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Category Archives: Legislative Update

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Legislation Introduced to Create Condominium “Super Lien” in Ohio

Posted in Condominiums, Legislative Update
Representatives Ken Yuko and Brian Williams recently introduced House Bill 408, which would create a condominium “super lien” in Ohio. Ohio condominium associations currently have the right to lien a condominium owner’s unit for unpaid assessments; however, that lien almost always sits behind the first mortgage lien. When the unit is foreclosed upon and sold at sheriff’s… Continue Reading

Yes, The U.S. Immigration Laws Apply to the Real Estate Industry

Posted in International, Legislative Update
The federal government recently announced several changes to U.S. immigration legislation. Two key topics involve increased enforcement efforts of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and changes in request for prevailing wage procedures.  Preparing for an I-9 Audit or Inspection Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has significantly increased its enforcement efforts with respect to undocumented workers and… Continue Reading

Fannie Mae Partners With Cuyahoga County Landbank

Posted in Bankruptcy/Creditor's Rights Issues, Finance Issues, Legislative Update
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has reported that Fannie Mae, a player in the national secondary mortgage market and unwitting owner of numerous abandoned properties in the Greater Cleveland area, has reached a deal with the newly formed Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation to sell properties to it for $1 each. Compared with our last report… Continue Reading

Ladies and Gentlemen Start Your Engines !

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update, Real Estate Tools
On October 30, a coalition of federal regulators issued the Policy Statement on Prudent Commercial Real Estate Loan Workouts. The Statement is designed to give greater flexibility to lenders in renegotiating or restructuring loans secured by commercial real estate, and should aid the flow of financing to credit-worthy borrowers.  The first purpose of the Statement is… Continue Reading


Posted in Development, Development Issues, Legislative Update, Retail Industry Issues
  In 2005 the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London upheld the actions of the City of New London, Connecticut (the “City”) in forming a non-profit corporation to redevelop the Fort Trumbull area of the City. In order to capitalize on Pfizer, Inc.’s (“Pfizer”) private development of an adjacent research facility,… Continue Reading

Chinese Drywall Has Damaged Their Homes and Health, Some U.S. Homeowners Claim, but Can They Make the Chinese Manufacturers Pay?

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues, Legislative Update, Retail Industry Issues
We have been following the continuing saga of the homeowners affected by Chinese drywall used mainly throughout Florida, Louisiana and Virginia when U.S. supplies ran low. According to affected homeowners, the Chinese drywall emits a gas that causes health problems such as headaches and nosebleeds, erodes metal and electrical fixtures, and leaves a foul rotten egg… Continue Reading

Proposed Revisions to Ohio’s Oil and Gas Law

Posted in Environmental Issues, Legislative Update
Currently pending before the Ohio General Assembly is Senate Bill 165, which would significantly revise Ohio’s regulation of oil and gas drilling. Senator Tom Niehaus introduced the bill to increase the safety and regulation of drilling in Ohio, including concerns related to drilling in urbanized areas. To address these concerns, SB 165 requires, among other things, compliance… Continue Reading

Ohio Creates New Markets Tax Credit and Revises Historic Tax Credit

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update, Real Estate Tools, Tax Credit Issues
Ohio’s Budget Bill, signed by Governor Ted Strickland on July 17, contained provisions authorizing Ohio’s first state-run New Markets Tax Credit, as well as substantially revising the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Here is a breakdown of each: New Markets Tax Credit   Modeled after the federal New Markets Tax Credit, the state program allows up… Continue Reading

Cuyahoga County Landbank Update

Posted in Development Issues, Finance Issues, Legislative Update, Real Estate Tools
Some time ago in this space I wrote about the prospects for revitalization from the creation of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, better known as the County Landbank. Since then the Landbank has gotten up and running, or walking perhaps, but has made little progress toward its goal of returning significant amounts of abandoned and… Continue Reading

The Lake Erie Shoreline, Landowner Rights, and the Public Trust – Round 2

Posted in Environmental Issues, Legislative Update, Litigation Issues
In December 2007, a Lake County Common Pleas Court judge issued a landmark decision holding, among other things, that an owner of real estate that touches Lake Erie owns title extending as far as the water’s edge. State ex rel. Merrill v. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (2007), Lake County Common Pleas Case No. 04CV001080. Lake County… Continue Reading

“Back In My Day Perpetual Meant Forever. Today, Five Years”: New 9th Circuit Law Interpreting Perpetual Letters of Credit

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update
A perpetual letter of credit (LOC) does not last as long as you might think.  In physics “perpetual motion” is movement that goes on forever.  Commercial law is less ambitious.  Under U.C.C. § 5-106(d), a “perpetual” LOC expires after five years.  To further complicate the issue, a recent case from the 9th Circuit held that… Continue Reading

Will the Treasury’s New Initiative Broaden the Home Loan Modification Program?

