California Real Estate Law: Everything You Need to Know

foreclosureReal estate problems are overwhelming and complicated for all parties involved. There are legalities regarding so many specific details that it’s almost impossible to know everything. Although consulting with professionals is recommended, it also helps to be knowledgeable on some real estate issues.

Here are a few important things that all California residents should know:

  • Closing Time — Every situation is different, but on average, it takes approximately 40 days to close on a house. Working out the exact details should be done so there are no surprises, but 40 days should work as a rough estimate for most housing deals.

  • Property Law — Under title 10 of the California Civil Procedures Code, a property that is abandoned or lost shall be classified as “unclaimed property.” An unclaimed status can last for three years. Afterwards, the property escheats to the California government if it has yet to be claimed.

  • Foreclosure Process — Approximately one out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon. California law requires proper notice and enough time to pay before a home is sold in a foreclosure sale.

  • Eviction Process — Landlords must provide at least 60 days’ notice to a tenant in the event of an eviction. The tenant must have a sufficient amount of time to vacate the premises. This rule only applies to tenants who have lived on the property for more than one year.

  • Disclosure — According to California law, real estate agents are required to disclose any information regarding a death occurring on the property within three years before a sale.

  • Required Documents — The Statute of Frauds in California requires three types of documents to be in writing at the time of the sale:
      • Commission agreements between parties.
      • Leases over one year.
      • Real estate licensees and contracts.

      This information is important to know and can assist you with issues regarding a property. However, it’s important to consult with experienced and professional real estate attorneys before, during, and after any property transaction. Whether it’s a foreclosure, eviction, home sale, or apartment rental, professional real estate agents can help.

      Contact DiJulio Law Group today for assistance

Eviction and Foreclosures Are Scary Situations; Get the Help You Need

eviction processEveryone’s situation is different regarding home ownership. You may be financially secure and capable of supporting yourself and maintaining a home, but then, all of a sudden, life happens and you face some very serious problems.

In 2013, one out of every 96 residences reported, at least, one foreclosure. These things happen, but they don’t have to be the end of the world. If you’re struggling, get the necessary help you need to make these difficult times, like going through the eviction process or foreclosure process, as stress-free as possible.

Getting help from a real estate law firm that will lead you to a professional real estate attorney can be all the help that you need. They are experienced in dealing with evictions and can guide you through the entire eviction process.

Once the eviction process reaches a court setting, a judge will decide the case, on average, within 20 days after the original tenant filed the request. Real estate attorneys are knowledgeable on the important aspects of these issues and can help get you through this hard time.

Out of every 200 homes, one will be foreclosed upon. There are state laws and regulations that require proper notices to be given to the homeowners and given enough opportunities to pay before the property is foreclosed and sold. Knowing when your home is at risk of foreclosure is essential so you will be prepared enough to contact a real estate attorney and consult with them. They will guide you on where to go from here and show you all the necessary steps to getting back on your feet.

For homeowners, going through evictions or foreclosures can seem like it’s the worst feeling in the world, but it’s important to remain calm in these situations and know there are always ways of bettering your situation. Professional real estate law firms offer guidance and support to homeowners who are going through these tough times. Consulting with a real estate attorney can make these horrible situations a little better.

If you have any questions or concerns, consult a real estate attorney today!

Foreclosure 101: What You Need To Know

foreclosure processIt is a lot easier to get a mortgage than it is to maintain one. In fact, one in every 96 homes reported at least one foreclosures filing in 2013, and in general, one out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed upon. It may take around 40 days to close on a house, but it only takes a couple of missed payments to end in foreclosure.

Before you get swept away by the overwhelming and confusing foreclosure process, make sure you know all the facts and all your options.

What is it?

Foreclosure is basically the process by which a homeowner’s property is seized because of failure to pay the mortgage. Typically, if the homeowner cannot pay the balance of the mortgage, the house goes up on auction, or becomes the property of the institution that lent the mortgage in the first place.

How does it work?

There is ample warning before a foreclosing. Notification of missed payments is followed by a public notice, or Notice of Default. After this notice is received, the homeowner has a grace period called pre-foreclosure, in which they have time to try to make other arrangements, bargain with the lending company, or come up with money to complete payments.

Finally, if all else fails, the house goes up for auction, where the highest bidder wins the rights to the house. In many states, the owner still retains the “rights of redemption,” meaning they can stop the foreclosure by coming up with the outstanding cash.

