lawyer on your side to protect your interest. All contracts are not the same, and you want to know what it all means before you sign. A lawyer from the Bloomfield Law Group, Inc., can review your documentation for a reasonable fixed fee and alert you to problems and give you peace of mind.
Foreclosures and Mortgage Default Notices
Given the recent history of plummeting home prices and risky lending practices, many people who never expected it are finding themselves served with default notices and threatened sales of their homes. We help people every day who for various reasons have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and face losing their homes. While bankruptcy is one option, we have other creative ways of forestalling a foreclosure and negotiating with lenders, up to and including suing lenders for predatory lending practices and toxic loans. At any given time we have a number of lawsuits in progress against major banks, often with temporary restraining orders and/or preliminary injunctions in force preventing a foreclosure sale or prohibiting improper and abusive lending practices.
Whether you are a tenant in dispute with a landlord or are a landlord who needs help dealing with a tenant, our firm's extensive and practical experience can solve your problem and save you worry and money. Even experienced landlords often do not understand their obligations, duties and rights, and can either abuse their authority or fail to properly exercise their rights. Tenants have reciprocal duties and rights, and are even less likely to understand them than landlords. We represent both types of client, whether effecting a difficult unlawful detainer eviction for a landlord or fighting against an improper eviction for a tenant. In addition to our legal experience in the area, Bloomfield Law Group, Inc. attorneys have decades of experience as landlords (and tenants) and bring a special understanding of the practical aspects of the transactions which allows us to more quickly and intelligently solve tenancy issues.
Boundaries and Easements
Good fences may make good neighbors, but only if you know where to place the fence. Where your property begins and ends is a very significant issue, and often it is not certain or clear even when looking at plat maps or property descriptions. Uncertain boundaries can lead to construction issues or disputes between neighbors. Boundaries may also be impacted by use; a neighbor may have established a prescriptive easement through years of encroaching upon your property with a fence, driveway or simple frequent use.
An easement is a right given to another person or entity to trespass upon land that person or entity does not own. For example, easements are used for roads or given to utility companies for the right to bury cables or access utility lines. Landlocked home owners sometimes pay for an easement to cross the land of another to reach their home.
Easements run with the land. Almost every home has an easement. It is important to look for easements in the public records, especially if a prospective buyer plans to put in a swimming pool or make any other significant alteration to the property. A property owner cannot properly build on top of an easement.
Before purchasing a property, a buyer should check for easements. If there is an easement on the property, the buyer should contact the lawyers at Bloomfield Law Group, Inc. for legal advice on the easement and how it affects the property and any future development plans.
Construction Defect Suits
Your home may be your castle, but when you have a contractor working on it you can find the enemy inside the walls. Many contractors are professional and reliable, and perform their work as agreed upon. Some, however, either intentionally or unintentionally leave you with problems you did not plan on. When you are left with work undone, or done improperly or with the wrong materials, you may have no choice but take legal action.
Because we both prosecute and defend construction defect cases, we understand the defenses that will be offered and can often either settle your case without mediation or a trial or prevail with the jury.
Consumers also have sensational remedies if your contractor does not reach close to perfection in three areas: (1) Does your contractor have his license valid at all relevant times; (2) does and did the contractor have workers compensation insurance in force at all times relevant to your contract; and/or (3) does and did the contractor report his full payroll to workers compensation? It is an odd and highly technical aspect of the law. If your contractor falls short in area 1, 2, or 3, even just “a little bit”, then any and all of the following may apply: (A) the contractor may not be able to recover any money from you on the building project at all; (B) the contractor may be obligated to refund all money received from you; (C) the contractor may be fined and assessed triple these amounts, which then may be payable to you. So, sadly for contractors but happily for some consumers, the consumer, business property owner, or homeowner may make a huge windfall profit if the contractor has not been well counseled, and has not carefully followed legal advice so as to stay 100% in compliance with items 1, 2, and 3 above.
Contractors often think that, if they have insurance, they have no worries about construction defect suits. Sadly, they often learn too late that they thought wrong. Terms and limitations in policies which might appear unimportant suddenly take on special - and often heart-breaking - significance once you file a claim. You will be threading a maze of "course of construction," "resultant damage," and "date reported" versus "date discovered" questions and exclusions which can leave you asking your adjuster if anything is covered under the policy.
Bloomfield Law Group, Inc., works with our contractor clients before, during and after a job to help prevent lawsuits from being filed, defend the work as necessary, and bring reluctant insurers on board to pay for your defense and possible settlement.
While many individuals go to a medical doctor for periodic checkups, the contractor does not typically come to a lawyer until a dispute is hemorrhaging. There are many preventive measures that can be taken to reduce or eliminate the need for legal intervention.
First, it is critical to make a record of all proposals. Even if the amount involved does not justify a formal contract, there is no reason that a confirming letter or facsimile cannot be sent. The preferred mechanism is to send an engagement letter with a signature line for the prospective client to sign and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Even without the client's signature, if an engagement letter or fax is sent to a client, and the client does not object, and the contractor or architect rendered services based upon that letter, the law will create an enforceable contract whatever terms are set forth in that letter.
Such record-keeping is especially important when extras and change orders come into play. These are among the most commonly litigated issues and can be easily eliminated by a confirming letter. Recognizing the realities of construction administration and the difficulty of obtaining a signature on a construction site, at the very least a confirming fax or email should be sent the next day which sets forth the nature of the extra, the cost of the extra, the individual who authorized the extra work and the effect of the extra work on any time schedule, and work may need to be halted until the owner signs the changes. This is a delicate balancing process. The way it is done - exactly what is documented and what words are in the documents signed - can completely change the outcome of a future dispute. These type of preventive measures both minimize the need for an attorney involvement later and make it much easier for you to get a good result once an attorney has to be involved.
Bloomfield Law Group, Inc., has a long and productive history of working with contractors at all stages of construction and any resultant disputes with property owners. Call for a free 30-minute consultation to identify areas you may have exposure, review your form contracts, or discuss potential or ongoing litigation.
If someone disputes your title to real property, or you think there might be reason to be concerned that your claim to title is free and clear, you need help in filing an action to quiet title. An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over land disputes, in order to establish a party's title to real property against anyone and everyone, and thus "quiet" any challenges or claims to the title.
This legal action is brought to remove a cloud on the title so that plaintiff and those in privity with her may forever be free of claims against the property.
Let Bloomfield Law Group, Inc., set your mind at ease and perfect your title.
Nuisances and Bad Conduct by Neighbors
You have legal options when the neighbor's dogs bark all night every night, or they excavate a deck that leads to damage to your property. We have many tools we can use to help you get court orders enjoining nuissances like excessive noise, earth movement and landslides, loose animals causing harm, and other undesirable conditions eminating from your neighbor's property.
Bloomfield Law Group, Inc.
A Professional Corporation
Real Estate Law
901 E Street, Suite 100, San Rafael CA 94901 415-454-2294 415-457-5348 Fax Info@njblaw.com
At the Bloomfield Law Group we provide you with the tools you need to establish a successful real estate agreement or defend your rights during real estate litigation. From our law office in San Rafael, we have represented buyers, sellers, property owners, developers, contractors, and other professionals throughout California for more than 30 years.
Buying a home or a piece of real property is one of the biggest transactions most people make. You want everything done properly so there are no surprises down the road. While form contracts may appear uniform and trustworthy, the test is in the details, and it is best to have an experienced