Residential Real Estate

About the Practice Group

For over 25 years The Wolf Firm has represented the financial services community throughout the State of California through a team of highly experienced and dedicated attorneys in such areas as  judicial and non-judicial foreclosure, bankruptcy, escrow/closing, evictions/unlawful detainer, judicial foreclosure, litigation, loss mitigation, regulatory compliance, residential receivership and residential transactions.

The focus of the Residential Real Estate Practice Group is to provide excellent service to its clients to maximize and expedite recovery and minimize loss and risk through the development of a shared strategy and goal orientation with the client based on an understanding of the client’s objectives and sound advice by the Firm.

The  Residential Real Estate Practice Group recognizes the costs and risks inherent in failing to define achievable objectives and adopt appropriate and focused strategies. To this end, the  Residential Real Estate Group has adopted systems and procedures to ensure that potential traps are avoided and a focus is maintained on timely and strategic results achieved on a cost effective basis.

The  Residential Real Estate  Practice Group recognizes that different clients have different needs and expectations. The Practice Group offers flat fee rates accordingly to investor guidelines and as may be negotiated with a client as well as standardized and adjusted hourly billing rates. The  Residential Real Estate Practice Group regularly provides general advice to its clients without billing for doing so. Our focus is on building strong and long-term relationships with our clients by being a quality team member with each of our clients.

Bankruptcy

The Wolf Firm’s Bankruptcy Department adheres to strict timelines and specific procedures established by each of its clients.  Each file is given personal attention by the Firm’s knowledgeable attorneys and staff members.  It has always been the Firm’s goal to deliver exceptional service by maintaining open and direct lines of communication with its clients to ensure that they are always kept apprised of the quality of work being performed.   

The protection of the Firm’s clients’ interests is top priority and the Bankruptcy Department staff is trained to recognize the various schemes of bankruptcy cases filed in bad faith.

The Bankruptcy Department works hand-in-hand with its Eviction and Foreclosure departments to provide seamless legal services and will often provide complimentary legal advice to its clients.

For more information, please email Bankruptcy@wolffirm.com.  

California Eviction/Unlawful Detainer

The Wolf Firm’s attorneys and staff in the Eviction Department have extensive training in all post-foreclosure evictions in the State of California, including all matters which become highly contested and/or are complex and require extensive litigation.  The Eviction Department is also capable of handling all rent control areas throughout the State of California, as well as appeals which routinely are requested by tenants and have excellent working relationship with the housing offices of all major counties.  Furthermore, they know when an eviction action can commence on a property in a rent control area.  On those matters where a contested rent control property results in a landlord/tenant relationship, the Eviction Department has extensive training on the resulting evictions which arise due to breaches in the lease agreement.

With the passage of the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, the rules have completely changed with regard to tenant occupied properties.   The Wolf Firm is at the cutting edge of strategic thinking with regard to how best to deal with this new reality.

For more information, please email Eviction@wolffirm.com.  

Escrow/Closing

The Wolf Firm has an outstanding in-house Escrow/Closing Department which provides services throughout the state of California and is managed by a group of highly skilled and licensed escrow officers who provide truly exceptional customer service. Department leaders are licensed through the Department of Corporations which mandates an extensive background check and the completion of rigorous courses.  Escrow/Closing services guarantee speedy transactions with precision and attention to detail, include notary service and full document preparation.

 For more information, please email Escrow@wolffirm.com 

Judicial Foreclosure

If the client decides to pursue and complete a judicial foreclosure as part of the receivership action, The Wolf Firm provides a judicial foreclosure package containing the following general procedures, steps, and documents:

  1. Provide borrower with demand for payment and disclosures required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, if appropriate.
  2. Order litigation guarantee.
  3. Draft, file, and serve judicial foreclosure complaint.
  4. Draft, file and record notices of pendency of action (Lis Pendens).
  5. Prepare and file application for entry of clerk’s default as to all parties.
  6. Attend first court ordered status conference.
  7. Prepare and file application and supporting declarations for default judgment.  Attend default judgment hearing.  Obtain judgment.
  8. Prepare and file application for writ of sale.  Send bidding instructions to sheriff and coordinate sale with sheriff.
  9. Obtain appraisal.  Prepare and file application to court for fair value hearing.  Attend fair value hearing.  Obtain deficiency judgment.
  10. Prepare and record abstract of judgment in county where action filed.

