Recent Articles from All Practice Groups

Justice Gorsuch’s First Majority Opinion Is A Win For Debt Purchasers

In Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., Justice Gorsuch authored the unanimous decision in a decidedly conversational tone, holding that an entity that purchases another’s debt and then seeks to collect that debt is not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and thus is not beholden to that Act’s strictures for debt collection. The Act defines... Read More >

Emotional Support Animals in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities: What Every Association and Owner Should Know

An emotional support animal (commonly referred to as an “ESA”) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability. An ESA is not the same thing as a “pet”. Rather, for a resident of a Coop or Condo who is living with a mental or psychiatric disability,... Read More >

Emotional Support Animals in Cooperative Apartment and Condo Communities: What Every Association and Owner Should Know

By DAVID A. RAHNIS An emotional support animal (commonly referred to as an “ESA”) is a companion animal (typically a dog or cat) that provides therapeutic benefit to an individual with a mental or psychiatric disability.  An ESA is not the same thing as a “pet”.  Rather, for a resident of a Coop or Condo who is living with a mental... Read More >

Commercial Tenant’s Lease – Estoppel and Attornment Considerations

A standard provision of commercial lease agreements is an agreement by the Tenant to execute estoppel certificates, and to attorn to a lender. An estoppel certificate is a statement from the tenant to either a lender or a prospective purchaser that clarifies: what property is leased (often includes square footage) the length term of the lease that the lease has or... Read More >

Forgiven Debt – Taxable to the Borrower?

Generally, if a borrower is required to pay a sum certain at a specific time, the obligation is considered “debt” under the Internal Revenue Code.  If the lender forgives a portion, it has “cancelled” the debt and the borrower must declare and take into income the dollar amount cancelled.  A lender may unilaterally decide that a debt is not collectable... Read More >

Are You Ready? DC’s Overhauled Zoning Regulations Become Effective September 6

DC’s new zoning regulations – referred to as “ZR16” – become effective September 6.  They are the product of a multi-year review by the Zoning Review Taskforce of the original zoning regulations enacted in 1958 and amended or updated through a patchwork process in the succeeding decades.  The Zoning Review Taskforce was comprised of representatives of the DC Government, the... Read More >

MD: Montgomery County Recordation Tax Changes Effective September 1

James E. Babb, Tax Operations Manager for the Montgomery County Department of Finance, issued a memorandum explaining the revisions to the law concerning recordation tax, which goes into effect on September 1, 2016. He has included 12 examples which are intended to help the public understand their interpretation of the new law as it pertains to recordation tax calculations. A copy of Bill 15-16 can... Read More >

VA: Foreclosure Purchasers Face New Potential Hurdle In Virginia

In Parrish v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that when a defendant raises a bona fide question of the plaintiff's title in an unlawful detainer/ejectment action before the General District Court, that court loses subject matter over the case and the plaintiff must vindicate its title in the Circuit Court, thereby creating another... Read More >

Consider Carefully The New Certification Required Under The Revised DC FP7

The DC Recorder of Deeds announced today that it has revised the Real Property Recordation and Transfer Tax Form FP 7/C (herein “FP7C”).   The purpose of this revision was to “contain a self-certification of compliance with tax payment, per DC Code § 42-407(2).” That statute, reprinted below,... Read More >

DC: 2016 Final Zoning Regulations Published

On March 4, 2016 the Zoning Commission of the District of Columbia, after scores of hearings and meetings, issued completely revised zoning regulations. The changes from earlier regulations are extensive and practitioners and laymen are encouraged to read the new regulations carefully. The new regulations will take... Read More >

DC: Proposed Laws Challenge the Airbnb Model

Vincent Orange, Councilmember of the D.C. Counsel has introduced two bills that would directly challenge the Airbnb business model. The “Short Term Rental Regulation and Housing Protection Amendment Act of 2015” would establish a Special Enforcement Division with DCRA to regulate the industry, monitor compliance by the housing providers and... Read More >

Analysis of Key Changes To GCAAR Documents

Analysis of Changes in 10/2015 Version Roy L. Kaufmann Jackson & Campbell, P.C. A well-formatted, printable .pdf of this article is available here. GCAAR SALES CONTRACT (GCAAR FORM 911) [1] General Comments             The new GCAAR Sales Contract (here, we will call it the “Contract”, formerly called the “Regional Sales Contract”) to be implemented on... Read More >

TAGGED:

D.C. Court of Appeals: TOPA Extensions Must Be Defined To Preserve Tenant Rights

In an important new ruling construing the Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (“TOPA”), the D.C. Court of Appeals held on September 23, 2015, that extensions of the deadlines for a seller and a tenant association to negotiate a sales contract must be express and contain a definite end-date to... Read More >

Published Fourth Circuit Opinion On Maryland Credit Law Relies On Unpublished Opinion

In a published opinion that relied upon the reasoning of a previous unpublished opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in Gardner v. GMAC that the Maryland Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions, Md. Code Ann., Com. Law sec. 12-1001, et seq., require borrowers to have repaid more than the original principal amount of their loans... Read More >

Conservation Lawsuit Revived—Whether Act Is Inconsistent With Another Law Does Not Deprive Court Of Jurisdiction

The Fourth Circuit again reversed dismissals under Rule 12(b) in Goldfarb v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, in a case regarding contamination claims brought under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 USC sec. 6901, et seq. The City of Baltimore gave a parcel of land near the Patapsco River, formerly used for... Read More >

Mortgage Company’s Indemnification Claim Against Loan Officer Not Discharged In Bankruptcy

When Fidelity First Home Mortgage Company was found liable by a jury under the doctrine of respondeat superior when one of its loan officers engaged in a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme, it sued the loan officer seeking indemnification and contribution. The loan officer claimed that Fidelity’s claims were discharged... Read More >

U.S. Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right

[caption id="attachment_315" align="alignright" width="150"] Photo Credit: US Rep. Mark Pocan Twitter[/caption] Coincidentally timed on the anniversary of the decisions in Lawrence v. Texas and U.S. v. Windsor, two prior gay-rights cases, Justice Kennedy announced the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the five-person majority held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all... Read More >