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Austin Foreclosure Lawyer, Texas


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Forest D. Cook

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Following his passion for the law, attorney Forest Cook earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Houston Law Center in 1970. For over four decades... (more)

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Andrew Jared Heilala

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Kevin Schield

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Licensed to practice law in Texas since 2010. J.D. with honors from the University of Houston Law Center. B.B.A. from the University of Texas.

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LEGAL TERMS

DEBENTURE

A type of bond (an interest-bearing document that serves as evidence of a debt) that does not require security in the form of a mortgage or lien on a specific p... (more...)
A type of bond (an interest-bearing document that serves as evidence of a debt) that does not require security in the form of a mortgage or lien on a specific piece of property. Repayment of a debenture is guaranteed only by the general credit of the issuer. For example, a corporation may issue a secured bond that gives the bondholder a lien on the corporation's factory. But if it issues a debenture, the loan is not secured by any property at all. When a corporation issues debentures, the holders are considered creditors of the corporation and are entitled to payment before shareholders if the business folds.

DIVIDEND

A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash,... (more...)
A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash, though they may also be paid in the form of additional shares of stock or other property. The amount of a dividend is established by the corporation's board of directors; however, state laws often restrict a corporation's ability to declare dividends by requiring a minimum level of profits or assets before the dividend can be approved.

QUIET ENJOYMENT

The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and r... (more...)
The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and rental agreements often contain a 'covenant of quiet enjoyment,' expressly obligating the landlord to see that tenants have the opportunity to live undisturbed.

RUNNING WITH THE LAND

A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public b... (more...)
A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public beach access path across waterfront property would most likely pass from one owner of the property to the next.

DIRECT EXAMINATION

At trial, the initial questioning of a party or witness by the side that called him or her to testify. The major purpose of direct examination is to explain you... (more...)
At trial, the initial questioning of a party or witness by the side that called him or her to testify. The major purpose of direct examination is to explain your version of events to the judge or jury and to undercut your adversary's version. Good direct examination seeks to prove all facts necessary to satisfy the plaintiff's legal claims or causes of action -- for example, that the defendant breached a valid contract and, as a result, the plaintiff suffered a loss.

ESTOPPEL

(1) A legal principle that prevents a person from asserting or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as the truth. equit... (more...)
(1) A legal principle that prevents a person from asserting or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as the truth. equitable estoppelA type of estoppel that bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position. For example, if a landlord agrees to allow a tenant to pay the rent ten days late for six months, it would be unfair to allow the landlord to bring a court action in the fourth month to evict the tenant for being a week late with the rent. The landlord would be estopped from asserting his right to evict the tenant for late payment of rent. Also known as estoppel in pais.estoppel by deedA type of estoppel that prevents a person from denying the truth of anything that he or she stated in a deed, especially regarding who has valid ownership of the property. For example, someone who grants a deed to real estate before he actually owns the property can't later go back and undo the sale for that reason if, say, the new owner strikes oil in the backyard.estoppel by silenceA type of estoppel that prevents a person from asserting something when she had both the duty and the opportunity to speak up earlier, and her silence put another person at a disadvantage. For example, Edwards' Roofing Company has the wrong address and begins ripping the roof from Betty's house by mistake. If Betty sees this but remains silent, she cannot wait until the new roof is installed and then refuse to pay, asserting that the work was done without her agreement.estoppel in paisSee equitable estoppel.promissory estoppelA type of estoppel that prevents a person who made a promise from reneging when someone else has reasonably relied on the promise and will suffer a loss if the promise is broken. For example, Forrest tells Antonio to go ahead and buy a boat without a motor, because he will sell Antonio an old boat motor at a very reasonable price. If Antonio relies on Forrest's promise and buys the motorless boat, Forrest cannot then deny his promise to sell John the motor at the agreed-upon price.(2) A legal doctrine that prevents the relitigation of facts or issues that were previously resolved in court. For example, Alvin loses control of his car and accidentally sideswipes several parked cars. When the first car owner sues Alvin for damages, the court determines that Alvin was legally drunk at the time of the accident. Alvin will not be able to deny this fact in subsequent lawsuits against him. This type of estoppel is most commonly called collateral estoppel.

INCIDENTS OF OWNERSHIP

Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to... (more...)
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

INVITEE

A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from d... (more...)
A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from dangers on the property. In an example of the perversion of legalese, social guests that you invite into your home are called 'licensees.'

COVENANT

A restriction on the use of real estate that governs its use, such as a requirement that the property will be used only for residential purposes. Covenants are ... (more...)
A restriction on the use of real estate that governs its use, such as a requirement that the property will be used only for residential purposes. Covenants are found in deeds or in documents that bind everyone who owns land in a particular development. See covenants, conditions and restrictions.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Sauceda v. GMAC Mortg. Corp.

... In two issues, the Saucedas contend that GMAC waived its objections to their affidavits and that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on their wrongful foreclosure and breach of contract claims. We reverse and remand. ... 1989)). B. Wrongful Foreclosure. ...

Williams v. Bank of New York Mellon

... The deed of trust also stated that if appellant did not surrender possession of the property after it was sold, he "shall be a tenant at sufferance and may be removed by writ of possession or other court proceeding." In 2009, the property was posted for foreclosure and was sold to ...

EMC Mortg. Corp. v. Jones

... By December 2002, Washington Mutual had scheduled a foreclosure sale for May 6, 2003. ... Because of the potential loan modification, Washington Mutual directed that the May foreclosure sale be postponed until June 3, 2003. ...