Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

The term commercial property (also called investment or income property) refers to buildings or land intended to generate a profit, either from capital gain or rental income. Commercial property includes office buildings, industrial property, medical centers, hotels, malls, retail stores, shopping centers, farm land, multifamily housing buildings, warehouses, garages, and industrial properties. In many states residential property containing more than a certain number of units qualifies as commercial property for borrowing and tax purposes. Commercial real estate developers can only get real estate loans if they are secured by Standby Letters of Credit.

Commercial Real Estate is commonly broken up into three categories: 1) Retail, 2) Office, 3) Industrial.

Tax Deferred Exchanges Sec. 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges

Residential Real Estate

Land Contracts & Leases with Options to Purchase

Foreclosures

Foreclosure is the legal and professional proceeding in which a mortgagee, or other lien holder, usually a lender, obtains a court ordered termination of a mortgagor's equitable right of redemption. Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the borrower the equitable right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. While this equitable right exists, the lender cannot be sure that it can successfully repossess the property, thus the lender seeks to foreclose the equitable right of redemption. Other lien holders can also foreclose the owner's right of redemption for other debts, such as for overdue taxes, unpaid contractors' bills or overdue homeowners' association dues or assessments.

The foreclosure process as applied to residential mortgage loans is a bank or other secured creditor selling or repossessing a parcel of real property (immovable property) after the owner has failed to comply with an agreement between the lender and borrower called a "mortgage" or "deed of trust". Commonly, the violation of the mortgage is a default in payment of a promissory note, secured by a lien on the property. When the process is complete, the lender can sell the property and keep the proceeds to pay off its mortgage and any legal costs, and it is typically said that "the lender has foreclosed its mortgage or lien". If the promissory note was made with a recourse clause then if the sale does not bring enough to pay the existing balance of principal and fees the mortgagee can file a claim for a deficiency judgement.

Landlord — Tenant

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is important that you understand your legal rights and obligations. That is why it is strongly recommended that you have an attorney draft your lease agreements. Wisconsin law has several lease provision which may cause the lease to become invalid. For example, Baierl v. McTaggart, 2001 WI 107, 245 Wis. 2d 632, prohibits provisions in the lease that require the tenant to pay landlord’s attorney fees. This is not to say that the tenant is not liable for statutory attorney fees should he be found liable for money damages.

Evictions

Wisconsin does NOT recognize self-help. This means that you must obtain a Court Order, called a Writ of Eviction, before you can legally evict a tenant. Before filing an eviction action, you must serve proper notice terminating tenancy according to Chapter 704 of the Wisconsin Statutes

To initiate the eviction action one must file the summons and complaint with the Clerk of Court. The Summons and Complaint and all copies must be filed and a fee paid to the Clerk of Court in the county where you are filing your case. Follow local court rules or procedures for combining eviction with money claims.

For the court to hear the case, each tenant must be provided with a copy of the Summons and Complaint far enough in advance of the first court date. A sheriff or private process server must attempt to personally serve all tenants. If personal service cannot be accomplished, the sheriff or process server may post notice on the property and mail copies of the Summons and Complaint to the tenants.

For each tenant you are attempting to evict and/or suing for money damages, you must file an Affidavit of Nonmilitary Service for purposes of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Next file the proof(s) of service you received from the sheriff or private process server. File these documents with the Clerk of Court at or before the first court date according to local court rules.

Now you go to court. All parties are required to attend the first court date. However, defendant(s) may be allowed to appear in writing or by telephone if a local court rule grants that privilege. Follow the local court rules where your case is filed or your case may be dismissed. If the court grants you an eviction judgment then file the necessary paperwork for your Writ of Eviction.

If your case is contested, then a court date will be scheduled for a trial. Before the trial, you may contact the other tenant to try to settle your case. Some counties require the parties attend mediation. If you reach an agreement, put your agreement in writing and file it with the Clerk of Court before the trial.

If you have not reached an agreement before the trial, organize your paperwork and evidence in preparation for trial.

If you are granted an eviction judgment and the tenants will not move out, you must have the sheriff help you remove the tenants. You must pay a fee to obtain a Writ of Restitution form from the Clerk of Court. Take the writ to the sheriff. You will be required to pay a service fee to the sheriff.

You may also be required to provide a bond to the sheriff. Contact the local sheriff’s department for additional information.

IF you are also seeking money damages, you will need to schedule another hearing whereby you will have to prove up damages. Prior to that, you will need to prepare and file a statement of damages with the Clerk of Court.

If you are granted a money judgment, you may have the judgment docketed by paying a fee to the Clerk of Court so it becomes a lien on the other party’s real estate. The other party will be required to complete a Financial Disclosure of Assets form and send it to you within 15 days of entry of judgment unless they have already paid the judgment.

If the other party does not complete the disclosure, you may file a Motion and Order for Hearing and Contempt. The court does not collect your judgment for you, but there are actions you can take to collect your judgment, such a Earnings Garnishment and the Executions Against Property.