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Questions Answered by James A. Greer
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What do I need to file to see a judge to release a lien?

My dad left me a 1960's single wide he purchased in 1995.

The loan was a 5 year loan and he was proud of it being paid off. Now when I'm trying to get/ transfer the title I find the lien holder is still on the title. Lien holder is no longer in this business. What do I need to... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 16, 2021

Expired Mortgage Lien Claimant: The "judge" route will be an action filed in your jurisdiction's Superior Court - difficult in this situation, not based on the law or the facts (that's the easy part of your claim), but in trying show "proof of service" in connection... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: I have entered in a lease to buy option with my landlord and now he does not want to sell after signing contract.

I have been running my business for 2.5yrs now… I called my landlord to notify him that I would like to purchase the building as stated in our lease contract… but he said he does not want to sell… what will I do if he don’t sell it to me? I have paid Rent, property tax and insurance every... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 7, 2021

Dear Lessee With Option To Purchase: The best and most urgent advice I can give you is (1) read the lease and understand the manner in which you must "exercise" the Option, then (2) exercise the Option in that manner (normally, with a written notification, sometimes via certified mail).... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: What type of Attorney litigates Real Estate Easements problems in California?
James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 1, 2021

Easement Issue: you'd be looking for a Real Estate attorney with experience in litigation, and background in development/realty/construction.

JIM GREER is an attorney licensed to practice in CA and CO and has specialized in real estate and construction matters for the past 34 years;...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for California on
Q: We live on a private road I put a fence along the road in 2002. Neighbor wants me to move the fence. what are my options

private road in a community with an hoa that does not collect dues or enforce ccr's, road has a not a county maintained road sign on it. Fence went up in 2002 and the posts have not been moved since along with landscaping and improvements retaining walls and concrete.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 31, 2021

Dear HOA Member: My best recommendation in these situations is to obtain the names and email addresses of all the members of the HOA. Then notify them that you would like to call a Special Meeting (or, alternatively, ask the Board to call a Special Meeting if a Board is in place). The agenda for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Small Claims for California on
Q: I did some concrete work for a contractor and he says the home owner is refusing to pay. How do I get my money ?

Contractor says I need to file a lien on the homeowner but I’m not sure who is responsible when generally I’d be paid by the contractor.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 27, 2021

Dear Unpaid Subcontractor: Your options for getting paid are two-fold: (A) a breach of contract claim against the General Contractor and/or (B) a mechanic's lien processing against the Homeowner. Clearly, you are not "required" to pursue the Homeowner (as intimated by the GC)... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Construction Law for California on
Q: hello.on 11/20/2020 my husband contracted with a company to install chair lift in our home. at the time measurements

were taken and a 2k deposit given. the owner told my husband that the parts would not be at their warehouse until end of jan or first couple weeks in feb. my husband subsequently became deceased on 12/10 .i phoned and advised the owner of my husband's death and that i wished to cancel his... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Apr 25, 2021

Chairlift Cancellation: We always first start with analyzing the contract language, and so in this instance would be interested in examining any sort of "cancellation" provisions. If none, then we would need to look to case law, and the focus is on "impossibility to perform"... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Does the purchase of an easement give the purchaser a controlling interest in an undivided property?
James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Mar 7, 2021

Easement Questioner: The purchase of an Easement does NOT, in a routine setting, grant to the new Easement-holder any rights superior to the prior Easement-holder. In other words, the Easement-holder may only enforce the rights granted by the Easement. Review your easement and the contents therein... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Construction Law and Contracts for Colorado on
Q: If a homeowner was getting a really great deal on upgrades to his home and he breached contract

Can the person that provided the service sue for market value of work completed in the home.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Feb 26, 2021

Question on remedy in light of an anticipatory breach of contract: So long as there was a valid and executed written contract, the remedy for the contractor is twofold:

(a) the value of the percentage of completed work as measured by the contract price (and not the so-called "market...
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2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Construction Law for California on
Q: Would forming an LLC or Corporation be better for a person who wants to start their own General Contracting Company?

I want to become a first time business owner and was wondering which would suite me the best in terms of taxes, protection, and future costs? I am planning to elect to file taxes under S-Corp subsection for either of these business entities that I am willing to go with.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Feb 21, 2021

Dear General Contractor with "entity formation" question: You asked which type of entity formation would be the best in the state of California for a company intending to operate as a licensed General Contractor under the auspices of the Contractors State License board... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Contracts for California on
Q: 2nd Time Asking - Excessive water bill in rental due to landscaping irrigation. Who is responsible for this excess use?

I have been renting a house since September and the property management company conveyed a concern from the owner that I was made aware of the high cost of utilities, stating the water bill is 350-400 in the summer months. This was also stated in an addendum to the lease that I signed. There have... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Dec 28, 2020

Dear Menifee Lessee: You have asked about responsibility for excessive water bills, as between the Lessee or the Lessor. From the description of your question there seems to have been "notice" to Lessee but at a $350-$400 level, whereas you have indicated that you are seeing bills... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: When/how should an easement be disclosed by sellers or title company? Are easements strictly the buyers responsibility?

