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Wayne County Real Estate Lawyer

For over 25 years, Wayne County real estate attorney Laura McMahon Lynch has earned a reputation as a highly respected Real Estate Lawyer, as well as a compassionate, driven Probate and Estate Planning attorney. Using her 11 years of experience as both a Special Assistant and Assistant Attorney General defending the State of Michigan, Laura aggressively represents clients in a wide variety of real estate litigation including title disputes, construction liens, quiet title actions, mortgage priority disputes, attorneys liens, deed and mortgage errors, and all matters affecting the title and ownership of real estate.

Construction Liens

As an Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant Attorney General, Laura represented the State of Michigan Construction Lien Fund in litigation throughout the State. Her experience representing Michigan gave her an expertise in Lien matters that is rivaled by few attorneys. Although the State no longer has a Lien Fund, Laura defends Lenders facing displacement of their Mortgage interest due to a Construction Lien foreclosure. Laura also represents Contractors, Suppliers, Sub-contractors or Laborers who have not been paid and need to place a Lien. If need be, she will file a lawsuit to foreclose a client's lien and recover payment. Owners feel safe hiring Laura because she is an expert in the field and understands the statutory provisions for preventing attachment of a residential Lien. Since the Lien Act permits successful Lien Claimants and Mortgagees to recover attorney fees in the discretion of the Court Laura pushes for reimbursement of her fees. Laura has even taught seminars for judges and non-construction lawyers about the ins and outs of handling construction lien foreclosure. You can be confident that your experience with Laura handling your lien litigation will be a good one.

Quiet Title

Quiet Title litigation is a type of real estate litigation which can be filed to clear old liens and mortgages and to confirm clear title for a new property owner. Usually Quiet Title actions are brought in one of two contexts; the first is where the owner purchased the realty at a government auction such as a tax foreclosure sale or a sheriff's mortgage foreclosure sale. The second is where the realty is privately owned such as inherited or purchases without title work. Typically, in these situations after getting the property the owner finds there are gaps in the chain of title or unresolved interests. A Quiet Title action seeks a Court ruling declaring that encumbrances (mortgages and liens) and unresolved interests of former owners are discharged; additionally, confirmation that the current or new owner has clear title is declared by the Court. By obtaining a Judgment to Quiet Title vesting the new land owner with clear and marketable title, the property is then available to be used as the new owner pleases, such as for resale or as collateral for a construction loan.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

More and more the Courts are urging litigants to resolve their disputes through the Alternative Dispute Resolution formats of mediation or facilitation. Generally, this occurs because the funding of the Courts has not kept up with the volume of litigation filed in the Court. There can be many delays and high expenses associated with obtaining a trial by a Judge or jury. Additionally, more and more contracts specify arbitration as the method for resolving parties' disputes concerning the contract. After experiencing ADR, litigants often say they preferred the more relaxed, less adversarial context of mediation where their concerns were finally heard and effectively resolved.

Ms. Lynch has completed the State Court Administrator's Facilitative Mediation course work and is certified as a Mediator in many of the Tri-County Courts. She routinely receives Court appointments to mediate circuit court cases for the 3rd Circuit Court, Wayne County, Michigan. Ms. Lynch is also a Court approved neutral case evaluator on the Commercial Panel of the Wayne County Mediation Tribunal. She also holds the Michigan Arbitration Association certification as well.

Tax Title From Foreclosures

With the resurgence of development in Detroit, more and more residents and outside investors are purchasing real estate foreclosed in Detroit due to unpaid taxes. The Michigan General Property Tax Act governs the procedure to be used by municipal entities to foreclose unpaid taxes. The US Constitution principles of Due Process coordinate with these statutory provisions to assure that the government does not foreclosure property in violation of individuals' rights. There is a significant body of Federal and State case law interpreting the Notice requirements for foreclosure so that due process standards are met in a tax foreclosure setting. Wayne County real estate lawyer Laura McMahon Lynch is well versed in the nuances of these requirements and can help you determine if your real estate auction purchase has clear title or needs additional judicial intervention to clear the title. In certain circumstances she helps real estate owners when their taxes are foreclosed upon.

Condominium Assessment Liens and Construction

The Michigan Condominium Act allows condominium associations to place liens for collection of unpaid assessments. The Act also has a complicated process which, when followed, can be used to avoid personal liability for assessment liens. As an experienced land title attorney, Laura can help to navigate the Condominium Act for a client's benefit whether it be collecting the lien, or discharging it.

On occasion Condominium Associations find that a Developer failed to complete all the required improvements for a new condominium project. Litigation can be undertaken to force a Developer, or sometimes its title company, to complete required improvements. Ms. Lynch has experience helping clients to rectify omissions by condominium Developers through both negotiation and litigation.

Reformation of Deed and Mortgage Errors

In Michigan, real estate title and mortgage interests are transferred or given via a written document. The law requires that those documents must be recorded at the Register of Deeds in the County where the realty is located. Sometimes the written documents do not reflect the intentions of the parties to the transaction. When that occurs, a lawsuit can be commenced in the County where the realty is located, to modify the document so that it conforms with the parties' intentions. For example, the Deed may mistakenly omit the name and signature of one of the sellers, or the legal description of the property may be wrong. These errors can prevent a new owner from getting a loan or a lien holder from selling the mortgage to another Lender. Where the parties' intentions are clear, a lawsuit can be commenced to obtain a Court Order to reform the Deed or Mortgage to reflect the parties' intent. Ms. Lynch has been retained on numerous occasions to correct errors in Deeds and Mortgages by various Lenders, title insurers and agents throughout the State.

