Congress Approves $1 Billion for Homeowners Who Need Help Paying Mortgages

July 29, 2010

Homeowners facing a job loss or health problem who need short-term help making mortgage payments will be pleased to know that Congress included a $1 billion provision in the Wall Street reform bill which is aimed at helping homeowners with their mortgages.

The Emergency Mortgage Relief program will make more than $1 billion in federal funds available to families about to lose their homes. Homeowners may borrow up to $50,000 if they can show they have a reasonable prospect of resuming mortgage payments within 24 months.

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Update: Still No Decision on Major Medical Marijuana Case

July 26, 2010

Earlier this year, we reported on the case of Qualified Patients Association v. City of Anaheim, which is pending with the California Court of Appeal.  The case concerns whether the City of Anaheim’s ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries is valid, or if it is preempted by California’s Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program (also known as Prop. 215, which passed in 1996).

The case is significant because the number of medical marijuana dispensaries around the state has grown significantly, with many cities such as Los Angeles experiencing major growing pains.  If Anaheim’s ordinance is not preempted, then it will likely lead to a number of additional cities banning dispensaries entirely.

Earlier this month, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three, vacated

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Verbal Promise by Mortgage Lenders May Be Enforceable

July 25, 2010

There has been significant activity recently which may impact mortgage lenders’ practices which contributed to the current real estate downturn.

First, the California Court of Appeal recently decided a case which may have far-reaching impact on mortgage lenders as they communicate with clients.

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Announcing New $225 Flat Fee Educational Consultation with an Attorney Regarding Your Foreclosure, Short Sale, and Bankruptcy Options

July 19, 2010

Are you facing a foreclosure? Considering bankruptcy or a short sale?

If that sounds like you, you should obtain legal advice regarding your individual options.  In order to help homeowners and individuals who are experiencing financial difficulties with the loss of a job or a pending foreclosure, Plastiras & Terrizzi is announcing a new discounted rate one-time consultation with an attorney to answer questions, evaluate options, and strategize a unique approach tailored to your personal situation.

While the consultation will focus on your concerns and questions, your meeting may include any of the following topics:

The consultation with an attorney from Plastiras & Terrizzi will include a one-time, 45-minute meeting either in person or via phone for a $275 $225 flat fee.*

In order to be sure the consultation is as productive as possible, please bring with you copies of all relevant documents and correspondence between you and all of your mortgage lenders, or send copies to our office prior to the meeting if doing the consultation by phone.

While we encourage loan modifications when feasible, our firm does not handle negotiations with creditors or mortgage lenders. However, we often assist clients in determining whether or not such loan modifications are likely to be successful.

To set up an appointment, call us today:

Attorneys At Law
24 Professional Center Parkway, Suite 150
San Rafael, CA 94903
Phone: (415) 472-8100
FAX: (415) 472-8110

*  This information may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions under applicable laws and ethical rules. The material above has been prepared by Plastiras & Terrizzi. The material is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  Plastiras & Terrizzi does not perform loan modification services or other loan forbearance services for residential real estate or collect advance fees for helping negotiate residential loan modifications.


Biggest Defaulters on Mortgages are the Rich

July 9, 2010

The NY Times is reporting that wealthy homeowners are quickly becoming the most common homeowners to go into default and foreclosure.  The article stated that homeowners with mortgages over $1 million are much more likely to stop paying, with 1 in 7 of these wealthy homeowners currently seriously delinquent, compared to 1 in 12 for homeowners with mortgages below the million dollar level who are currently seriously delinquent.

The article stated:

Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.

This is consistent with what I have seen throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area.  In my experience advising clients on various real estate and land use issues, I have seen numerous wealthy homeowners with properties and mortgages far north of $1 million who have fallen upon hard times.  For many of these homeowners, their own option is to stop paying their mortgages.  Sometimes homeowners are fortunate to have many years of ownership and equity built up, so they have options such as selling the property.

When they don’t have equity, then they need to consider attempting a short sale or a loan modification.  Unfortunately, due to the passage of SB 94 this past fall, homeowners attempting a loan modification are very unlikely to be able to hire an attorney to advise them on how to accomplish a modification.  That leaves a short sale or simply walking away as the most likely option.

Read the full article here.

John Corcoran is an Associate with Plastiras & Terrizzi law firm in San Rafael, California (Marin County).  He advises clients on real estate matters, small business issues, estate planning, and general civil litigation.  He may be reached at jcorcoran@ptlegal.com or (415) 472-8100 x211.


Guide to Forming & Investing in Independent Film Productions

July 8, 2010

Everyone wants to be in the movies, and that includes investors.  However, any potential investor interested in putting their hard-earned money behind an independent film production should be careful before making the decision whether to invest. There are a number of things which a potential investor should look out for before agreeing to invest in an independent film production.

The most common approach for structuring a film production is to form a Limited Liability Company, or LLC, for the purpose of producing one film.   A LLC is a form of business entity which provides the legal protections of a corporation without the formalities required of corporations.   Like a general partnership, the members of the LLC (or “investors”) can participate in management of the LLC, or most management decisions can be delegated to one manager (or “producer”). The LLC is a pass-through entity for tax purposes so if the film does produce revenues, each individual member pays their income taxes individually.

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