Author: Oscar Alvarez

May a court order a property with multiple owners be sold before each owner’s interests are determined?

Summers v. Superior Court (Tan) Facts: Three property owners co-own a property. The owners disagree on the percentage of each owner’s interests. The first owner is granted a partition action to divide the property according to their interests and sell it, but the owners’ interests are not determined. Claim: The first owner seeks to sell the property and hold the sale money in escrow until the disputed ownership interests are resolved, claiming the property’s ownership interests were already determined since the three owners agree they jointly own the property. Counterclaim: The second and third owners claim selling it first...

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May a trustee retain surplus funds from a foreclosure sale while a wrongful foreclosure action is pending?

Placer Foreclosure, Inc. v. Aflalo Facts: A homeowner obtains a mortgage from a lender, which is secured by the homeowner’s property. The homeowner experiences financial difficulties and defaults on the mortgage. The lender completes a trustee’s foreclosure sale of the property. The foreclosure sale results in surplus funds that exceed the homeowner’s debt owed to the lender. The homeowner files a wrongful foreclosure action to quiet title to the property. Claim: The homeowner seeks the foreclosure sale surplus funds from the trustee, claiming they are entitled to the funds since homeowners are to receive any funds remaining from a...

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May a credit reporting agency (CRA) be held liable for Fannie Mae’s incorrect classification of a short sale as a foreclosure?

Shaw v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Facts: A distressed homeowner short sells their property which was secured by a mortgage. A credit reporting agency (CRA) accurately reports this on the homeowner’s credit report using a proprietary code format. Fannie Mae’s credit analysis software misinterprets the CRA’s code format and treats the short sale as a foreclosure. The homeowner attempts to obtain a mortgage but is denied because the lender is using Fannie Mae’s credit analysis software. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) imposes penalties on CRAs which misrepresent consumer information. Claim: The homeowner seeks money losses from the CRA,...

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Zestimates are great conversation starters with sellers and buyers. Zillow has done more for our bottom line than NAR ever has or will. Don’t fight the current of the river, learn to run with it. Disruption is inevitable in any industry that is fragmented or inefficient. Granted, it does feel like armchair experts and platforms are plentiful in real estate these days, but when the tide rolls out we will see the value proposition of the truest professionals in this industry shine once again.

Justin Bonney, on Zillow’s impact on the real estate industry

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