How can I avoid this process?

The number one way to avoid foreclosure is to pay your mortgage payments on time and in full. And of course, this further means that it is important to not assume a mortgage that you are 100% positive you can maintain payments on.

If its too late for that, it is in your best interest to enlist in the help of a real estate lawyer. They are experienced in the nuances of the foreclosure process and real estate contracts and may be able to see an new angle of the issue. Sometimes, loan renegotiation or different repayment plans are possible solutions that can be worked out directly with the lender.

Most of all, don’t panic. Investigating refinancing options, or even selling your house before foreclosure can be effective in getting you out ahead.

3 Possible Ways To Stop the Foreclosure Process on Your Home

foreclosure processIf you’re facing a possible foreclosure on your home, you’re probably very stressed out and worried about a lot of complicated problems — from the daily tasks like getting dinner on the table, to the long-term possibilities of not having a home anymore. Your best option is to contact a real estate attorney with experience handling the foreclosure process. In the meantime, however, here are a few possible ways that you may be able to stop the foreclosure process on your home:

  • Bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy is a pretty drastic measure to take if you’re faced with foreclosure, but it’s sometimes the best option if you’re dealing with a lot of debt to multiple lenders. It will hurt your overall credit score for quite a while but you’ll likely receive an automatic stay on your home until the court can decide how to proceed with your case.

  • Loan Modifications: In the state of California there’s something called a Homeowner Bill of Rights, and this means that loan servicers must either grant or deny a first-lien loss mitigation application before the foreclosure process begins. This prohibits a practice called dual tracking, which is when the lender proceeds with a foreclosure even as a loss mitigation application is pending. This isn’t a long-term fix, but it can give you some time to make a plan while still living under your own roof.

  • File a Lawsuit: If your lender isn’t processing the foreclosure while abiding by all state and federal regulations, you may be able to file a lawsuit to stop the foreclosure of your home. In this case, you’ll need to prove that the foreclosure is not valid and therefore shouldn’t take place because the lender is at fault. The specific reasons might include the lender’s violation of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, the lender neglecting to follow all steps in the foreclosure process, or the lender making a grievous error which has affected you.

It’s very important to understand that, if you’re facing a possible foreclosure, you don’t have to face it alone. It’s estimated that around one in every 200 homes is foreclosed upon (and this was even cut in half to one in every 96 homes back in 2013). Considering that the average Californian home costs around $393,000, you’re dealing with some pretty heavy financial stuff — and turning to a real estate lawyer for help is always a good idea.

Foreclosure by Power of Sale

Foreclosure by power of sale may be preferable

California allows foreclosure by the power of sale which is generally a more expedient way of foreclosing on a property, when compared with foreclosure by judicial sale. Foreclosure by power of sale involves the sale of the mortgaged property by the mortgage holder (usually a bank or other lender), rather than a sale supervised by the court. As it reduces the time spent in selling a foreclosed property considerably, foreclosure by power of sale may be preferable.

The majority of states allow foreclosure by power of sale. After the sale, proceeds go first to the mortgage holder. If there is any money left over, it will go to those who are holding liens on the property and then to the borrowers. Foreclosure by the power of sale accomplishes the same thing as a judicial sale.

When a “power-of-sale” clause is included in a deed of trust or mortgage, the borrower pre-authorizes the sale of the property to pay off the balance on a loan if the borrower defaults (fails to make the loan payment when due).

The power given to sell the property is generally given to the trustee who acts on behalf of the beneficiary (lender) by recording and sending Notice of Default and Notice of Sale.

However, there are some legal questions associated with this method of foreclosure.

Foreclosure when the mortgage holder is a government entity

Some state “power of sale” laws have resulted in questions of constitutionality. It has been argued in several cases that foreclosure by power of sale legislation fails to comply with the notice and hearing requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. Courts have consistently rejected this theory when it comes to private foreclosure actions when there is no public official conducting the foreclosure sale. With no public official present, there is no state action necessary to invoke the terms of the Fourteenth Amendment.

However, there have been rulings indicating that if the mortgage holder is a government entity or if a public official conducts the foreclosure sale, the Fourteenth Amendment might be invoked and stricter notice requirements might apply. The case law on this issue is so far unsettled.

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