breaching. Paragraph 18 of the C.A.R. form spells out the parties cancellation rights.  Generally speaking the buyer’s ability to cancel is linked to the buyer’s receipt of various disclosures and to the buyer’s release of certain contingencies.  These are a buyer’s easiest ways out the deal. Although, not within control of the buyer,

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Posted in Breach of Contract, Purchase and Sale

How to Avoid Real Estate Fraud: Suggestions for Buyers and Sellers

How to Avoid Real Estate Fraud: Suggestions for Buyers and Sellers Our Los Angeles Real Estate Lawyers have seen all sorts of real estate scams over the years that result in litigation.  Through experience dealing with real estate fraud and unscrupulous buyers and sellers we have a few tips to offer: Suggestions If You Are A Buyer Sellers engage in many types of scams.  One of the most basic types of scams is attempting to sell property that the seller does not own or that has undisclosed encumbrances or liens.  For a buyer, one of the most important things to examine during a purchase and sale transaction is the preliminary title report.  The title report gives a clear picture of recorded title and the type

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Posted in Lis Pendens, Non-Disclosure, Real Estate Fraud

Continued Tax Relief for Short Sellers?

In a short sale a lender forgives a portion of a borrower’s debt by allowing a property tax relief to be sold at less than the amount owed by the borrower.  Often times, as part of a short sale, the lender will then forgive the debt. For example, if a borrower owes $1 million on a home mortgage but their house is only worth $900,000, the borrower is sometimes able to negotiate with the bank to accept a sale to a third party for $900,000 as payment in full on the borrower’s obligation.  Ordinarily, if the lender accepts less than the full amount owed – $900,000 of $1 million in this example – then the borrower is taxed on  the $100,000 debt forgiveness as ordinary income.

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Posted in Mortgage Lender Dispute, Short Sale

Effect of a Civil Fraud Judgment On Your Life

Consumers and businesses come across deceptive behavior in the regular course of their dealings.  Some deceptive behavior is actionable, especially when a victim suffers financial or legal damages as a result.  A victim of such behavior can turn to the courts for relief from these damages under a cause of action for fraud.  However, proving fraud requires specific items of evidence under a higher burden of proof.  A judgment for fraud can have very longstanding implications for personal and professional dealings.  As such, courts are careful to make sure there is sufficient evidence to substantiate a claim of fraud. Fraud can be either civil or criminal.  Civil fraud involves a misrepresentation of the truth to persuade another to act a certain way.  The misrepresentation must

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Posted in Civil Fraud

Mechanics Liens: 90 Days To Foreclose on a Mechanic’s Lien

You probably know that a mechanics lien is a security interest in real property for those that have supplied materials or labor to improve the property, and that their purpose is to secure payment for such labor and materials.  However, you may not know that a mechanics lien expires 90 days after recording claim of lien. For contractors and subcontractors, this means that an action to foreclose on a mechanics lien on real property must be commenced within 90 days after recording the lien.   (Cal. Civil Code § 8460.) For real property owners, this means that if after 90 days, the contractor has not commenced action to enforce the lien, the owner may petition the court for an order to release the property from the

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Posted in Foreclosure, Mechanics Lien

Zachary D. Schorr’s Expert Appearance on the Dr. Phil Show

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Zachary D. Schorr has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers (Rising Stars) list for attorneys in Real Estate for 5 straight years - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state receive this honor. In 2016 he was also included as one of the top 100 lawyers in Southern California in this category. The selection for this respected list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers.

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