In the event that a defendant answers the complaint, The Wolf Firm will prepare and file a motion for summary judgment as part of the foreclosure package if the issues raised in the answer are those that would permit a routine disposition of the case.  Litigation is, of course, always uncertain.  A defendant with resources and creative arguments who wants actively to oppose us in the litigation may be able to render summary judgment difficult or impossible.  In the event of significant opposition or in the event of other litigation, such as discovery responses, mandatory settlement conferences, pre-trial preparation, and/or trial,.

Obtaining a judicial foreclosure can take approximately six months to a year.  In most cases, following the judicial foreclosure sale, there is one year redemption period.  Often the threat of a judicial foreclosure is sufficient to force the borrowers into an acceptable settlement posture, assuming that the borrowers have assets they desire to protect.  Therefore, we highly recommend that you simultaneously run a non-judicial foreclosure which can be taken to completion in the event of settlement.

For more information, please email Foreclosure@wolffirm.com

Litigation

The focus of the Litigation Department at The Wolf Firm is being effective, responsive and professional in the representation of our clients. The Litigation Department views itself as part of an integrated team with the client and demonstrates this on a daily basis by clear and responsive communications, goal-directed actions, and the results achieved.  The Litigation Department’s practice is built around consistency in service and a strategic approach to case management. The Department works with its clients to develop clear and specific goals and strategies, while controlling costs and achieving results that meet or exceed the client’s expectations.

The Litigation Department recognizes the costs and risks inherent in failing to define achievable objectives and adopt appropriate and defined strategies. To this end, the Litigation Department has adopted systems and procedures to ensure that potential traps are avoided to optimize outcomes in both results and cost-effectiveness.

As part of collaborative and synergistic efforts, The Litigation Department regularly provides general advice to its clients without billing for doing so. The Litigation Department also has an established flat fee, a monthly retainer, and incremental fee arrangements with individual clients.  It also has adjusted hourly rates to accommodate individual matters. As part of a law firm with a history of servicing the financial services industry for decades, the focus is on building strong and long-term relationships with clients rather than maximizing billings on individual case files.

Lenders and servicers are viewed as target defendants and, among many attorneys in the Plaintiff’s Bar, viewed as an easy mark for extorting unreasonable demands or as defendants against whom judges and juries can be inflamed. To make matters worse, the Plaintiff’s Bar has become increasingly well organized; the media has created negative perceptions of lenders and servicers and warped expectations; the internet has created a resource from which every borrower and attorney are provided roadmaps for borrowers and their counsel to follow in asserting claims against lenders and servicers. It appears there are far too many lawyers scrambling for not enough work, or desperate for a source of revenue. As a result, lawyers have become increasingly aggressive in asserting claims against lenders and servicers and, in many instances, far less ethical in their approach. The challenges faced by lenders, servicers and mortgage banking attorneys in evaluating and monitoring individual lawsuits as well as defining litigation objectives and strategy are, therefore, tremendous. The lenders and servicers are caught between competing goals of risk avoidance and limiting litigation costs versus not being viewed as a target and patsies that can be extorted and manipulated thereby encouraging even a greater volume of lawsuits, more risks and a higher level of costs. Our Department works with our residential lender and servicer clients to meet these challenges.

Areas of Practice Include:

  • Advise clients on avoidance of litigation risks and establishing procedures in the loss mitigation process
  • Defense of Claims of TILA, RESPA, HOEPA, Predatory Lending, Unfair Lending Practices, California Statute Violations as well as tort claims asserted
  • Appointment of Receivers as to Tenant Occupied Properties
  • Pursuit of Fraud Claims
  • Pursuit of Waste Claims
  • Pursuit of Deficiency Claims
  • Title and Casualty Insurance Claims
  • Evictions
  • Defense of Lis Pendens and Injunction Claims.

For more information, please email Litigation@wolffirm.com.

Loss Mitigation

The Wolf Firm understands that Loss Mitigation is an important tool in Loan Servicing which benefits the investors, clients and the borrower. Loss Mitigation is an alternative means of mitigating losses to the client, while providing a soluble resolution for the homeowner.  Providing alternative solutions to foreclosure has a cost effect for the client and the borrower.  The benefit to the Lender is mitigating losses in the early stages of delinquency.

The Wolf Firm’s Loss Mitigation staff is dedicated to finding the best possible way to avoid the cost associated with foreclosure.

The Wolf Firm provides assistance to its clients by offering a comprehensive line of services such as: preparing a demand letter, Loan Modification agreement, Deed- in- Lieu transactions, pre-foreclosure short sale, forbearance payment plan, due diligence, and being a liaison between the client and homeowner by collecting the financial information.

