New Mexico Lawyers Serving New Mexico's Legal Needs Since 1997

October 2013 Archives

Dysfunction in Self Government: Problems With Homeowners Associations

Recently, our country has witnessed persistent dysfunction in the way our federal government operates. In some ways, disputes at that level are mirrored by the manner in which people in homeowners’ association engage in arguments: they are often hotbeds for fights at the micro level and constantly reinforce the old adage “politics is all local.”

Bankruptcy of Catholic Diocese Motivated by Mounting Legal Claims

Last month the Diocese of Gallup, a Roman Catholic diocese with parishes in several New Mexico counties as well as on Indian reservations, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the federal bankruptcy court. Legal claims over sexual abuse by clergy members have overwhelmed the Diocese with potential liabilities causing Bishop James Well to state that bankruptcy, “is the most effective and thoughtful course to take in light of the claims from those who were abused.”

Critical Commercial Lease Considerations

When a startup enters into a commercial lease with a potential landlord, or a commercial landlord decides to lease some space to a new tenant, the final terms of that agreement could determine either the overall success of that new company or the profitability of the landlord’s business. Some elements of the commercial lease, such as the term of the lease and the rental price, are often the two most important aspects of any such agreement.  

A First Step in Starting a New Company

One of the most important steps in starting a new company is determining the type of business entity to form: an individual proprietorship, a partnership or a type of corporation.  In New Mexico, you can form one of three types of partnerships:

The Unique Nature of Agriculture in New Mexico

New Mexico has a desert climate with plenty of sun and wind with temperatures in many areas hitting the 90s during the day and dropping to the 60s in the evenings. In the winter the temperature fluctuations are even more varied. The state typically has just 12 inches of rain per year.  Even so, 60 percent of the land is farmland, according to the USDA Economic Research Service, and 89 percent is used as pasture.

As a Homeowner in New Mexico, Can the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) Help Me?

In the early period of the financial crisis in March 2009, the federal government instituted the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) to help homeowners who were either facing foreclosure or who owed more on their mortgages than what their home was valued at. Since then, the program has evolved in to serving a variety of constituencies. Some aid the unemployed; others help those with second loans. Below is a list of the different programs being offered and what they intend to achieve:

Smart Practices for Small Businesses

Giddens & Gatton Law, PC has represented various types of businesses in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Farmington, Roswell, and many other areas of New Mexico. Often our attorneys address certain matters once a problem has begun to impact our clients. We suggest that businesses engage in practices that will maximize their ability to collect their revenue from their customers and clients.

Discharging Hospital Bills in Bankruptcy

With this month being the first for people to start shopping for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, the question arises: Can individuals with outstanding hospital bills free themselves from paying these debts by filing bankruptcy? The answer is clearly yes. Some people who do not have health insurance and others whose policies are inadequate to pay their bills have the option of filing either Chapter 13 bankruptcy or Chapter 7 liquidation to achieve this result.

Sticky Wickets of Construction Disputes

For builders and developers, long-term real estate projects can often be challenging. From preparing the design to getting it approved by local authorities, lenders, and zoning officials, there are numerous roadblocks that can stifle progress even before ground is broken.

Commercial Collections in New Mexico

At the end of each month New Mexico businesses bill their clients and customers for the work they have done. Some will see payment in a matter of days; others may have to wait longer. And some may not get paid at all.

Jump in Sales of New Homes to Five-Year High Ignites Real Estate Market

This summer CNN reported that sales of new homes reached a five-year high. In June, sales of new homes jumped to an annual rate of 497,000, up 8.3 percent from May. It was the highest pace of sales nationally since May 2008 when sales of homes reached 504,000 homes. These sales were 38 percent higher than the same month last year.

Bickering With Neighbors: Disputes With Homeowner’s Associations

One of the great things about our nation and the State of New Mexico is that we are a country and state of laws. From the federal Constitution down to municipal ordinances in cities like Albuquerque and towns like Pecos and Los Alamos, there are laws which govern the affairs of our citizens. Even neighborhoods are often governed by the rules of homeowner’s associations, which are intended to promote fairness and to ensure that some people don’t take advantage of others.

When Winning A Case Is Not Enough

In most contests the winners know they can take home the trophy or the prize money when the battle is clearly over. When the clock hits zero during the Super Bowl, unless the scoreboard still shows a tie, we know which team is going to be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy given to the Super Bowl champion. As soon as the last out is registered in the bottom of the ninth in a baseball game where one team has more runs than the other, we can identify the winner. But contrary to what many believe, when you win a court trial that does not mean the loser automatically has to pay the winning party.

Setting Up a Corporation in New Mexico – Get the Bylaws Right

If you are considering opening a business in New Mexico with a partner or partners, you need to consider that your partnership may not last forever. Just like a marriage, you must take steps to protect your interests if there is conflict or if one partner decides to get out of the relationship. One of the most common ways for partners to protect their interests is by creating a corporation.

California Woman Recovers Foreclosed Home From Banks Via Default Judgment

Last year a California homeowner who was in foreclosure won a quiet title action to recover her home. What is unusual about this case was that she succeeded because the two banks, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank, which had mortgage interests in the property, failed to respond to the lawsuit. When a defendant, which is the term for those being sued, fails to respond to a lawsuit within the required time, the court can issue a default judgment saying the plaintiff, the California woman in this case, gets a judgment in her favor by default. The result is she retains, or regains in this instance, title to the property and the banks can no longer acquire it or claim title to it.

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