Archive for November, 2012

Commercial Leases: Courts will apply the plain language of the contract in enforcing its terms.

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Check out this article from attorney Lawrence Shoffner commenting on a July 10, 2012 Michigan Court of Appeals Decision:  Majestic
Golf, LLC, v. Lake Walden Country Club, Inc.
, (Mich App No 300140, July
10, 2012).

This underscores the fact that the law treats commercial landlord/tenant issues somewhat differently than residential tenancies.

In the residential context, tenants have certain statutory rights, in addition to contractual, that provide extra protection from a landlord’s ability to evict the tenant. The Property has to be kept fit for its intended use and in reasonable repair. These conditions must be met in order for a landlord to evict the tenant, stated otherwise, the covenant to pay rent is not an independant covenant to a landlord’s duty to keep the property fit for its intended use and in reasonable repair.

In a commercial context the courts will look at the contract that the parties’ agreed to, and enforce it by its terms.

This article published in the State Bar of Michigan’s December E-Newsletter can be viewed at the link below:

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“The Power of Words” – Indemnification Clauses in Construction Contracts

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I recently contributed a guest blog post for Coastline Building, a Custom Designer/Builder of Energy Efficient Homes in Southwest Michigan.


The article analyzes a recent case from the Michigan Court of Appeals that provides a great example of why the language of a Construction Contract is important for liability purposes. I would recommend anyone in the construction industry to have their contracts reviewed by an attorney if its been a while.

You can check out the blog post here:

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Does Your Mortgage Advertisement Violate Federal Law?

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Today the Federal Trade Commission came out with a press release indicating that certain real estate agents, home builders and other real estate professionals may be violating federal law with their advertisement.

The FTC protects consumers from unfair or deceptive business practices. As indicated in a form letter sent out to several companies, “The FTC also enforces the Mortgage Acts and Practices-Advertising Rule, Regulation N (MAP-AD Rule), 12 C.F.R. Part 1014, which specifically prohibits material misrepresentations in any commercial communication regarding the terms of any mortgage financing.”

Check out the FTC Press Release Here:

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Proposed Michigan Legislation Would Crackdown on Mortgage Fraud with House Bill 5969

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

HB 5969 was introduced on October 17, 2012 by Rep. Brown and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

It would create criminal and civil penalties for anyone who knows or has reason to know that a forged mortgage document is recorded on Property.  See details about the Proposed HB 5969 here:

The penalized actions all relate to falsely representating the title of the Property, include “robosigning” or “causing a document to be robosigned”, “notarizing” or “causing a document to be executed”.  The intent of this legislation seems to be to cast a broad net of prohibited conduct, and would include criminal penalties of felony conviction and civil penalties for damages incurred, including attorney fees.  Interestingly, the Bill would specifically target “robosigning” by making such perpetrator liable for 3 times the damages suffered by the owner of the Property.



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