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Real Estate Disputes Archives

Understanding the residential real estate process

When engaged in a residential real estate project, it is important for homeowners to be familiar with their rights and how to protect them. The residential real estate process can be complex and challenging, so having trained guidance throughout it can be helpful. It is important to be familiar with construction and real estate matters ranging from contract negotiations to breach of contract and other concerns.

Understanding breach of contract

Contract disputes are a serious concern for many business and real estate transactions. In general, a breach of contract is the failure of one or both parties to a contract to perform promises in the contract. When a breach of contract has been claimed, the court must evaluate several considerations when determining if a contract breach occurred.

What is an action to quiet title?

The term "title", in reference to real estate, refers to legal ownership of the property and the right to use the property. A defective title can be problematic related to the establishment of ownership. Difficulty establishing ownership can make resale efforts challenging or potentially interfere with the exercise of property rights. Actions to quiet title are actions to determine ownership of property and can resolve multiple or competing claims on property.

Understanding what makes a contract enforceable

Because strong contracts and contract relationships are vital to most businesses and business relationships today, it is helpful to know when a contract is valid and when it is enforceable. A contract is generally an agreement between parties concerning specific rights and obligations between the parties. A breach of contract can create a significant disruption for a business and may be damaging to business interests.

When a breach of contract leads to real estate litigation

Contracts are an essential aspect of real estate transactions in Pennsylvania. Because contracts are such a common part of doing business, and are important to the success of a business, it is helpful for business owners and parties engaged in a real estate transaction to understand the basics of how contracts work.

Appeals court limits scope of notice

A notice of lis pendens is frequently filed by one or more parties to a lawsuit that may affect the title to or enforceability of a lien on real property. Pennsylvania courts recognize a writ of lis pendens as a means of notifying innocent parties that title to the real estate may be affected by the outcome of the real estate dispute. The filing of a praecipe (notice) of lis pendens does not create a lien on the property, but it can affect the title holder's ability to sell the property or to borrow money using the property as collateral. A recent decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania has defined important limits to the use of lis pendens.

What is a partition action?

Real property is commonly owned by two or more persons or parties. A common example is a parcel of real property that is given to two or more siblings by their father, or that is owned by a partnership. If the co-owners agree on management or sale of the parcel, they can share its benefits for many years. If, however, the co-owners disagree on whether to sell the property or on how to manage it, Pennsylvania law gives them the right to resolve their property dispute by asking the court to divide the property.

Homeowners complain about how Philly banks deal with mortgages

Trying to re-negotiate the terms of a mortgage can be a difficult and often financially punitive process. According to a recently released study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency of the federal government, an unpleasant experience dealing with a bank about the terms of an existing or new mortgage is the number one complaint about Philadelphia banks as judged by their customers.

Resolving disputed ownership claims for real property

As we have noted before in this blog, land is a unique form of property where mere possession does not necessary indicate ownership. In a city as old as Philadelphia, a single parcel of land may have been sold, subdivided or had its boundaries modified on dozens of occasions. Determining ownership in such cases may be necessary to secure a loan, to obtain development approval from the City or resolve the status of property bequeathed in a will.

Sale of Greylock Estate complicated by liens and easements

A large residential property stands vacant, leaving a mortgage in default and unpaid back taxes. The property is worth more than the accumulated mortgage deficiency and unpaid taxes, so the solution seems simple: sell the property and pay the taxes and mortgage arrearage out of the proceeds. The seeming simplicity of this solution can run into trouble when the property is a historic mansion in Chestnut Hill and any sale can entail a number of real estate disputes.

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