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was announced on February 18, 2009.  The first set of details were published by the Treasury Department on March 4, 2009.  Those details were revised and republished on April 21, 2009 and updated on June 8, 2009. The mission of the HAMP is to save risky home mortgages from… Continue Reading

Hurry Up and Wait

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update
So you finally got a buyer for your house after having it on the market for nine months. As frosting on the cake the buyer says she can close within a week.  Great! Right? Well, if your buyer made her mortgage loan application on or after July 30, 2009, it may take a little longer.   On… Continue Reading

No Exclusive Cable Contracts for Apartment and Condominium Projects

Posted in Condominiums, Development Issues, Legislative Update, Property Management Issues
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recently upheld a 2007 Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") order prohibiting the owner’s of apartment buildings, condominiums and other multi-unit residential properties from entering into exclusive contracts for providing cable T.V. services.  The FCC relied upon Section 628(b) of the Communications Act.  The FCC’s position is… Continue Reading

Congress Introduces Chinese Drywall Legislation

Posted in Construction Related Issues, International, Legislative Update
Congress has recently introduced a number of measures in response to the problems caused by defective drywall imported from China. Both the House and Senate introduced identical bills titled the Drywall Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 1977; S. 739), which, if enacted, would require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Counsel to study at least ten samples… Continue Reading

Another ASTM Standard Satisfies All Appropriate Inquiries under CERCLA

Posted in Construction Related Issues, Environmental Issues, Legislative Update
US EPA has amended the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (“AAI”) to acknowledge another ASTM standard can be used to satisfy the AAI requirement for the landowner defenses to liability under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) – innocent landowners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and continuous property owners. In addition to ASTM… Continue Reading

HUD Green Retrofit

Posted in Environmental Issues, Green Energy Issues, Legislative Update
In the past, we have spoken about grants and loans available through the Ohio Department of Development for advanced energy residential projects, such as solar and wind energy installation.  Federal funding is also available for residential energy-reduction projects through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  A total of $250 Million from ARRA… Continue Reading

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure

Posted in Bankruptcy/Creditor's Rights Issues, Finance Issues, Legislative Update
The rights of owners and tenants in post-foreclosure property have been dramatically altered by new legislation signed by President Obama. On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the “Helping Families Save Their Home Act,” which contained provisions to aid renters whose landlords go through foreclosure. Title VII of the Helping Families Act (the “Act”) is entitled “Protecting… Continue Reading

The Dreaded Transfer on Death Deed

Posted in Conveyancing, Legislative Update
Ohio’s Transfer on Death Statute became effective at the beginning of 2002. Prior to the law being passed, there was much buzz in the real estate and trusts and estates legal community about why Ohio did not have a vehicle permitting owners of real estate to transfer real property on death to a named beneficiary, thereby… Continue Reading

Ohio Foreclosures – Legislative Update

Posted in Finance Issues, Legislative Update
Two foreclosure related bills of great interest to both borrowers and lenders were introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives in February but are moving slowly, if at all, through the legislative process.  One of the bills is too bold to have a serious shot at getting signed by Governor Strickland, but the other is… Continue Reading

Combating Mortgage Fraud

Posted in Closing/Settlement Issues, Conveyancing, Legislative Update
Effective June 1, 2009 all residential properties (single family homes, condominium units and buildings with up to four units) in Cook County, Illinois will become subject to the amendments to the Illinois Notary Public Act contained in Illinois Public Act 095-0988 (the "Act") in an effort to combat mortgage fraud in Illinois residential real estate transactions.  The practical… Continue Reading

The Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies the Effect of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Restrictions on the Tax Value of Real Property

Posted in Legislative Update, Tax Credit Issues, Tax Issues
 In Woda Ivy Glen Limited Partnership v. Fayette County Board of Revision (2009), 121 Ohio St.3d 175, the Supreme Court of Ohio considered whether restrictions on real property resulting from participation in the federal low-income housing tax credit program should be taken into account when appraising the property for real estate tax purposes.  The real… Continue Reading