Most business and real estate attorneys assume that the statute of limitations on an oral contract is two years, and on a written contract is 4 years. These are boilerplate assumptions that can trap a businessperson or a landlord; they do not always hold true once we delve into the specifics of a case.
We recently represented a borrower in a foreclosure action brought by the lender bank where no payments had been made on the loan for over 4 years, without any remedial or collection action initiated by the lender. The loan had been bundled, sold and assigned several times and with no lender follow up for some unknown reason. The assumption on the part of the borrower was that passing the four-year mark changed the nature of the dispute. So we took a closer look to confirm whether the statute of limitations could serve as a possible defense. We found that not to be the case. The limitations period on a promissory note is 6 years rather than 4:
Pursuant to California Commercial Code Section 3118(a),
an action to enforce an obligation of a party to pay a note payable at a definite time must be commenced within 6 years after the due date or dates stated in the note or, if a due date is accelerated, within 6 years after the accelerated due date.
This is another example of the trap waiting for both experienced and new attorneys faced with a statute of limitations issue, which can often be more complicated than realized at first glance. And this trap is contained not only in the California Code of Civil Procedure but in other statutes as well.
This loan was a leftover from the days of the Great Recession when loans were bundled, sold and assigned to unsuspecting investors without proper due diligence by the investors and rating agencies, and were serviced by loan servicers with less than diligent follow up. We find it incredible that we continue to see cases involving these types of loans 11 years after the Great Recession hit in 2008.
As we start work in 2019 in earnest, the commercial leasing market remains very active. We find ourselves representing a number of commercial landlords and tenants in connection with long-term commercial leases. One area in which we are adding great value is in the examination of “boilerplate language” within a proposed agreement that actually needs customization to protect our clients’ interests.
Great Commercial Lease Agreements Contain No Boilerplate
Most recently we represented a well-established auto body shop that sold its business to a national auto body and collision repair chain. As part of that transaction, the new owners leased the building that our client, the seller, owned to become the client’s tenant. Continue reading →
We are often asked by credit managers in California if there are any additional credit approval criteria to consider when a proposed customer and credit applicant is an out-of-state (“foreign”) corporation. While each case is fact-specific, there are some general factors for credit managers to consider that uniquely apply to extending open account credit terms to foreign corporations doing business in California.
The method you choose for holding title on your real estate property in California can have unexpected legal and tax consequences, especially years from now when death or disagreement brings change to the relationship between the co-owners.
Given these distant, hard-to-imagine impacts, choosing how title is vested by the co-owners is often an afterthought (or even overlooked)! But the consequences of improper vesting can be devastating. Typically, problems do not arise until many years after the recording of the grant deed that includes the improper vesting. Then, the improper vesting suddenly becomes a problem upon the attempted sale or refinancing of the property, or upon the death or dissolution of marriage of one (or more) of the owners.
When you decide that you must pursue a divorce, the best first step is to hire an attorney to represent you. Selecting an attorney is harder than most people think, though, because you want to work with a lawyer that treats you and your case effectively and respectfully. There has to be a great deal of trust between you, and a comfort level in your day-to-day working relationship, as you will be working closely with your lawyer for many months and sharing very personal information.
This may be why women make up a higher percentage of attorneys in family law practices than in other areas of the law. Given that most divorces still involve a man and a woman, the desire for many women to work with a lawyer of the same gender creates a natural demand for women attorneys in this practice area. Continue reading →
Poniatowski Leding Parikh Law Corporation announces the formation of its Family Law Practice Group. Beginning July 1, 2018 PLP Law Corp. now offers representation, counseling and advice across the full spectrum of Family Law matters, such as:
Poniatowski Leding Parikh partner Meera Parikh is working with the staff of the non-profit All for the Family Legal Clinic, Inc. The clinic operates out of Castro Valley, serving low-income families in Alameda County and the wider Bay Area.
The Non-Profit offers Legal Services
to Low-Income Families in Alameda County
The clinic is a non-profit, public benefit corporation which is dedicated to providing low-cost legal assistance to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer privately. It charges for its services at a reduced rate, with the fee for legal aid calculated on the client’s ability to pay. Continue reading →
Co-ownership of properties is a very common financial arrangement in real estate. With two or more persons involved in a purchase, their combined buying power can expand the number of properties that they can pursue. One party involved may also provide a higher credit score or more substantial assets that could win better loan terms.
Co-ownership lowers the business risk for both partners because it becomes a shared risk, rather than one which must be borne by a single person. However, these are long-term business relationships (even those between family members), and time can change the motivations of the people involved. Indeed, one partner may decide they wish to exit, and has the legal right to do so (more on that below.) Much can go wrong in a co-ownership partnership, if the possibility of these future issues arising is not accounted for in the initial partnership agreement.
One of the most frustrating areas of maintaining a successful business is collecting on receivables. It has been said that “a sale to a customer is no more than a gift, until the payment for it has been collected and gets deposited in the bank.” Many businesses learn this truth the hard way, generating great sales and revenue, but suffering from terrible cash flow because payments due are not forthcoming in a timely manner.
Meera T. Parikh is one of the partners at Poniatowski Leding Parikh Law Corporation. Meera specializes in business and commercial litigation, real estate litigation, and creditor’s rights in bankruptcy and receiverships. Meera graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She then continued her education at Santa Clara University School of Law where she received her J.D. and certification in High Tech law. Meera is also a member of the US Patent Bar and was previously a patent attorney in Silicon Valley. Continue reading →