Recording “Un-Neighborly” Documents

By: Bob Henry

In September 2018, in Baumgartner v. Timmins, 245 Ariz. 334, 429 P.3d 567, the Arizona Court of Appeals provided further clarification on what constitutes an “encumbrance” on a property for purposes of Arizona’s statutory scheme prohibiting the recording of “false documents.”  The statute, A.R.S. § 33-420, prohibits the recording of documents that a person knows to be forged, are groundless, or that contain material misstatements (or false claims).  A person who claims an “interest in, or a lien or encumbrance against” real property who records such documents can be held liable for $5,000 or treble the actual damages caused by the recording (whichever is greater), A.R.S.… Read More »

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Erasing Any Doubt: Arizona FED Actions Do Not Accrue Until Formal Demand for Possession is Tendered

By:  Bob Henry

Clearing up any lingering confusion, in Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC v. Woods, 767 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 4 (June 22, 2017), the Arizona Court of Appeals confirmed that residential forcible entry and detainer actions in Arizona accrue for statute of limitations purposes when a party entitled to possession makes a formal demand for return of possession not when the party could have made a demand for return of possession.

In Carrington, the borrowers (the Woodses) remained in property that they had acquired in 2008 but then lost to foreclosure several years later.  The original lender obtained title to the property at a trustee’s sale on February 16, 2010, but did not take any action to remove the Woodses at that time. … Read More »

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Church Property Tax Liability in Arizona for Commercial Leases

By: Bob Henry

Arizona House Bill 2128, which was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey on March 23, 2015, has potential impact on the commercial real estate leasing market.  The bill enables owners of real property that is leased to religious institutions to enjoy the closest thing to a complete exemption that is available to lessees of real property owned by for-profit organizations or individuals.

This blog does not opine on policy issues, and the wisdom of this legislation can be debated.  But this legislation nevertheless creates some potential practical and logistical issues—for better or worse, and depending on one’s perspective and circumstances. … Read More »

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce Forms Policy Group for Real Estate and Community Development Issues

By:  Bob Henry

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry has formed a new policy committee for “Real Estate and Community Development Issues.”  The Arizona Chamber’s policy committees—now 16 different committees that cover policy areas ranging from “Budget & Government Reform” to “Workplace, Workers Compensation and Insurance”—are actively involved in supporting and opposing legislation on issues that are of particular importance to the Arizona business community.  The Arizona Chamber’s formation of a new policy committee focusing specifically on real estate and community development issues should thus be welcome news to those who do business in the real estate industry in Arizona. … Read More »

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Arizona Residential Mortgage Brokers: Potential Additional Liability Exposure on the Horizon

by Bob Henry

Arizona Senate Bill 1026, introduced by Senator Ableser, proposes some significant changes to the law governing Arizona’s residential mortgage brokers that could expand their potential liability arising out of their day-to-day business dealings.

The bill proposes amendments to A.R.S. § 6-909, which currently sets forth various “prohibited acts” for those who are engaged in the business of making or negotiating “mortgage loans” in the State of Arizona. If enacted, S.B. 1026 would impose upon mortgage brokers an independent duty to verify a loan applicant’s ability to repay a loan, which historically has been the obligation (from a business perspective) of the institution actually providing the loan to the borrower, and not a statutory obligation or duty of the person or institution helping a borrower secure the loan.… Read More »

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Developers and Homebuilders: The Ramifications of Yanni v. Tucker Plumbing, Inc.

By Bob Henry

On November 20, 2013, Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Yanni v. Tucker Plumbing, Inc., 2013 Ariz. App. LEXIS 235.    While the opinion was a victory of sorts for the real estate and construction industry generally in Arizona, the opinion could have long-term ramifications to developers and home builders.    In short, the opinion could encourage more direct suits by homeowners against developers and homebuilders – including potential class actions, as was the situation in Yanni – for defects in the construction of homes arising out of defective and substandard work by subcontractors.… Read More »

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Anticipating Earnest Money “Damages” – Don’t Assume It

By Bob Henry

The Arizona Supreme Court issued an opinion last month in Thomas v. Montelucia Villas, LLC, 2013 Ariz. LEXIS 152 (June 14, 2013) that adds a few wrinkles to efforts by sellers in real estate transactions to retain “earnest money” from a buyer upon the buyer’s default.   While the opinion addresses issues that are fairly unusual in the earnest money world, the holding is one that any seller or developer of real estate should keep in mind when drafting real estate contracts.… Read More »

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