Other Services

2 Crocker Blvd. Suite 301 • Mount Clemens, MI  48043 • (586) 465-9529 • Fax 465-9577 • steve@sowell-law.com

Steve Sowell provides other real estate-related services.  These include purchase and sale of real estate, formation of entities, construction lien litigation, mortgage foreclosure, quiet title actions, adverse possession, partition, and other real estate-related litigation.

Purchase and Sale

Caveat Emptor ("let the buyer beware") still very much remains the law in Michigan; sometimes an unwary seller can find himself in difficulties, too.  Whether you are a buyer or a seller, Steve Sowell can assist you in negotiating a purchase agreement, performing your "due diligence" (examination of the property and its attributes), determining marketability of title, executing the property conveyances, and preparing and filing the many documents required.

Formation of Entities

When you acquire property for commercial or investment purposes, it rarely makes sense to put title in your own name.  With ownership of property comes liability for injuries, taxes, and other claims.  If you create a separate entity and place title in the name of that entity, you can limit your personal liability and that of your other assets for claims related to the property.  Potential entities for ownership include a partnership, a corporation, a limited liability company, a limited partnership, or a limited liability partnership.  Steve Sowell can help you determine which of these entities is best for your intended ownership and use of the property; help you form the entity and draft the bylaws, operating agreements, partnership agreeements, buy-sell agreements, and help you maintain that entity so that its protected status is not lost.

Construction Lien Litigation

When a contractor provides labor or materials which improves a piece of real estate, Michigan Law allows that contractor to claim a lien against the property in order to secure payment for his labor and materials.  That law is the Michigan Construction Lien Act.  There are definite limitations on when a construction lien may be filed and foreclosed and special rules apply if the property is deemed "residential" property under the Act.  If the parcel is a large commercial property that may take several years and many trades working together to complete, there may be many competing claims against the property and the construction lien litigation can be quite complex.  If you are a contractor, the difference between having a valid lien and not having a valid lien may mean the difference between getting paid and not getting paid.  If you are the owner of the property, you want to make sure that you only pay once for the labor and materials.  Steve Sowell can assist you not only in properly claiming and enforcing liens, but in defending against improperly filed liens.

Quiet Title

When more than one party claims title to or competing interests in the same piece of property, a court has to decide which party has the better claim.  This type of litigation is called a quiet title action.  Claims can include multiple deeds to the same property, undischarged liens and mortgages, tax sales and foreclosures, errors in legal descriptions, surveying errors, and outright fraud.  Steve Sowell can analyze your claim and help you determine whether you should go to court to enforce your rights in the property.

Adverse Possession

Also sometimes referred to as boundary disputes, adverse possession actions are a special form of quiet title actions.  Two parties claim ownership of the same parcel of land, or one party attempts to exclude the other party from a lawful use of the land.  The most common adverse possession claims are dispute about the location of a fence line and disputes regarding a shared driveway, although disputes can also center around easements, hunting and fishing rights, and the right to remove crops or timber.  Steve Sowell can assist you in negotiating a resolution with the other claimant or, if necessary, prosecute a lawsuit on your behalf to have a court declare your rights to the property.

Partition

When two or more people own land jointly, sometimes they cannot agree on how or when to split that land.  If no agreement can be reached through negotiation, then the law provides the remedy of partition.  Partition is a circuit court lawsuit asking the judge to either split the property equitably between the parties or, if the property cannot be split equitably, order the property to be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties.  The court can take into consideration many circumstances, such as who has been occupying and/or maintaining the property who has paid taxes, and whether and to what extent the parties have shared in the expenses and profits from the property.

© Steve Sowell 2017