June 17, 2014
MSN Real Estate quoted me in ‘Generation Rent’ trend changes the housing game.
Tougher lending requirements, a transient lifestyle and seeing mortgages throw their
parents’ finances in turmoil are causing more millennials to rent instead of buy a
“This attitude shift on homeownership and the rise in demand for rentals is directly influencing the growth of private firms looking to fill out real estate portfolios as well as property management groups that have scooped up business from investors who have no interest in the day-to-day of being a landlord,” said Don Lawby, president of Real Property Management in Utah.
Some 82% of consumers believe owning a home is a critical part of wealth building but 18% said they are not willing to assume the risk of a mortgage, according to a National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) survey.
“The unwillingness to take on a mortgage loan may be a smart decision for some, as many borrowers have learned the hard way that homeownership does not come with a guarantee of continually increasing equity,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson with the NFCC.
The “Generation Rent” phenomenon is not just about younger Americans. As a societal shift has slowly emerged to redefine the American Dream, many older Americans with empty nests are also exploring apartment living.
“Apartments are a maintenance-free alternative to single-family homes and retirement communities,” said Abe Tekippe, a spokesperson with Waterton Associates, a national apartment investor and operator. “They also allow residents to move closer to shopping, dining and entertainment venues, making them more accessible to aging Baby Boomers.”
For many years, homeownership was a policy objective of the federal government, which symbolized a level of achievement for a person or family but these days many are taking a closer look at whether the costs and benefits of home ownership outperforms the cost of renting.
“People are realizing that coming up with funds and motivation each month for maintenance and up-keep isn’t feasible for economic, medical, lifestyle or other
reasons,” said Dillon Baynes, co-founder and managing partner with Columbia Ventures in Atlanta.
If generation rent continues, a slow down in home sales is bound to have a ripple effect. “If renting remains a popular choice, it will certainly have an impact on the broader economy starting with the home building industry,” said David Reiss, professor with Brooklyn Law School.
“There would be a move away from single-family construction to multi-family.”
June 16, 2014
Ohio Appeals Court Reverses Summary Judgment in Favor of Bank as Genuine Issue of Fact Existed as to Whether the Bank held the Note
The court in deciding U.S. Bank N.A. v. Kamal, 2013-Ohio-5380 (Ohio Ct. App., Mahoning County, 2013) reversed and remanded the lower court’s ruling. The court decided that there were genuine issues of material fact as to whether U.S. Bank was the holder of the note or mortgage when the complaint was filed and as to whether U.S. Bank complied with the default provisions in the note and mortgage. Therefore, the grant of summary judgment in U.S. Bank’s favor was reversed and the matter was remanded for further summary judgment proceedings.
Defendants-appellants appealed the decision of the lower court, which granted summary judgment and issued a decree of foreclosure for U.S. Bank National Association. Three issues were raised; the first was whether there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether U.S. Bank complied with the notice of default provisions in the note and mortgage. The second issue was whether U.S. Bank was a real party in interest when the foreclosure complaint was filed. The third issue was whether the trial court should have struck certain evidence that U.S. Bank used to support its request for summary judgment.
This court ultimately held that a genuine issue of fact existed as to whether the bank was the holder of the note when the complaint was filed, as the record was devoid of any evidence proving the date on which the bank became the holder. There was also a genuine issue of fact as to when the mortgage was assigned, as the assignment contained information not known on the date the mortgage was executed and the only other logical date was the date the assignment was recorded, which occurred after the complaint was filed. Additionally a genuine issue of fact existed as to whether the bank complied with the notice of default and acceleration provision, as there was no evidence as to how the bank notified the debtor as the acceleration.
Ultimately, the lower court’s grant of summary judgment was reversed and the matter was remanded for further summary judgment proceedings.
The Orlando Sentinel quoted me in History also Parts City, Church in Stadium Dispute (sign in required). It reads in part,
It’s been said that you can’t fight City Hall. Still, tiny Faith Deliverance Temple is gonna try. The city of Orlando covets its property — now the final piece of the two square blocks upon which will bloom a $110 million soccer savanna for the Orlando City Lions to roam. Church officials balked. So city officials filed suit to seize the land. Goliath shoved. Now, David’s grabbed a sling.
