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Home / Firm Blog / Real Estate Law

Real Estate Law

30
November
2015

TERMINATION OF OIL OR GAS INTERESTS IN LAND/ DORMANT MINERALS ACT

554.291 Oil or gas interest in land; abandonment; claim of interest; vesting in surface owner; preservation from disclosure.

Categories: Real Estate Law

14
November
2015

Common Forms of Ownership of Real Estate

tenants in common, joint tenants with full rights of survivorship and tenancy by the entireties

Categories: Real Estate Law, Banking/Credit Unions

19
October
2015

Partition

When co-owners of real estate cannot agree.

Categories: Real Estate Law

26
September
2015

Dower – is this really still the law in Michigan?

Dower – is this really still the law in Michigan?

Categories: Real Estate Law

21
February
2014

Adverse Possession

Client: Are you telling me that my neighbor gets part or whole of my property, just because I did not care about it during a time when he maintained my property by doing the landscaping and by placing a fence around it.

Lawyer: Absolutely yes. Michigan recognizes certain patterns of conduct between property owners, which, after a period of years, will result in the transfer of property from one owner to another who is called an Adverse Possessor.

Adverse Possession is a doctrine under which a person in possession of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain requirements are met, and the adverse possessor is in possession for a sufficient period of time, as defined by statute of limitations. The used or occupied land may be transferred to the adverse person or neighbor without any agreement or payment.

Categories: Real Estate Law

19
April
2013

Steps Required for an Assignment of Rents

Michigan law permits borrowers to assign rents from their commercial and industrial properties (other apartments with less than six units and family residences) to their lenders as security for their loan. The lender, however, may only collect the rents completing several steps.  For assistance with assignment of rents, please contact us.

 

Written by: David J. Williams Categories: Real Estate Law, Business Law, Banking/Credit Unions

08
March
2013

Affidavit of Allodial Title Clouds Title

We don't normally follow criminal cases, but People v. Johnson-El, a published Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, caught our attention.  In this case, Defendant Johnson-El is a member of the Washitaw Nation.  Johnson-El wandered around Detroit and recorded Affidavits of Allodial Title on properties he thought looked abandoned or in foreclosure, claiming that as a Washitaw Moor his title is superior to that of the home owner's or the bank's.  As a law firm that deals with title insurance issues, we know that there are many clouds on title that pop up.  Having a random person drive by and decide to claim your house as his own is an extreme example.

Categories: Real Estate Law

24
December
2012

Michigan Supreme Court on Kim v JPMorgan Chase: If the FDIC wanted to transfer by operation of law, it should have

On December 21, 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court released its opinion on Kim v JPMorgan Chase.  Back in February, we reviewed the opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals in which MCOA held that since the FDIC assigned Washington Mutual's assets to JPMorgan Chase rather than transferred them by operation of law, JPMorgan Chase needed to record each assigned mortgage in order to foreclose, rendering any foreclosure void ab initio.  MSC agreed that FDIC transferred Washington Mutual's assets to JPMorgan Chase by assignment, not by law, but that any resulting foreclosure is voidable, not void.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

19
November
2012

Cash under the mattress not as reliable as a receipt for real property purchases

In an unpublished opinion dated November 15, 2012 in Bennett v Bugbee, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Saginaw Circuit Court’s order denying plaintiff Robert Bennett’s request to quiet title to real property in his favor because there was no evidence that consideration was paid.  This case shows the importance of being able to provide a paper trail, especially when money and real property is involved.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

16
November
2012

Loan modification requirements are two-way streets

In an unpublished opinion dated November 15, 2012 in Bonsu v Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Wayne Circuit Court’s order granting summary disposition in favor of the mortgagee.  Attorneys at the Gallagher Law Firm frequently represent parties with foreclosure disputes.  Contact us today.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law

10
October
2012

Dispute foreclosures within the redemption period

In an unpublished opinion dated October 9, 2012 in Tipton v Flagstar Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the Washtenaw Circuit Court’s grant of summary disposition in favor of Flagstar.  If you are involved in a foreclosure, make sure all promises from the mortgagee are in writing and that you take timely action to preserve your rights.

Categories: Case Summaries, Real Estate Law, Banking/Credit Unions

13
August
2012

CitiMortgage's Equitable Subrogation ruling applies retroactively

In an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in National City Mortgage v Mercantile Bank that the equitable subrogation ruling in CitiMortgage Inc v MERS applies retroactively as long as the lawsuit was filed after the recording statute was amended in 2008.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Real Estate Law

20
June
2012

Lost Note not road block to foreclosing mortgage securing established debt

In Sallie v. Fifth Third Bank, a published opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a bank could foreclose on a mortgage even if the note secured by the mortgage is lost as long as the mortgage contains a power of sale and the underlying debt is established...

