Real Estate

Real Estate Law is one of the oldest and most complex areas of law. The roots of Property Law in Pennsylvania stretch back to the colonial period and, beyond that, to the Middle Ages in England as property rights developed in that feudalistic society. A largely agrarian society at that time, rights in real estate were exceptionally important and a complex body of law developed as people sought to defend and establish their claims against others. Although over the centuries the courts and legislatures have sought to make this law somewhat more accessible, it still remains a complex yet vital area of law touching everyone’s life in many ways. At Trinity Law, you will find attorneys who are well prepared to guide through the complexities of these laws, protecting your interests and providing clear title and security in your property dealings. This is true whether you are buying and selling, involved in a zoning matter, developing land or engaged in construction, dealing with financing, whether or as a lender or a borrower, or engaged in leasing property, whether as a landlord or tenant, commercial or residential. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in regard to foreclosures, tax sales, sheriff sales, quiet title actions, partitions, and condemnation.

Buying and Selling

Our office can assist you with a full range of services related to the sale and purchase of real estate, including condominiums. Any agreement for the purchase or sale of real estate creates a contractual relationship under which both parties are bound to perform certain duties. Some of these, such as transferring title and paying money, are clear. Others are less clear, such as personal property issues, fixtures (does the chandelier stay with the house?), zoning issues (are you really allowed to do what you are intending to do with the property?), inspection waivers, hidden easements, and many others, as well as a multitude of issues hidden in the fine print on the back of the standard real estate agreement; all pose hidden traps for the unwary. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through these issues, defending your rights, and working hard to make the sale or purchase happen. Our attorneys can guide you through drawing up the agreement, real estate settlement, the provision of title insurance, as well as any other post-settlement issue which might arise.

Title Insurance

Title insurance is almost universally procured at the real estate settlement. Title insurance is not property insurance. Property insurance protects your property from loss in case of fire or theft. Title insurance protects your “Title” to the property itself. Title insurance will defend you if someone should claim that they own your property or part of your property due to a transfer which the seller or, perhaps a prior seller made and did not properly disclose. In addition, title insurance protects you against claims raised by people stating that they have a right to travel across your property (called an easement), or any such other claim. In order to protect their interest, banks uniformly require title insurance, and it is highly recommended that all purchasers, even if there is no bank financing, obtain title insurance to protect their investment.

Real Estate Settlement

Real estate settlement is the culmination of the process under which a person purchases a piece of real estate. At the settlement, the deed is delivered, the money is paid, title insurance is procured and provision is made to deliver the property to the buyer free and clear of all debts and liens and claims by others. Trinity Law, has a long history of providing this vital service. Although there are many title agencies which also provide the service, as a general rule they can not provide services that our law firm can. This is because we will be representing you, the purchaser, while a title agency is only there to prepare papers and obtain signatures. Our attorneys represent you and are committed to making the deal happen. Therefore, we are able to resolve last minute crises that arise at the table, give you accurate legal advice concerning the papers that you are signing, and look out for your interest. Perhaps most importantly, this extra protection provided by an attorney who is on your side comes at no extra cost. The cost of performing real estate settlement services where title insurance is offered is governed by law and therefore, we charge no more than the title agencies although we provide an attorney who is representing you. We also represent sellers at the purchaser’s settlement if desired.

Financing

Very few deals these days take place without significant amount of financing. Sometimes that financing is through a bank, sometimes it is privately arranged. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, can assist you in dealing with the banks if necessary. Likewise, we can represent you in regard to private lenders. If you are seeking to sell a property or to simply lend to someone who is selling property and wishing to take back a mortgage, we also can prepare mortgages and provide any other services which would assist you in completing your loan.

Condominiums

Although in many ways, a purchase of a condominium is simply a purchase of real estate, yet there is extensive law dealing with the purchase and sale of condominiums, together with regulation of condominium agreements and like matters. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, are able to assist you in regard to every aspect of condominium law whether you are a buyer, a seller or a homeowner’s association.

Zoning

The day when a person could do whatever he wanted on his property are long gone. Today, municipal ordinances are brimming with laws regulating land use throughout every township. In addition, the case law books are filled with cases regulating almost every aspect of zoning law. Whether it is simply a question of what you are allowed to do in any particular property, a question of what your neighbor is allowed to do, a request to the local zoning board for approval of your plans or it is an attempt to prevent your neighbor from destroying your property value by putting in a nuisance, the attorneys at Trinity Law, are available to assist you. We can advise you, represent you, and negotiate to achieve your goals and protect your property value.

Land Development and Construction

As in every matter touching property law, the laws regarding land development and construction are complex and in many ways are getting more complex. Trinity Law, is able to assist you with competent counsel regarding all aspects of land development and construction.

Landlord and Tenant

The landlord/tenant relationship takes many forms. There are simple leases, rent-to-buy leases, residential leases, commercial leases, month-to-month leases, year-to-year leases and multi-year leases. And, of course, in a situation such as leasing, where each parties’ welfare depends upon the other party’s cooperation over an extended period of time, there is much room for issues to develop that need to be resolved. At Trinity Law, we have broad experience dealing with these many issues and can assist you in resolving whatever matter may be facing you at the current time.

Foreclosures

Foreclosure is a legal process under which a lender regains possession of property to which he holds a mortgage. This may be because the borrower is not paying on his or her loan or not living up to some other requirement under the note or the mortgage. If you are a lender, our attorneys at Trinity Law, are able to assist you in recovering what is rightfully yours through the foreclosure process.
On the other hand, if you are the borrower in danger of losing your property, we are there for you too. If you just need some more time or if this foreclosure is unjust, we can assist you and counsel you and represent you vigorously in defending your rights.

Tax Sales

Whether you are looking to purchase a property at a tax sale or you have had your property improperly sold by the Tax Claim Bureau, we can assist you. If your property has been improperly sold at a tax sale, our attorneys have tremendous experience overturning tax sales. On the other hand, if you are seeking to purchase a property at a tax sale, the attorneys at Trinity Law, can counsel you in regard to maximizing your chances for a successful purchase on a tax sale property including proceeding to a Quiet Title Action.

Quiet Title

A Quiet Title Action is an action under which a person who owns the property with a disputed title can obtain a judicial declaration declaring that he has clear title. The advantage of a Quiet Title Action is that you pick the time and place. Usually, most Quiet Title Actions proceed without a hitch because although there may be people that want to challenge the title, no one is usually prepared to do it when the action is filed. Therefore, especially after a property is bought at a tax sale, we strongly encourage a Quiet Title Action in order to obtain markable title and a clear secure investment. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, can represent you in prosecuting or defending a quiet title action.

Partition

A partition action occurs when a property is held jointly but the two or more people are unable to agree as to a resolution of the property. It might be that one person has excluded the other, or simply the various joint tenants have differing goals and differing claims that cannot be resolved. Partition action resolves these issues and gives everyone what they are entitled to under the law. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, can represent you in prosecuting or defending a partition action.

Sheriff’s Sales

Sheriff’s sales occur when a property has been seized either as a result of a foreclosure action or perhaps a creditor has executed on a judgment. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, can provide you with counsel and assistance in dealing with the sheriff’s sale and defending your rights or guiding you in obtaining clear title on a purchased property.

Condemnation

Condemnation is a process under which the government takes private property for either its own use or, sometimes, for the use of a non-governmental organization if such use is considered worthwhile by the governmental organization. This is often a heart-rending procedure for someone who is losing a family farm or a property in which they have invested much time and energy. Our attorneys at Trinity Law, can assist you through the entire process, fighting the condemnation, assuring that you will obtain a fair value for your property, and asserting whatever other rights that you may have.