Easement was not disclosed by owners. Easement was noted in single document received at the closing table. No details given, only naming who easement was granted to, and skimmed over. After much research easement is .25 acres of property restricting use substantially (we can plant grass, no... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Dec 18, 2020

Dear Buyer: If I understand your description of the facts, your Seller had knowledge of an Easement for sewer line across the Subject Property which restricts your expected use. A claim against the Seller is called "Failure to Disclose" and is in the nature of a fraud claim. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law for California on
Q: For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around

For a $50k job can a contractor have an escrow co. ask for/hold the entire $50k vs asking for a $1k deposit to go around Business & Professions Code 7159. Therefor the contractor is not asking for the whole payment upfront but an escrow company with specific instruction on when to release... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Dec 8, 2020

Dear "Unlawful Deposit" Inquirer: This is an interesting question, and in honesty the only real "authority" on the correct/authorized answer would be an investigative personnel at the CSLB (Contractors State License Board). Nevertheless, I'll use 30+ years experience in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: We bough a property to flip. We remodeled and added. One neighbor that owns a lot next to our house is scaring buyers.

What can we do to stop a neighbor that is passing misinformation about utilities?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Oct 22, 2020

Dear Neighbor Dispute Client: The simple reply to your inquiry is to start with a Cease And Desist letter, wherein you identify with specificity the utterances made by the neighbor to prospective purchasers along with approximate dates, and make legal demand for the neighbor to stop said... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: can i get out of an easement agreement house sold 1 mo ago way too binding on my use of my own property Sara Passarelli
James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Oct 18, 2020

Dear Property Owner With Easement: A standard easement is a recorded document that is binding on both owners (both the "servient" and the "dominant" parcel owners), and an easement "runs with the land" (meaning, attaches to the property and impacts all future owners... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado on
Q: If the seller and their RE agent were aware of foundation issues, are they legally bound to report them?

Seller was executor, however we also learned for the past 10 years they have been the sole caregiver for the property (replacing roof, electric, etc). We came across someone previously under contract who provided the estimate they received for foundation work. Are they legally bound to... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 29, 2020

Dear Disclosure Issue Questioner: To try and clarify, if by the phrase "someone previously under contract" you mean that a different potential buyer had obtained a professional's estimate to perform foundation repairs ? and if you are certain that estimate was supplied to the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Can I sell my house in California with unpermirred work

Want to sell my house because I am being harassed by city for unpermitted work

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 21, 2020

Dear Unpermitted Work with Code Compliance Notice: Short answer is yes you can still sell your residence but BE VERY WARNED that you MUST DISCLOSE everything about the unpermitted work, every document you have received from city (all departments, don't leave out anything). Just make sure your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Paying off my parent's mortgage and putting the title under my name

My parents, who are in their 80's still paying mortgage on house. What is involved for me to pay off the mortgage and putting the title under my name so my parents do not have to worry about this anymore?

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 12, 2020

Dear Daughter/Son inquiring about assisting parents: To achieve your objectives (title transfer and lump sum mortgage payment) IRRESPECTIVE OF TAX RAMIFICATIONS, you'll need to: (a) determine the name and payment address of Lender and send lump sum final payment, (b) have attorney draft... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Newly purchased house found to have broken/fallen foundation. During escrow I paid a foundation contractor for estimate

He missed this huge issue with the foundation. We decided to buy thinking his 10K estimate for bolting and crack repair was all the more needed to spend. Now, we're looking at 30K to 80k for serious repairs (piers for foundation support). Also, there's a leak from the kitchen drain... Read more »

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 8, 2020

Dear Foundation Issue Client: I'll make an effort to guide you, but the analysis of your potential claims are very much driven by the documentation that you have or don't have as the case may be). As to your Seller: you might have a potential "Failure to Disclose" claim if the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Colorado on
Q: Can a contractor charge me additional money after I paid the invoice in full?

A subcontractor "forgot" about additional charges over a week later and now the subcontractor is trying to charge me additional money.

I am the owner, and was told that the job was paid in full. Now, a week after, they are charging more money with no itemized bill.

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Sep 1, 2020

Dear Questioner facing extra-contractual charges: I am unclear if you are the Contractor or the Owner in the description you provided. However, while there would be nuances in my legal analysis and recommendations depending upon your respective "role", the basic answer remains the same.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for California on
Q: Selling hse as tare dwn

if I sell the house as a tear down and they don't tear down house can I get them for more money

James A. Greer
James A. Greer answered on Aug 30, 2020

Dear Tear-Down Seller: I am not clear by your question if you are in the marketing analysis stage or if you are actually under contract. If you are under contract then the reply to your question is: no, a Seller (you) has no right to ask for an increase in sales price once you are under contract... Read more »

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