The Wolf Firm’s Loss Mitigation Department has the proven ability to ensure that timelines are met, and minimize delays in the process while meeting the needs of our client.   The Department’s services bring the most benefit to both the homeowner and the client by ensuring the mortgage obligation is financially sustainable for the homeowner where appropriate and that all options have been reviewed and discussed.

For more information, please email WorkOut@wolffirm.com.  

National Eviction Management

Outside of California, and through the use of the firm’s nationwide network of associated co-counsel, the firm accepts representation from owners or servicers of residential real estate involving the management of:

  • Lender and Creditor Defense (including Wrongful Foreclosure Defense)
  • Quiet Title
  • Eviction
  • Similar Default-Related Litigation

All Nationwide Litigation Management features Symphony, a web-based technology platform for the central management of property-related litigation. Symphony is a SSAE16-secure web application with over a decade of development history, developed by an attorney and licensed exclusively to the firm. Symphony uses patented and patent-pending methods to deliver customizable workflow management, timeline controls, secure and centralized messaging, budgeting and pre-approval processes, and electronic invoicing capabilities.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

The Wolf Firm is one of only a handful of law firms which provides non-judicial foreclosure services in California. All of the Firm’s services are provided within Agency guidelines, pricing and time frames  The Wolf Firm provides you with the rich and powerful resources of an “AV” rated law firm without exorbitant costs.  The Wolf Firm’s Foreclosure Department is headed by Renae Murray.

The Mobile Home Division of the Foreclosure Department specializes in the handling of real property and personal property mobile home and manufactured home foreclosures, plus related title issues and compliance with Mobile Home Residency Laws.  It is supported by the Foreclosure Department and the special expertise of  attorney Kayo Manson-Tompkins who has extensive knowledge in California mobile home foreclosures.

Using The Wolf Firm for your non-judicial foreclosures enables you to fulfill a recognized “best practice” for your foreclosure and related legal needs such as REO Closings, bankruptcies, evictions, judicial foreclosures, receiverships and general litigation. The Wolf Firm can provide you with seamless, immediate, and cost-effective representation without the inherent delays in hand-offs that often occur when legal matters must be referred from a trustee that does not also perform legal services.

The Wolf Firm is client focused and technology driven. The Firm encourages questions and attempts to provide practical answers based both on legal principles and the customs and practices in the industry. The Wolf Firm does not charge for general legal questions and all of its charges meet the standards in the industry.

The Wolf Firm’s practice is built around consistency in its service and a strategic approach to case management. The Firm works with its clients to develop clear, specific goals and strategies, while controlling costs and exceeding the client’s expectations.

For more information, please email Foreclosure@wolffirm.com

Regulatory Compliance

The Wolf Firm’s Regulatory Compliance Department ensures that the financial institutions they represent follow the very many laws, rules and regulations put in place by the bodies which control financial activity in a given jurisdiction. The Firm stays up-to-date with the rules and regulations designed to ensure that such financial activity in the markets is fair, transparent and robust, when the financial institutions are selling financial services such as shares, insurance products or other financial products to private individuals.

Residential Receivership

In and before 2007, the function of servicing evolved around accounting and the orderly disposition and resolution of loans in default.  Servicing as an industry is now facing a growing sense of siege with accusations of nefarious acts and responsibility for an ever increasing volume of loan defaults, tenant protection, property preservation and neighborhood blight.  Foreclosures that used to be completed in a few months are now taking a year or more.  At the same time, the servicing industry is in many instances no longer viewed simply as an industry responding to economic conditions -it is increasingly viewed as ineffective, ill equipped to meet these challenges, crass and uncaring. To a large extent, the industry has become a target for blame and a convenient excuse for conditions the industry does not control and did not create.

In recognizing the growing concerns and needs of the industry, The Wolf Firm provides a vertically integrated, centrally managed national program which appoints a receiver to address such issues as delays in foreclosure, tenant occupied properties, vacant and abandoned properties, impaired and damaged properties and to do so on an efficient and cost effective basis.

For more information, please email Receivership@wolffirm.com.

Residential Transactions

This Firm’s Transactions department handles all aspects of residential transactions, including purchases and sales of residential properties, special, and special closing and mortgage documentation.

For more information, please email Transactions@wolffirm.com.

The Leadership Team

Administrative

Bankruptcy

Escrow/Closing

California Eviction

National Eviction

Foreclosure

Litigation