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Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Legal Definitions - F
A to Z Blogging Challenge. My topic is LEGAL DEFINITIONS EXPLAINED IN PLAIN [AND HOPEFULLY HUMOROUS] ENGLISH.
Fact – those pesky things you need to prove in order to win your case.
Finder of fact – the judge in a bench trial, the jury in a jury trial. Those person/s who have the unenviable task of trying not to cry or throw up while viewing photographs of the murder victim, or trying to stay awake while the parties discuss four thousand boring documents related to the breach of contract case. Hint: when the eyes of the finder of fact start to glaze over, you are losing the case.
Federal courts – Question: What's the difference between God and a federal judge? Answer: God doesn't think he's a federal judge.
Fixture - An item of personal property that is physically attached to real property and becomes part of it. Examples: toilet, light switch, ceiling fan, kitchen counter and cabinets. Fixtures belong to the owner of the real property, even if they were purchased by the tenant. Some prior owners of foreclosed properties strip the properties of fixtures before moving out, and then they're actually surprised when my clients sue them for the replacement cost. Some of my clients request the DA file criminal charges, depending on the extent of the damage.
Foreclosure – When a homeowner stops paying the mortgage, the lender sells the property at auction to help recoup its losses. Properties sold at foreclosure sales are rarely sold for fair market value, because the buyer has to spend money evicting the current occupants [which pays my salary] and/or fixing the problems with the property which are unknown to the buyer. Many foreclosed homes are purchased by investors [some of whom are my clients], who rehabilitate the property and then “flip” it, reselling it for fair market value. Approximately ninety percent of foreclosed homeowners believe the lender sold their property fraudulently, even though they acknowledge they haven't paid the mortgage for more than a year. Some of those foreclosed homeowners are correct, altho in California, if my client/investors purchased the property, the prior homeowners can get money out of the lender but generally can't get the property back unless my client/investors choose to sell it back to them [of course for fair market value].