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Blog Index
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Walk United at Angel's Stadium

The Judge Law Firm participated in the Orange County United Way Walk United event on June 9, 2012.  The walk was held to raise money for Orange County residents living in poverty.  The funds raised will go towards meeting the basic needs - food, shelter, and medical care - of children, families, and individuals and also create pathways through education and training to give those individuals a chance for a self-sufficient future.


To learn more about United Way's Walk United and how you can help, please click here.





James A. Judge - AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

James A. Judge has received the highest possible AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  Their peer review found that Mr. Judge met the very high standards of ethical conduct and professional excellence.


Martindale-Hubbell is the authoritative source of information on people within the legal profession.  Their peer review ratings for lawyers reflects a combination of very high general ethical standards and legal ability.  The legal ability ratings are based upon: legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience.


Mr. Judge has been practicing law since 1985 and founded The Judge Law Firm 25 years ago.  He has dedicated his practice to common interest development and real estate law and has become a respected member within the industry.  In addition to his law practice, Mr. Judge is also actively involved in the California Association of Community Managers and the Community Associations Institute.


Bank of America Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Bank of America was one of the five loan servicers of mortgages to reach a settlement agreement with 49 state attorney generals, including the attorney general of California, and the federal government.  The agreement was to provide $25 billion in relief to distressed borrowers and this week Bank of America has begun contacting customers who may qualify for the relief. This lawsuit came about when it was discovered that many loan servicers had routinely engaged in foreclosure fraud.


The settlement relief that was reached will be in the form of loan modifications for eligible underwater mortgages by reducing the principal balance, providing a lower interest rate, or moving some of the loan balance to be paid only at the end of the loan.  In order to be eligible the homeowner must owe more on the mortgage than the value of the home, be at least 60 days behind on payments as of Jan. 31, and have a loan that is owned by Bank of America.  Homeowners will be notified within the next three years if they are eligible for the loan modifications.


What do you think?  Will this settlement help to solve the housing crisis we are currently facing?  Will the settlement help homeowners stay in and keep their homes in the economy?


HOAs and Pets

Do you have a pet?  A fuzzy little companion that you consider to be part of the family?  In Texas, a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Wilbur was just granted "household pet" status.  The Texas homeowners association argued that keeping Wilbur violated the community's CC&Rs, which forbid pets that were not "common" and "traditional."  The district court judge ruled that Wilbur's specific pig breed is considered a household pet due to the fact that the breed is not used for commercial purposes and that homeowner's associations cannot unreasonably restrict homeowners from using their property as they see wish to. 


If this case had taken place in California, Wilbur would not have been classified as a pet.  The California Civil Code Section 1360.5 Pet Restrictions states that common interest developments may not prohibit a homeowner from keeping at least one pet, subject to reasonable rules and regulations.  At subsection (b), a "pet" is defined as: "any domesticated bird, cat, dog, aquatic animal kept within an aquarium, or other animal as agreed to between the association and the homeowner."  Under the Davis-Stirling Act, it would appear that Wilbur and other animals such as hamsters, rabbits, and reptiles are not classified as pets unless mutually agreed upon by the homeowner and the homeowner's association.


What do you think?  Are pot-bellied pigs so prevelent in homes that they should be deemed household pets?  Should there be restrictions in common interest developments in regards to the types of animals homeowners can keep as pets?  Let us know what you think!


Real Property Blight Prevention Bill (A.B. 2314) Passes

On May 3. 2012, an anti-blight bill was passed by California legislators.  This bill is part of a set of proposals that will help prevent blight in communities with a high rate of foreclosures.  A.B. 2314 allows the city where the property is located to issue up to $1,000 in fines, per day, against the owners of blighted property until the violations are fixed and extends the power to fine owners indefinitely.  The bill also offers a 60-day grace period to new property owners who have purchased the property and are diligently correcting any violations that may exist.


What do you think about this bill?  Will it help the prevention of blight in communities?


To read more about Assembly Bill 2314 Real Property: Blight, click here.