Articles Tagged with equity

underwood-equity-settlement-offer-300x300California Code of Civil Procedure section 998 incentivizes parties in litigation to settle their disputes before trial. The statute provides that up to ten days before trial, either party may submit a written offer to the other to settle the case under specified terms. (CCP § 998(b).) 

If the plaintiff rejects the defendant’s timely offer and, after trial, receives a judgment not more favorable than the one offered by the defendant, then the plaintiff must “pay the defendant’s costs from the time of the offer.” (CCP § 998(c)(1).) In most civil actions, the court also has the discretion to force the plaintiff to cover a “reasonable sum” of the defendant’s costs of using expert witnesses incurred after the offer was made. 

When a defendant rejects the plaintiff’s timely offer and later receives a judgment at trial that is not more favorable than what the plaintiff offered, the court has the discretion to force the defendant to cover a “reasonable sum” of the plaintiff’s costs of using expert witnesses incurred after the offer was made. (CCP § 998(d).) 

underwood-home-equity-sales-300x300Frequently, when homeowners are dealing with financial difficulties, equity purchasers may induce homeowners to sell their homes for a fraction of the price. An “equity purchaser” is anyone who acquires title to any residence in foreclosure, with some exceptions. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1695.1(a)). The California legislature believed that homeowners were losing their homes to foreclosure due to “fraud, deception, and unfair dealing by home equity purchasers.” (Cal. Civ. Code § 1695). To combat these instances of deceit, the Legislature implemented the Home Equity Sales Contract Act, found in Title 5 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, Chapter 2.5, sections 1695.1-1695.16.

The goals of the Act are to provide homeowners with the information they need to make an informed decision regarding the sale of their home to an equity purchaser, to require that sales agreements be in writing, to protect the public against deceit and financial hardship, to encourage fair dealing in the sale and purchase of homes in foreclosure, to prohibit homeowners from being misled, to restrict unfair contract terms, to give homeowners a reasonable opportunity to rescind sales to equity purchasers, and to preserve home equities for the homeowners of California. (Cal. Civ. Code § 1695).

What Does the Home Equity Sales Contract Act Restrict?

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