One of the greatest misconceptions of Arizona law is that usury is no longer a viable cause of action. In the 1980s, Arizona amended the usury laws to remove the interest rate ceiling. As a result, today’s usury laws essentially authorize lenders to contract for any interest rate. However, usury remains a viable defense against lenders who breach their own contracts by charging fees that aren’t allowed. Read More
Separation Agreements (A.R.S. § 25-317)
Sometimes married couples decide to separate, either in anticipation of divorce, giving one or both of the parties “some space,” or simply living separately for a while in hopes of sorting out their feelings and possibly reconciling. Under Arizona law, married couples can remain married but enter into a legal contract governing their financial matters – the handling of property, debt or even support. This is called a separation agreement and is controlled by A.R.S. § 25-317. The Court of Appeals recently ruled that per the statute, for these separation agreements to be enforceable, the terms cannot be unfair. Buckholtz v. Buckholtz, No. 1 CA-CV 17-0596 FC, filed January 15, 2019. Read More
Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. And if you don’t pay your taxes, there can be severe consequences. For example, if you fail to pay your property taxes, someone else can swoop in, pay the tax liability, and then ultimately claim title to your property.
Under Arizona law, a tax levied on real property is a lien on the assessed property. Read More
Most secured creditors have multiple options if the debtor defaults on payment. That is precisely why they require borrowers to pledge security (such as real estate) for the performance of the repayment of the debt – so that if the borrower defaults, the creditor is not limited to the borrower’s promise to repay the debt – in addition, the creditor can seek reimbursement from the sale of the secured asset.
Years ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. asked: “What is the justification for depriving a man of his rights, a pure evil as far as it goes, in consequence of the lapse of time?” Several reasons exist:  our laws aim to resolve just claims within a reasonable time;  if a claimant sits on her rights for too long, relevant evidence to disprove the claim may be lost or destroyed by the passage of time; and  litigation of a long-dormant claim by result in more cruelty than justice
When it comes to real estate transactions, more often than naught, the “devil” is in the details. The Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, recently provided a roadmap to the rules concerning the specificity of an agreement required to obtain specific performance of an option to purchase real property.
Most real estate professionals understand that a purchase-money mortgage is senior to all other liens. But that is only mostly true. One important exception for all real estate professionals to be aware is the “PACA Trust.”
The recent Arizona Supreme Court case, Zubia v. Shapiro, 243 Ariz. 412 (2018), reminds homeowners to obtain early legal counsel when facing foreclosure, while bolstering lenders’ affirmative waiver defenses. Particularly, the Supreme Court ruled that borrowers waive claims to damages concerning the validity of a trustee’s sale when they first fail to obtain injunctive relief to prevent the trustee’s sale.