Real Estate

Berokim & Duel, P.C. specializes in complicated real estate disputes, including title, transfer, real estate secured financing, escrow, and disclosure disputes. Below, you find examples of some of the real estate disputes that the Firm has handled.

IERRA v The Bank of East
Los Angeles Superior Court/United States Bankruptcy Court
Quiet Title/Lien Priority Dispute

    This may very well be a case of first impression, ultimately finding its way to the California Supreme Court.  Kousha Berokim represents IERRA in both Trial and Appellate Courts.  Both IERRA and Bank of East Asia, unbeknownst to each other,  made  multi-million dollar loans to a borrower, secured by deeds of trust (lien) against the borrower’s real property.  IERRA’s Deed of Trust was recorded one day before The Bank of East Asia’s Deed of Trust, but was not published (indexed) until three days later.  The Bank of East Asia sued, claiming its lien was senior to IERRA’s lien, reasoning that it at the time it recorded its Deed of Trust, IERRA had not yet completed its recording as the recording was not published.  IERRA sued back to maintain its seniority, arguing that the Bank of East Asia’s own Deed of Trust was not published until two days after IERRA’s Deed of Trust was published, construing IERRA a bona fide (innocent) purchaser.  The matter has had colorful path: Trial Court granted Judgment for IERRA; then Appellate Court reversed, granting Judgment for The Bank of East Asia; the Appellate Court reversed itself, by vacating Judgment for The Bank of East Asia, and remanding the matter back to Trial Court for Trial of Facts; then the matter was removed to the United Stated Bankruptcy Court.  Both sides foresee further appeals, including a petition to the California Supreme Court as the matter is one of first impression.  California banks, lenders, and title insurance companies will certainly be impacted by the ultimate outcome.

Orange Escrow et al
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Escrow Fraud, Breach of Note and Guaranty

    Berokim & Duel, P.C. represents a lender.  Borrowers, through a fraudulent double escrow, borrowed millions  of dollars secured a real estate property which was valued substantially lower than the Note amount.  Borrowers first bought the property from a third party, but did not close escrow.  Then, using proxy companies, they opened escrow again to purchase the property from themselves for a much higher purchase price.  The second transaction was funded by the Lender’s funds.  Thereafter, the borrowers defaulted on the loan, defrauding the Lender form millions of dollars.  Client, through Berokim & Duel, is pursuing the two escrow companies who enabled borrowers carry out their fraudulent scheme by misrepresenting to the Lender the true nature of the underlying transactions, and submitting falsified escrow instructions.

Las Palmas v Mayer
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Quiet Title

    Attorneys Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel represented a defendant property purchaser in a 5 day trial before Honorable Marc Marmaro, Judge. Plaintiff, who previously owned the property at issue, claimed that he had reached an agreement with his lender to buy back the property after a foreclosure sale, but that in violation of that agreement, the lender had sold the property to defendant purchaser. Attorneys Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel argued that the defendant purchaser was a bona fide purchaser who had obtained the property for value, and clear from any knowledge or notice of plaintiff’s claims. The Court agreed, and dismissed plaintiff’s quiet title claim.

Sol Ventures v. ARV
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Disclosures

    Berokim & Duel, P.C. represents a property seller. Seller, in its disclosures, disclosed that the property was being considered for historical designation. Sometime after the sale, the property was designated historical. The buyer claims the disclosure was not adequate. Attorneys Kousha Berokim and Jasmine Duel argue on behalf of the seller that the seller fully and adequately disclosed the designation proceedings, and that they are not responsible for the ‘buyer’s remorse’.

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