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Reasonable Fees

How do I get custody of my children? How can I “stack the deck” in my favor?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | May 18, 2011

The first question that most people ask in a divorce is, “How does the court determine which parent will get custody of the children?” In Arizona there are two types of custody; legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody addresses which parent will make the major decisions concerning the child such as health care decisions, where the child will go to school and what religion the child will be raised. When the parties have joint legal custody they make the…

When do you need a lawyer?

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | January 26, 2011

We speak with hundreds of individuals and couples monthly. People are engaging in new business opportunities, buying homes with non-spouses, entering into new romances and contemplating second marriages. They ask, “when do I need a lawyer?” The answer varies. Sometimes no lawyer is needed. Most of the time, however, legal involvement early on is critical. What all of these Clients have in common is that they are entering into a new interpersonal relationship. Such a relationship will be as strong,…

Deficiency Lawsuits Increasing

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | January 26, 2011

In our practice we have noticed that more Clients are experiencing deficiency lawsuits–but not as a result of a foreclosure. These Clients have sold their homes—they were short sale sellers—and failed to negotiate a release of personal liability as a part of the short sale transaction. Many were not aware that negotiating such a release was an option, nor were they aware of the risk they were taking by selling without obtaining a release of personal liability. Arizona’s anti-deficiency statutes…

Bankruptcy pitfalls–cross collateral/cross default clauses in consumer loans

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 14, 2010

It is common for families to develop a relationship with one lender and use this lender for all their credit needs. This works fine until it is time to file for bankruptcy. Then there are often surprises in store. Debts that were considered to be unsecured – credit card balances – are discovered to be covered by a cross-collateralization clause with the effect that the credit card balance is now secured by the family car. In order to keep the…

Short Sale Deficiency

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 3, 2010

A short sale agreement should, ideally, provide in clear and explicit language that a seller is released from all financial responsibility upon closing of the short sale. Some agreements do so provide. But often specific release language is omitted and the short sale agreement provides only that the lien will be released to enable the sale to close. Where does this leave the Seller? Is the Seller responsible for any deficiency remaining after the short sale? Arizona caselaw provides some…

Arizona Trustee Sale/Foreclosure Requirements

By Platt & Westby, P.C. | September 2, 2010

In Arizona the vast majority of real estate foreclosures are accomplished by the non-judicial trustee sale procedure. This has the advantage of being faster and cheaper than a traditional judicial foreclosure. But a Trustee appointed by a Lender to do a Trustee Sale must follow Arizona legal procedures. As of July 30, 2010, a lender must: 1.MAKE CONTACT. Thirty or more days before recording a notice of trustee sale, a Lender must contact a Borrower to discuss alternatives to foreclosure.…