Hutchens Law Firm Blog

The North Carolina Supreme Court dealt a major blow to consumer attempts to evade personal liability for a deficiency balance after a non-judicial foreclosure sale in United Community Bank (Ga.) v. Wolfe, No. 289PA15 (May 5,2017).
If you've been reading the news lately, fraudsters and hackers are everywhere! They're hijacking business and personal computers across the globe demanding a ransom so you can gain access back to your computer. They're sending fake emails asking you to open a Word document, Dropbox link, or Google Drive link that could potentially scrape your personal information to be used for identity theft. They're emailing you "from" UPS and FedEx claiming an urgent, overnight package can't be delivered.
We often joke at the closing table that a borrower is about to sign their life away. Maybe it's not that serious, but signing the promissory note and deed of trust at closing is a life-changing event.  
(With Apologies and Deference to Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde) Every so often, a North Carolina appellate court will issue an opinion that is useful to the mortgage servicing industry not so much for its substantive holding but for the practical guidance that may be gleaned from its dicta.  One such case is In re: Foreclosure of Real Property Under Deed of Trust From Garrett, 795 S.E.2d 1 (N.C. Ct. App. 2016) which involved the following relevant facts:  
When Typos Aren’t Enough to Give a Homeowner a ‘Free House'
Selling property does not have to be a stressful process. For most sellers, it can be a matter of signing the paperwork and sitting back to wait for a check. However, often sellers are nervous or apprehensive about what the final closing will bring. Below are 5 things a seller should know about closing.  
Seeking a lawyer’s help can come at a stressful time in your life.  You may be starting a new business and you need help setting up an LLC, or you may have just been sued and you do not know what to do.  Not only do you have the stress added by your legal issue, you now have an appointment for an initial consultation with a local attorney, but you have no idea of what to expect.  Meeting with an attorney may be a new and foreign experience and it is the goal of this article to give you some insight on what will happen in your initial consultation. 
Recently, a neighborhood HOA approached me with a question regarding family care homes in North Carolina. The HOA contained covenants and restrictions which limited the use of homes in the neighborhood to single family residences only.   The question was whether an owner in the neighborhood could establish a family care home based on the neighborhood restrictions. Despite the restrictions written in the HOA covenants, the answer is yes, the owner can establish a family care home. The jurisdiction of the Family Care Home bill supersedes any restrictions imposed by the HOA. 
Occasionally we answer questions regarding Leases with Options to purchase, also known as “lease-purchase” or “rent to own” transactions. Normally the questions I receive are from buyers or realtors representing buyers who would like to purchase a home yet due to an extenuating circumstance they cannot move forward with the purchase. Sometimes in these cases, a seller will entertain a lease with option contract where they commit to sell property to a buyer while holding an offer to sell open for a set period of time, the “option period."
In my first blog “Life Estates in North Carolina,” I noted that a life estate is the interest in property that is measured by the life of a person.  It can be granted to someone for his or her lifetime or for the lifetime of another.  The life estate interest gives the holder the right to all the benefits of the property during the lifetime for which it is granted.