One of the most common sources of litigation involving real property is that of disputes between adjoining property owners. Of these disputes, many involve a disagreement regarding where the property line between the two parcels of land is actually located, and one party’s objection to his neighbor’s use of the property beyond the legal boundary between the properties. Pennsylvania has a well-developed practical approach to such disputes where a line between the properties has been respected and acquiesced to for a requisite period of years.
The Pennsylvania Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act, (PUFTA) 12 Pa.C.S.A. § 5101 et seq., grants a statutory remedy to creditors where a debtor has acted to hinder his creditors and identifies several factors for scrutinizing transfers as fraudulent to creditors. Where a transfer has been proven to be fraudulent as to a debtor’s creditors, remedies available to a creditor include voiding the fraudulent transfer, attaching the transferred property, injunctions against the debtor’s future disposition of assets, and Court appointment of a receiver to take charge of fraudulently transferred assets.
Many Contractors may have become familiar with the recent Amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law which became effective in January of 2007. Those Amendments were the first Amendments to the Law since the Law’s adoption in 1963, and reflected an effort on the part of the Pennsylvania Legislature to re-assert the Contractors’ and Subcontractors’ right to file Mechanics’ Liens for non-payment by restricting effective Up-front Lien Waivers and providing a bonding procedure to ensure payment where Up-front Waivers were required
Often times, Demolition contractors and Landscaping contractors will ask whether their services and the materials used in their trades constitute a proper basis for a Mechanics’ Lien Claim in order to preserve a likelihood of payment. Knowing what is, and what is not properly lienable work and materials is something that every contractor should be mindful of when assessing different jobs.
Many times a majority shareholder seeking to squeeze-out a minority shareholder will deliberately withhold information relating to the closely held corporation. Withholding information is usually coupled with another form of oppression. The reason for the same is by leaving the minority shareholder in the dark about the status of the corporations and the actions of its officers and directors the minority shareholder will be unaware of the other forms of oppression.
Prior to the Amendments to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 which became effective January 1, 2007, Mechanics’ Lien Claims were granted priority over Mortgages against the liened property that were recorded after the effective date of the Lien. Under the old law, a Mechanics’ Lien Claim representing amounts due to the Contractor for erection or construction “related back” to the start of work on the property, and Liens representing amounts due for alteration and repair dated from the filing of the Lien Claim.
In Zokaites v. Pittsburgh Irish Pubs, LLC a case decided in December, 2008, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania held that a judgment creditor may not receive a debtor’s membership interest in a limited liability company, unless the operating agreement of the company allows it. A judgment creditor is a person who has successfully won a judgment for a sum of money to be paid by a debtor.
Important changes to the Pennsylvania Mechanics’ Lien Law of 1963 became effective on the first day of 2007. A Mechanics’ Lien is a non-exclusive statutory remedy that permits certain contractors and subcontractors the protection of a lien against a property for amounts due and unpaid which are attributable to labor and/or materials used in a private construction project.
A recent article in the National Law Journal reports that class actions have been filed in California and Washington State federal courts against four major real estate title and escrow companies. The suits claim that the title companies charged customers for work completed by other companies involved in the settlement process, led them to pay… Continue Reading