​Practice Areas

The  lawyers of the firm generally practice in the areas of residential real estate sales and purchases (including short sale transactions), consumer bankruptcy, and estate planning.  Please see below for a description of some of the work that we do.     

Real Estate Closings


Why do you need a real estate lawyer?  The answer is simple:  the purchase or sale of your home is probably the biggest financial transaction you will ever undertake.   A qualified real estate attorney can explain the contract and other legal documents, negotiate terms, prepare necessary transfer documents, and ensure that you do not have title issues that survive the closing.  ​

 

Our firm has practiced real estate since 1999, and in fact, attorney Sandra M. Emerson is a former real estate broker.  Our office has successfully completed countless real estate transactions, including short sales, condominium conversion projects, commercial properties, FSBO (for sale by owner) transactions,  and first-time home purchases.  Trust us to assist you with your real estate needs.

Mortgage Loss Mitigation

 

The term "loss mitigation" refers to the mitigation or reduction of the loss to the lender that would result from a foreclosure.  Loss mitigation comes in many forms, the most common being loan modifications, loan workouts, forbearance agreements, short sales, or deeds in lieu of foreclosure.  As real estate attorneys, our lawyers are well-versed in the various loss mitigation options that may be available to you, and may be able to assist you in applying for a short sale, cash-for-keys, consent judgment, or other loss mitigation solution.  Remember, doing nothing is terrible for your credit!  Taking action will help your credit and make it easier to buy a home in the future. 

 


Bankruptcy


Sometimes, despite every effort, it is necessary to file for bankruptcy protection.  A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a liquidation proceeding available to people, corporations, and partnerships.  In most consumer cases, the debtor's assets are exempt and are retained by the debtor. 

Many people are surprised to learn how quickly their credit improves following a bankruptcy.  In fact, because you can only receive a Chapter 7 discharge once every eight years, you may find that creditors are more willing to take a chance on you after your discharge.  For some debtors, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the only option.   Either way, we can help.  And we proudly recommend Dave Ramsey's Debtor Education and tools for our clients, so you'll able to get back into financial shape in no time.

Short Sales

 

Do you owe more than your home is worth?  You may not know this, but you can still sell your home -- saving your credit in the process.  The sale is called a "short sale" because the lender (or lenders) agrees that you can "short" the lender. 

When it comes to short sales, it is extremely important to have attorneys who are well-versed in foreclosure.  Emerson Law Firm has defended foreclosures for many years, and we know from personal experience that mortgage or title company issues can have a significant impact on your rights.  For example, some homeowners do not realize that in a short sale situation, they can request a waiver of the remaining balance due on the home.  (Important Note:  there is no guarantee of such, and there may be tax consequences.)

 

Emerson Law Firm has a dedicated short sale team to assist with your short sale needs.  Our short sale department will: assist you with your application; gather all of the required documentation to submit to the lender;  and gather and submit the listing history, listing agreement, and other information to the lender.  Unless otherwise noted, there is generally no attorney fee to the seller for this work, as we are paid by the lender as part of the transaction.  

 

 

Estate Planning

 

Did you know that only 45% of adults have a will, and only 2% have a trust?  Yet, estate planning is an important facet of your overall financial health.  What will happen to your family if you become disabled or die? Just about everyone -- not just the wealthy --  can benefit from the development of an estate plan.

 

Your estate plan can define how you want your assets to be owned, managed and preserved not only during your lifetime, but also how you'd like them distributed after your death.  If you have minor children or beloved pets, who will take care of them?  An estate plan can lower the potential for family disputes.  It can also reduce the taxes and expenses of an estate (such as probate) for your heirs.

Emerson Law can help with:

  • Trusts — to ensure privacy and for certain tax benefits

  • Wills and powers of attorney — so your final wishes are clear, and your designated agent(s) can handle your affairs in the event that you cannot 

  • Guardianship planning — to assign who will raise and care for your minor children if something happens to you and you are not able to care for your children

  • Pet trusts — to make sure your pet receives housing and care if something happens to you

It's easy to get started.  Fill out our estate planning questionnaire here:

 

Bankruptcy Discharge Violations

 

If your debts were discharged in bankruptcy and your creditors are still attempting to collect them, you may have a claim for a violation of your discharge order, as well as other consumer claims.  

 

Mortgage servicing abuses in Chapter 13 cases are also quite common.   It is not unusual to find the addition of unauthorized fees and charges during or after a Chapter 13.  Luckily, the 2005 Bankruptcy Code amendments added 11 U.S.C. sec. 524(i), which allows individuals to enforce the discharge provisions against mortgage companies who have violated the provisions of a confirmed plan. 

 

If you are being pursued by a creditor post-bankruptcy and you feel that there has been an error, please contact our office so that we can fight for your rights! Although we do charge a consultation fee for your visit,  our firm generally handles  discharge violations on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get paid unless you do.