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance

03
February
2012

Successor Interests: Record ALL of your Assignments

In Kim v JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's decision and found a sheriff's sale to be void for lack of record chain of title linking the mortgage interest to JP Morgan Chase.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

27
January
2012

Gray v Burns - It doesn't matter if an unrelated party acquiesced to the boundary

In Gray v Burns, an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the Kalamazoo Circuit Court's decision to reform the parties' deeds because the boundary line that the trial court considered was acquiesced to was not the property line between the parties.

Written by: Rebecca Stephen Categories: Real Estate Law

20
January
2012

Reinstated Corporations have a retroactive legal existence, but not necessarily an actual one

In Woodbury v. Res-Care Premier, Inc., a published opinion, the Michigan Court of appeals reversed the trial court's decision to grant summary disposition in favor of the subdivision, Center Woods, reasoning that Center Woods had automatically dissolved in 1993 and was not a valid legal entity at the time of defendant Res-Care's purchase of defendant Averill's property, so Averill was not required to give notice or right of first refusal to Center Woods.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Business Law

18
January
2012

Tenant improvements do not establish a homestead exemption in equity

In an unpublished opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's summary disposition in Rule v. US Bank, stating that a mortgagee has no duty to investigate unrecorded property interests prior to foreclosure and is allowed to rely on the record of title.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance

16
January
2012

Pick a State: Wife denied Michigan principal residence exemption because of her husband’s exemption in Illinois

In Levenfeld v County of Berrien, an unpublished opinion by the Michigan Court of Appeals, MCOA affirmed the Michigan Tax Tribunal's denial to grant Levenfeld a principal residence exemption due to adherence to the language in the statute.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

13
January
2012

Successor Interests: Record your Assignments

In Kim v JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the lower court's decision and found a sheriff's sale to be void for lack of record chain of title linking the mortgage interest to JP Morgan Chase.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Litigation, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

05
January
2012

Equitable Subrogation: It’s not volunteering when you’re helping yourself

Peter Brown and Adam Holland, attorneys at the Gallagher Law Firm, have prepared the following article relating to the recent case about equitable subrogration in Michigan. The article was published on the

In December 2011, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion in CitiMortgage, Inc. v MERS, Inc. that addressed and expanded the doctrine of equitable subrogation in Michigan. The Court held that if the refinancing lender is the holder of the original mortgage that is being refinanced, the new mortgage can be subrogated to take the position of the original mortgage and it may retain the original mortgage's priority over intervening mortgages.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Insurance, Banking/Credit Unions

05
October
2011

The Difference Between Vacant and Unoccupied

In EldenBrady v. City of Albion, No. 297735, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the Michigan Tax Tribunal's decision that an abandoned school building on ten acres of residential-zoned land adjacent to a residential dwelling prevents the parcel from being vacant and thus not eligible to be included in the principal residence exemption.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

24
August
2010

10 Tips to Avoid Foreclosure

If you fail to make your home mortgage payments, your lender may initiate foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosure is the legal means that your lender can use to repossess your home. If your property is worth less than the total amount you owe on your mortgage loan, a deficiency judgment could be pursued by the lender. If that happens, you not only lose your home, you would also owe your lender an additional amount to make up for the difference between the amount owed on the mortgage and the foreclosure sale price of the house. Both foreclosures and deficiency judgments could seriously affect your ability to qualify for credit in the future. Below are 10 valuable tips provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about avoiding foreclosure:

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy

23
August
2010

Land Contracts

The use of land contracts is increasing as traditional financing is not available to most purchasers based on increased lending requirements and decreased appraised values. Use of a land contract may be the only way to close a sale in this slow real estate market. This relieves the seller of continuing to pay the carrying costs, taxes, maintenance and insurance for the property while waiting for a purchaser with bank financing. A land contract seller may also be able to charge up to 11% interest on most land contracts which can be very attractive compared with other investments.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law

10
August
2010

Introduction to MERS

What is MERS?

MERS is a name frequently heard in court in connection with mortgage issues. Much litigation revolves around mortgages and often it is unclear to litigants how MERS operates. Often the issue is whether MERS should be a party to the litigation or if it has standing to be a party. Of course, each is case is different.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Litigation, Banking/Credit Unions

29
July
2010

Extension of the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA)

Earlier this month, the Lansing City Council approved an Obsolete Property Tax Rehabilitation Tax Abatement for Michigan State University Federal Credit Union‘s (MSUFCU) planned ninth branch, located in downtown Lansing at 104 South Washington Square.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Tax Law, Real Estate Law

12
July
2010

The Creditor’s Right to Foreclose a Mortgage after Bankruptcy

Discharge of a debtor's personal liability by way of bankruptcy does not automatically extinguish or satisfy a lien against real property. As recognized by the United State Supreme Court, ordinarily liens on real property and other secured interests survive a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Written by: Pat Gallagher Categories: Real Estate Law, Bankruptcy , Banking/Credit Unions