Visser and Associates, PLLC Legal and Mediation Services Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:36:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 Client Victory: Aroma Wines /2014/01/06/client-victory-aroma-wines/ Mon, 06 Jan 2014 18:46:26 +0000 /?p=455 Visser and Associates has won a major victory at the Court of Appeals for one of its clients. Aroma Wines had won a $275,000.00 verdict against a storage company for mishandling and misconduct in the storage of Aroma’s wine. In a published decision, the Court of Appeals has added some clarity to the definition of “conversion” for purposes of treble damages under Michigan statutes. The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the trial court for consideration of treble damages and attorney fees. In addition to providing clarification in all areas of conversion, the decision provides some additional protection for victims of warehouse misconduct.

]]>
Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Exemption /2014/01/03/commercial-and-industrial-property-tax-exemption/ Fri, 03 Jan 2014 13:00:23 +0000 /?p=457 Beginning in the 2014 Tax Year, Michigan commercial and industrial personal property valued at less than $80,000 will be exempt from taxation. In order to claim the exemption:

1. The taxpayer must actually claim the exemption by filing the form found here.

2. The personal property must must actually be commercial or industrial personal property as defined by MCL 211.34c or would otherwise be considered personal property if it was not exempted.

3. The true cash value of all the commercial or industrial personal property must be less than $80,000. AND

4. The property cannot be leased to or used by a person that previously owned the property or a person that, directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or under common control with the person that previously owned the property.

Further information can in the State Tax Commission bulletin and the  exemption form can be found here.

]]>
Captive Title Insurance Companies and RESPA /2014/01/02/captive-title-insurance-companies-and-respa/ Thu, 02 Jan 2014 18:44:05 +0000 /?p=453 It has become an increasingly common practice for real estate agents to mandate that customers use partially owned or captive title insurance companies. In Carter v. Wells-Bowen Rrealty, Inc., the 6th CirCuit Court of Appeals upheld that this practice was permissible under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). In that case, a couple of homeowners challenged the practice, claiming that it violated RESPA – which prohibits giving or receiving a fee in regard to a referral for those services. The Court of Appeals found that the relationship between such title companies and the realtors fell within a “safe harbor” allowed by Congress for “affiliated business arrangements”. The ruling will probably provide considerable comfort for both title companies and realtors involved in this type of relationship. However, it probably does not resolve liability issues that might arise out of conflict-of-interest claims.

]]>
Donald R. Visser receives Client Distinction Award /2012/11/21/donald-r-visser-receives-client-distinction-award/ Wed, 21 Nov 2012 16:55:34 +0000 /?p=388 We are happy to announce that Donald R. Visser has recently been honored with the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award. The award was granted as a result of a compilation and review of client satisfaction ratings and reflects outstanding achievement in the areas of Communication Ability, Responsiveness, Quality of Service, and Overall Value. Martindale-Hubbell is one of the nation’s oldest and most-recognized lawyer rating services. The Client Distinction Award is awarded to less than 4% of more than 900,000 attorneys nationwide.

]]>
Recent decisions impacting Michigan Businesses /2012/05/10/373/ Thu, 10 May 2012 15:00:21 +0000 /?p=373 Recent decisions impacting Michigan Businesses ….

In a recent decision (decided April 24, 2012), the Michigan Court of Appeals has determined that the practice by some builders of taking a deed to the property being built upon may have significant financial consequences. Some builders desire to take deed to the property (instead of a mortgage or construction lien) during construction to insure payment. In reversing the Tax Tribunal, the Court of Appeals has now made it clear that the builder must pay transfer tax when the property is deeded back to the original owner. Thus while the methodology is used to avoid foreclosure issues, it does come with a significant price (adding nearly 1% to a builder’s cost).

]]>
Utility Easements /2011/03/29/utility-easements/ Tue, 29 Mar 2011 15:19:57 +0000 /?p=178 Often utility companies think that they have the unilateral right to use a dedicated utility easement has they wish. The Michigan Court of Appeals (D’Andrea v. AT&T) has dealt a small set back to this mentality when it recently ruled that a homeowner could challenge the utility based upon the reasonability. The Court rejected the utility’s claim that the Land Division Act controlled and said nothing in the LDA addresses the extent that an easement may be utilized by a utility.

]]>
Homestead Property /2011/03/29/homestead-property/ Tue, 29 Mar 2011 15:09:25 +0000 /?p=175 In a case that has negative implications for married couples where only one spouse has a tax liability, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has recently decided that the homestead property could be sold to satisfy the husband’s tax liability and the wife was only entitled to 50% of the proceeds (United States v Barr). This appears to be a significant risk to the traditional understanding of legal scholars that property owned as tenancy-by-the-entireties properties could not be involuntarily sold to satisfy the debts of one of the spouses. The wife has filed an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

]]>