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Just about every state has what’s called a “mechanics lien law” where even the equipment serves as real property that can be utilized by a contractor for improvement of a structure, and if the owner of such property doesn’t pay for services completed, the lien legally allows the contractor the right to own said equipment upon sale. Yes, you heard correctly. If you have a mechanic, say, working on your car, and you don’t pay him/her, you can look at it this way: that mechanic now owns your car!

That’s a bit of a stretch when it comes to real estate law, though, but you get the picture. In particular, the state of Maine holds one of the strongest mechanics lien laws to date, applying not only to builders, but everyone from the realty side, architecture, land surveys, landscaping and even equipment supplying. Tenants, too, may even have certain rights regarding construction improvements in the sense that they require the owners’ consent and can hire a contractor for such improvements.

Typically, the statute of limitations for such lawsuits regarding a mechanics lien would be a period of 120 days from the last day of work on the project, period. This protects the contractors, for sure, and it holds owners liable for that accountability to ensure everyone gets their due.

Real estate law is, undoubtedly, fair, don’t you think? Congrats to Maine for ensuring that, among other states as well. If you have any other questions, of course, about what you, as an owner, should do – or you, as a contractor, can do – always consult with an attorney. It may be the best decision you’ll make.

Real Estate Law Presenting the Risks of REITs: in Law We Trust

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on July 13, 2014

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Real estate law is all about risk. Don’t deny it. That’s actually part of the joy of it, to be honest. With that risk, though, comes a little thing called trust – REITs, to be exact. Those are “real estate investment trusts,” a way of ensuring that if anything bad happens in a piece of property – most notably commercial property, such as plants and factories – the REIT acts as that financial safety net to make sure you don’t end up with too many money headaches.

In particular, senior housing asset investments would need to be prolific about the REITs available. However, while a taxable REIT subsidiary (TRS) can be available for utilization, there’s a possibility that operating or owner problems can still occur on a legal or reputational level. Considering the ramifications would be crucial. This is the case of the fact that a REIT now has a rather large material investment on the TRS, and for good reason. There are additional risks to that change, though; there are, however, new benefits, and a procedure allowing anyone to mitigate risk as much as necessary.

Consider the REIT Investment Diversification and Empowerment Act (RIDEA), too, as a figurehead for this new form of accountability in real estate law. It may change the playing field dramatically.

Personally, what I believe you should do is evaluate your situation, take a look at your operational and legal resources, and see what the underwriting structure looks like. Be sure to review leases and agreements with management as well. Leave no stone unturned.

HOEPA and Repayment Issues: Real Estate Law’s Removal of TILA Points and Fees

July 12, 2014
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Real estate law, for sure, isn’t a true constant by any stretch. If anything, you’re looking at a finite and malleable entity with all the changing laws and such, and in this case, with regard to the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), changes run amuck here, but oftentimes for good reason.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Change It Up in Real Estate Law

July 11, 2014
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Aside from sounding like Hollywood’s next foray into the romantic comedy or buddy cop movie scene, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are honestly nothing more than a mortgage association and finance company respectively. When it comes to real estate law, there might as well be a red carpet for these anyway, because they’re two of the biggest entities in the industry as it stands.

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New Developments in Real Estate: Mandatory Pooling and Fixed Values

July 10, 2014
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Commercial real estate can be so complicated. Thankfully, you have the experts here to explain it all away, communicating the trends in the legal industry and legislation. As it stands, capital allowances for the disposal of fixtures in factories are now applicable with real estate law. You heard it first here.

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