Equitable Mortgages

Equitable Mortgages and Claims of Interest. Although not a common occurrence, sometimes title documents are never executed in recordable form or they are not recorded and are lost. Ms. Lynch has successfully litigated the interests of lenders to obtain a Judgment for Equitable Mortgage or an Equitable Lien. These actions are equitable in nature and they are very fact driven. Essentially, the Complainant is requesting the Court to correct an error on the basis of justice and fairness. It is difficult to be successful in the Equitable Lien arena, however Ms. Lynch has had success in this area owing mainly to her drive to obtain justice for her clients.

Attorneys Liens

On occasion a litigant's relationship with his or her attorney sours for some reason and the attorney records a Lien on the client's real estate to recover unpaid attorney fees and costs. Where an attorney's lien is recorded, generally the owner's ability to mortgage, refinance or sell the property is impaired. Ms. Lynch has successfully litigated attorney's liens and has negotiated clients' reduced payoff of their debt. If you would like to collect your lien or dispute someone else's Laura can hep you achieve your goal.

Utility Liens and Assessments

In certain circumstances a municipality may file a lien on real property when the owner fails to pay a water bill, special assessment or violates local ordinances; sometimes the government fails to discharge their lien properly. These liens may or may not be shown in the public record and are usually excluded from title coverage. Therefore, new purchasers may find the need to engage an attorney to remove the municipal liens or to get the unpaid assessments covered by the Seller. Occasionally it is necessary to file an action for breach of warranty of title by the Seller seeking a Judgment against the Seller for the unpaid liens. These lawsuits rely on the covenants of the Seller's Warranty Deed and are typically not available for purchases by Quit Claim Deed, although there sometimes other avenues of recovery for purchasers who did not take title via Warranty Deed.

Business Litigation

While every business would prefer to have their debt secured, often times based on the nature of the contract held by the business, a secured debt was not contemplated by the parties. Laura has a lot of experience obtaining Judgments and collecting unsecured debts against business owners. She has often been retained by large corporations to collect unsecured debts where collectability was deemed hopeless. Laura can help you decide if it makes good business sense to obtain a Judgment against a client who refuses to honor their obligations.

Estate Planning

Laura is dedicated when it comes to helping her clients navigate the often-overwhelming issues of probate and estate planning. She is honored to have become the confidant of countless clients who continue to trust her sensitivity and discretion, as well as her vast knowledge of these areas of law:

Probate Estates

Probate of a decedent's estate is necessary when a decedent fails to plan for the future ownership of his or her assets. With a few exceptions, when there is no living owner of an asset, then a Probate Judge must issue an Order transferring title to the property owned by the decedent. Generally, the transfer is to heirs, but it can also be to creditors or a beneficiary named in a Will. Several methods are available through the Probate Court to transfer assets, depending on the size of the decedent's estate and the relations of the heirs or beneficiaries. The Probate process does not have to be time consuming or extremely expensive. However, if the heirs have a lot of animosity and internal disputes, then the process can be expensive. Laura helps families avoid internal disputes by educating them on the consequences.

Probate in Michigan occurs in the County where the decedent resided at the time of their death. When a decedent has no heirs, and no Will, getting Probate commenced is typically delayed. A delay may or may not cause an inconvenience for whomever is handling the estate. At a minimum every adult should have a Will so that the Court can be aware of who the decedent trusts to administer their estate and who the decedent prefers take title to their assets.

Real Estate Sales and Purchases

As a Wayne County real estate lawyer, Laura McMahon Lynch is often hired to handle the contracts and documents necessary for sale of real estate where the sale is by owner or a personal representative incident to a decedent's estate. Based on the client's preferences, Laura can be as involved in the transaction as the client desires, from reviewing title work, listing agreements and appraisals, to drafting of purchase agreements, deeds, land contracts.

Avoiding Probate

The options for estate planning to avoid probate continually change as laws change and the market brings forth new investment products. Currently there are several methods to assure that a decedent's property passes on to his or her heirs or beneficiaries without necessity of a Probate Court Order. One can create a Trust to hold title to assets and to direct a successor Trustee to distribute the assets after death according to the decedent's wishes. One can also retitle assets in joint ownership or appoint beneficiaries for assets, like making a beneficiary deed to one's home. Beneficiaries can now be named on 401K and other retirement plans and, quite often, beneficiaries can be designated for individual investment vehicles; annuities and insurance typically pass on without necessity of a Probate Judge's Order. Each adult should make certain to handle the distribution of his or her estate consistent with their own priorities and values, so that after their death, the estate is not unnecessarily depleted by costs and fees.

Office Location
Grosse Pointe Farms Office
18720 Mack Ave #230
Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
Contact Us
  1. 1 Over 25 Years of Experience
  2. 2 Former Special Assistant Attorney General
  3. 3 Flexible Payment Options

Fill out the contact form or call us at (313) 885-6697 to schedule your consultation.