The church has enlisted a Jacksonville property rights law firm to fight for its right to stay put. Any way you slice it, the church’s hopes rest with a judge who, in two previous eminent domain cases involving the soccer stadium, deemed that it fits the definition of a public use.
City Hall considers the stadium manna from Major League Soccer: It’ll nourish the greater community with economic development, jobs and tourism. Pastor Kinsey Shack, meanwhile, simply says her largely black flock “does not want and has not wanted to sell its property.”
It would be easy to reduce the dispute to simplistic terms: Seeing the writing on the wall, the church has fallen prey to the sin of avarice. Orlando offered $1.5 million for property worth less than half that, and most recently upped the ante to $4 million. Church leaders countered with $35 million (but later lowered it to $15 million).
To church officials, it’s simply a matter of fairness. In 2007, Orlando plunked $35 million in cash and other sweeteners into First United Methodist Church’s collection plate. It needed the land for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and paid a small fortune to the largely white downtown church. In any case, church officials aren’t sweating the optics. Maybe that’s because money isn’t necessarily the root of its revolt.
An alternative motive seems rooted in history, personal and collective. In the late ’70s, Robert Lee Williams moved his wife Catherine, their four kids, and the church he’d incorporated in 1969 to West Church Street in Orlando’s mostly black Parramore neighborhood.
The teeny flock grew as he saved and collected souls through revivals. In the early ’80s, they moved to a West Church Street warehouse. With member donations, Williams bought the property, and largely through the sweat of local day laborers, they moved into a new church home in 1996. Williams died in 1997, but his wife carried on, before passing the mantle to Shack six years ago. For the Williams family, divesting the property divorces them from their community, their history.
Yet, through government strong-arming that very thing is — for blacks in particular — a sordid history as old as America. That’s according to Mindy Fullilove, a Columbia University clinical psychiatry professor in a recent report on the devastation eminent domain wreaks on black communities. “Eminent domain has become what the founding fathers sought to prevent: a tool that takes from the poor and the politically weak to give to the rich and politically powerful.”
David Reiss, a Brooklyn Law School professor, noted in an email that since early last century “local governments have a long history of using eminent domain in black communities, from so-called ‘slum clearance’ to ‘urban renewal’ to ‘blight removal.’”
June 12, 2014
Ohio Court Finds that Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Foreclosure Complaint did not Deprive it of Jurisdiction Over Defendants and Their TILA Claims
The court in deciding Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Wick, 2013-Ohio-5422 (Ohio Ct. App., Cuyahoga County, 2013) found that the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s foreclosure complaint did not deprive it of jurisdiction over defendants and their TILA claims, as these claims were separate and independent of the foreclosure complaint.
The Wicks claimed that the trial court erred in dismissing all of their counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims when it dismissed Wells Fargo’s foreclosure complaint for failure to invoke the court’s jurisdiction. In ruling on the Wicks’ motion for reconsideration, however, this court determined that, with the exception of the TILA claims, the trial court’s dismissal of the Wicks’ claims was without prejudice and, therefore, as it related to those non-TILA claims, the trial court’s dismissal was not a final, appealable order.
On appeal, this court determined in considering the merits of the case, that a proper and validly asserted counterclaim is not extinguished by a plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of its claims when the court has jurisdiction to proceed on the counterclaim. This court found, therefore, that where the court has jurisdiction over the parties and over the controversy, the borrowers’ counterclaim that does not arise from the note or mortgage can remain pending for independent adjudication.
Similarly, this court found that the trial court’s conclusion in this case that it lacked jurisdiction over the foreclosure claim because the bank lacked standing did not extinguished the Wicks’ proper and validly asserted claims.
I had blogged about a competition to generate ideas to lower the cost of affordable housing, the Minnesota Challenge to Lower the Cost of Affordable Housing. I was pretty excited about this challenge and was happy to see that a winner has been chosen: the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA).
CURA’s winning proposal is here. Basically, they