Contracts are essentially a deal, or agreement, that parties make with one another. As with all deals,” there are terms and conditions relating to the parties’ performance and non-performance under the deal. Some deals are verbal. Some deals are written. Some verbal deals are enforceable even though they are verbal. Some deals must be in writing. Whether a client wishes to enforce a verbal agreement or a written agreement, the client will be tasked with having to prove the terms and conditions of the deal.
When a deal is embodied in a writing, then the deal is relatively simple to prove, read the written agreement. By comparison, if a deal is verbal then the parties to the deal are likely to have different interpretations of the deal. Each party to a verbal agreement is likely to have an understanding of the deal in conflict with the other parties’ understanding of the deal. To prove the terms and conditions of the deal a contract lawyer must look to the testimony of witnesses, the parties and written correspondence to prove the terms and conditions of the deal. For these reason verbal deals are far more time consuming to prove than a deal in writing.
The contract lawyers at the Enochs Law Group are primarily interested in helping our clients get the benefit of what they bargained for in the deal. We help clients with proactive measures by making sure the client is memorializing their deals in effective written agreements. If a client comes to us with a verbal agreement, then we help the client formulate alternatives to procure the evidence necessary to prove the terms of the deal as quickly and inexpensively as possible, prior to and following the filing of a lawsuit.
An experienced contract lawyer at the Enochs Law Group can help clients with the following types of contractual matters.
Sale Agreement Contracts
Our team can provide a variety of sales agreement contracts including:
-Contracts For Purchase
-Contract of Sale Amendments
-Home Equity Sales Contracts
-Contract For Purchase From The Elderly (Especially helpful when navigating legal matters with financial elder abuse law, legal matters involving family members, or business transactions with older adults)
Real Estate Finance
When one lends money to another, the lender expects the borrower to repay the money borrowed. Lenders will frequently have the borrower sign paperwork believing the paperwork will increase the lender’s ability to procure payment from the borrower.
The simplest credit transaction is an unsecured loan where the lender takes back a promissory note or other evidence of a debt from a borrower. However, if the borrower defaults and the lender then sues, the lender will likely find it difficult and expensive to collect its money. The resulting money judgment does not pay itself off. The lender’s ability to collect depends on the effectiveness of its efforts to employ post-judgment remedies to take assets away from the borrower and interfere with the borrower’s income.
To avoid the difficulties of collecting on an unsecured debt, a lender often insists on security for its loan. The term “security” refers to an asset that is pledged as collateral for a loan. The lender can turn to the security (repossess) the asset, sell the asset, and use the sales proceeds to pay down the debt. Real estate finance refers to loans where the borrower pledges real property as collateral for the loan.
The popular term used to describe the legal document pledging real property as collateral for a loan is a mortgage. However, in California, deeds of trust are the popular instrument used to collateralize real property to a loan. In California, there are two methods of foreclosure (repossessing real property). The first method of foreclosure, and the most common method, is a non-judicial foreclosure. This is the quickest and least expensive method of foreclosure. However, a non-judicial foreclosure creates a problem for the foreclosing lender when the balance owed on the loan exceeds the value of the property (commonly referred to as a “deficiency”). A foreclosing lender using a non-judicial foreclosure to repossess the property has no legal right to pursue the borrower for the deficiency. If the foreclosing lender wishes to collect a deficiency balance from the borrower, then the foreclosing lender will need to employ the second method of foreclosure.
The second method of foreclosure in California is a judicial foreclosure. This is a foreclosure that involves the lender running the foreclosure process through the court. It begins with the filing of a lawsuit. Thereafter, the sale will take place pursuant to a court order. After the property is sold, there will be an in-court hearing where the court will hear evidence of the value of the property. The value of the property is established by the court, not the sale of the property. If the value of the property is less than the loan balance then the foreclosing lender can ask the court for a money judgment representing the amount of the deficiency. Using this money judgment, the foreclosing lender can then turn to the borrower’s other assets and sources of income in an effort to procure money to pay down the deficiency balance.
Before a foreclosing lender selects a method of foreclosure, the lender should consider California’s anti-deficiency statutes. These are laws that describe conditions where a foreclosing lender has no right to collect on a deficiency. The notable anti-deficiency statutes are addressed below.
As a lender, one needs to concern themselves with getting their money back. There is a legal and a practical approach to increasing the odds of repayment. On the practical side of things, the lender should seek a low loan to value ratio and a low debt to income ration. The lower these ratios the lower the risk of default. The lower these ratios the easier it will be for the lender to navigate the foreclosure process.
The legal approach to procuring payment involves the documentation of the transaction and the foreclosure process. On the documentation side, the more collateral and personal guarantees a lender obtains to secure payment on the loan the greater the likelihood the lender will be repaid its money. The reverse is true as well. A contract lawyer at the Enochs Law Group can help a lender document their loan transaction and foreclose when necessary in an effort to procure payment for the loan.
When leasing a space, for business or investment, our team offers due diligence services to prevent issues in contract creation. Our team of contract lawyers also provide support for both commercial and residential lease agreement contracts.
Our team is dedicated to removing impediments to your best possible outcome.
To that end, the contract lawyers at Enochs Law offers our clients support with settlement agreements for both business and real estate transactions.
The best business transactions, partnerships, and outcomes begin with clarity. It is for this reason that our team provides you with due diligence services, legal counseling, and contract support including contracts for:
-Business Sale agreements
-LLC Formation Agreements
- Dissolution Agreements
If you are interested in learning more about the due diligence and contracts you need to make your next transaction as successful as possible, reach out to a contract lawyer at Enochs Law at (619) 421-3956.
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