Partners Speak at Annual Residential Real Estate Seminar at the State Bar of Georgia
Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC is pleased to announce that two of its partners, David S. Klein and Michael J. Bargar, spoke at the State Bar of Georgia Real Property Law Section's Annual Residential Real Estate Seminar on February 9, 2023. The event, which was held at the State Bar of Georgia headquarters in Atlanta, provided an opportunity for legal experts to share their knowledge and insights on various real estate issues.
Mr. Klein spoke on a panel that discussed Trends in a Downturn Market. During the session, Mr. Klein addressed topics such as foreclosure numbers, real estate litigation, and evictions. As a highly experienced litigator, Mr. Klein shared his thoughts on the current trends in the real estate market and how they are affecting homeowners and lenders. His presentation provided valuable insights for those looking to navigate the complex legal landscape of real estate during a downturn.
Mr. Bargar presented on Bankruptcy and Trustee Powers as to Real Estate. In his presentation, Mr. Bargar, a Chapter 7 Trustee, discussed topics such as security deed attestation and avoidance actions by a bankruptcy trustee. His talk provided valuable information for those who are dealing with real estate issues in a bankruptcy setting, especially from the viewpoint of a Chapter 7 Trustee. Mr. Bargar's expertise in bankruptcy and real estate law proved to be invaluable for those in attendance.
"We are thrilled that David and Michael were able to speak at the State Bar of Georgia Real Property Law Section's Annual Residential Real Estate Seminar," said Hal Leitman, a partner at Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC. "Their presentations were informative and provided valuable insights for those in attendance. We are proud of their contributions to the legal community."
Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC is a leading law firm in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in real estate law, litigation, and collections. The firm is known for its commitment to providing high-quality legal services to clients throughout the state. The firm's lawyers have extensive experience in all areas of real estate law, including real estate litigation, and bankruptcy.
For more information about Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC and the services they provide, please visit their website at www.rlkglaw.com.
Four Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC Attorneys Selected to Georgia Super Lawyers List
Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC is a law firm located in Atlanta, Georgia servicing clients with bankruptcy, commercial litigation, real estate litigation, and collections needs. The firm is dedicated to providing high-quality legal services to its clients and has a team of highly skilled and experienced lawyers. The firm is proud to announce that its partners Will Rountree, Hal Leitman, and Will Geer have been selected to the Super Lawyers Magazine list in Georgia for 2023, while David Klein has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Georgia for 2023.
Super Lawyers is a highly prestigious accolade in the legal community. The award recognizes lawyers who have achieved a high degree of professional success and recognition among their peers. It is a testament to the skills, knowledge, and experience of the recipients. Being named a Super Lawyer is a significant honor, and the partners of Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC are extremely proud to have been recognized in this way.
Will Rountree is a partner at the firm and has extensive experience in the areas of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. He is known for his commitment to his clients and his ability to achieve favorable outcomes in even the most complex cases. Will has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Georgia for several years running, and this latest recognition is a testament to his continued dedication to excellence.
Hal Leitman is another partner at the firm who has been selected as a Super Lawyer in Georgia in 2023. He specializes in debtor and creditor work and collections, and has a reputation for providing practical and effective solutions to his clients. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Georgia for many years, and this latest recognition is a testament to his continued commitment to his clients and his legal expertise.
Will Geer is a partner at Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC and has been selected Super Lawyers in Georgia in 2023. He also specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Will has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Georgia for several years as well.
David Klein, another partner at the firm, has been selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in Georgia. This award recognizes the top up-and-coming lawyers in the state who are under the age of 40 and have been practicing law for ten years or less. In each state, Rising Stars make up the top 2.5% of attorneys. David has a proven track record of success and is known for his dedication to his clients and his ability to achieve favorable outcomes in complex legal matters, handling several jury and bench trials for clients.
Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC is proud to announce that these partners have been selected by their peers as Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars in Georgia. Partner Mike Bargar has also been selected previously as a Super Lawyer. This recognition is a testament to their commitment to providing high-quality legal services to their clients and their dedication to excellence. The partners of Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC are proud to have been recognized in this way and look forward to continuing to provide their clients with the best legal representation possible.
Contact us today at 404-584-1238 or email@example.com for a consultation on your bankruptcy, commercial litigation, real estate litigation, or collection needs.
A quiet title action is a legal procedure that is used to resolve disputes over the ownership of real property. It is a court-ordered process that establishes the rightful owner of a property and removes any cloud on the title, such as liens, encumbrances or conflicting claims. Quiet title actions can be complex and time-consuming, but they provide a useful solution for property owners who want to clear up any title issues and ensure the marketability of their property.
In a quiet title action, the person who is claiming ownership of the property files a lawsuit against any other parties who may have an interest in the property. The court will then hear evidence and make a ruling on the rightful ownership of the property. Once the court has made a ruling, the title to the property will be clear, and the property can be sold or transferred without any challenges to the title.
Quiet title actions are often necessary in situations where there are conflicting claims to the property, such as disputes over the validity of a will or trust, or when there are errors in the public records that need to be corrected. In some cases, quiet title actions may also be used to resolve disputes over easements, boundary disputes or other issues that affect the ownership of a property.
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether a quiet title action is the right solution for your situation. One of the most important factors is the potential cost and time involved in the process. Quiet title actions can be lengthy and expensive, and it may be more cost-effective to resolve the issue through negotiation or mediation.
Another important consideration is the strength of your case. To be successful in a quiet title action, you will need to present evidence of your ownership claim. This may require obtaining expert witnesses, conducting title searches or other research, and gathering other relevant documentation.
If you are facing a dispute over the ownership of a property, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced real estate attorney. An attorney can help you evaluate your options, including the potential benefits and drawbacks of a quiet title action, and help you make an informed decision about the best course of action for your situation.
At Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC, our team of experienced real estate attorneys has the knowledge and experience to help you resolve your quiet title disputes. We are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized and effective solutions, and we will work closely with you to help you achieve your goals. If you need assistance with a quiet title action or any other real estate matter, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Will Geer, a partner with Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC discusses the questions a business should ask itself when determining whether to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
As a business owner, I can tell you that operating your own ship is one of the most exciting and frightening things you’ll ever do, but the rewards are immeasurable (well, almost immeasurable). Almost every business will experience some lull in income a month or two out of the year; however, sometimes that stagnation turns into a regular monthly occurrence that results in creditors knocking down your door demanding to be paid. It feels as if you are Atlas carrying the planet’s troubles on your shoulders, even if it is limited to your own world. In this situation, an appropriate solution may be to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy for your business to restructure the debts of the business to give you and your company a bit of breathing room. Before considering Chapter 11 as a viable option, you will want to ask yourself these 5 questions:
1. Is the management ready and willing to cooperate?
Filing bankruptcy should not be taken lightly and adhering to the requirements of the code, including the quarterly Trustee payments, monthly operating reports, advanced disclosure requirements, and numerous hearings will take a significant amount of time and energy from your already hectic schedule. If management is not ready and willing to take on these new responsibilities, shutting the doors or filing Chapter 7 to allow for an orderly liquidation may be the route to take. Chapter 11 is also an expensive undertaking, so make sure there is actually something to reorganize before paying thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees.
2. Is your product or service marketable?
In Chapter 11, cash flow is everything, and something filing Chapter 11 cannot do is increase the marketability of your business. It can, however, help increase your immediate cash flow concerns by preventing creditor collection efforts and lowering secured creditor payments. Certain tax obligations may also be treated in the Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization. But one thing a Chapter 11 filing will not do is create a marketable product or service where one does not exist, so if the market is entirely tapped or your product is simply not expected to sell in the future, it may be times to shut the doors. If you do wind up filing, the lack of cash flow will draw objections on the feasibility of your Chapter 11 Plan. In short, if you cannot make enough money to fund a viable plan of reorganization, your case will be unsuccessful and likely dismissed.
3. Does my lender have an interest in “cash collateral”?
What is “cash collateral”, you may ask. In short, cash collateral is, among other things, cash, negotiable instruments, rents, inventory, and accounts receivables of a business in which a lender claims a security interest. For instance, in Georgia, when a lender loans a borrower money to fund the purchase of real property, the lender will take a security interest in the real property as evidenced by a Deed to Secure Debt. This security instrument will often contain a clause providing that all rents and income arising from the use of the real property will secure the debt obligation of the borrower. Just because your lender has an interest in cash collateral does not mean that filing Chapter 11 is impossible. In fact, one of the first motions that a Debtor’s attorney will file in this situation is a Motion to Use Cash Collateral to allow a business to continue to operate throughout the bankruptcy. However, be aware that attorneys’ fees, including the initial retainer, will often have to be paid from funds not categorized as cash collateral. Otherwise, the creditor and debtor must work out some type of “carve-out” to pay your attorney. Often, the executive officers of the corporate debtor will fund the debtor’s attorneys’ fees for this reason.
4. Does my business only have one creditor?
This situation often presents itself in the case of a single piece of real property in which all the Debtor’s income is derived from the operation of that property. In this case, there may be only one secured creditor. If you have a company with only one creditor, filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy is probably not the best option. Doing so will only prevent foreclosure for a few months at best, as the secured creditor will file a Motion to Dismiss for “bad-faith” filing based on your inability to effectuate a viable plan. In Chapter 11, creditors are given the option to vote on the acceptance of your plan. Under certain circumstances, you may force the creditors to accept the terms of the plan; however, one of the conditions of forcing such acceptance is to have the affirmative vote of at least one impaired class of creditors. If you only have one secured creditor in one class, you will not be able to satisfy this requirement. “But wait”, you cry, “I have a few unsecured creditors that can vote to accept the plan!” This may be your saving grace; however, in most of these cases, the secured creditor’s lien is worth more than the value of the property. As a result, the secured creditor’s claim will be bifurcated into a secured claim and unsecured claim. The unsecured deficiency claim will be lumped into the general unsecured claims class with the aforementioned unsecured creditors, and because this deficiency claim will typically be MUCH larger than the aggregate of the other claims, it will control that class and result in a vote against your Plan.
5. Do we have a Plan?
I’m not necessarily talking about a finalized plan of reorganization, but you should definitely have an idea, with the help of experience counsel, of your end-game goal. Chapter 11 requires hours and hours of planning and communication prior to filing the petition, and prior to that petition being filed, the debtor and its attorney should have some idea of the results to be obtained whether it be to restructure short-term trade debt into a long-term liability or to force secured creditors to accept more favorable terms and consequently lower your secured payments. Going into the case without adequate preparation is simply a waste of time and money for both you and your company’s attorney.
You’ve filed a bankruptcy in Georgia, and now you want to settle down and purchase a house. Contrary to popular belief, filing bankruptcy is not going to destroy your credit for life. While it is true that filing for bankruptcy will ding your credit to the tune of about 150 points, you will begin to receive credit card offers from lenders soon after you receive your discharge. Why, you ask? Because if you receive a discharge under Chapter 7, you cannot receive another discharge to wipe out your debts for another 8 years. Taking a credit card offer is not always the best option for someone who just got out of debt, so only apply for a credit card if you have the discipline to pay off the balance in full every month. Here are a few things you can do to reestablish your credit to qualify for a mortgage at a decent rate:
1. Pay Your Bills on Time
This is the most important step you can take in rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. Rent, utilities, and any payments you may continue to have throughout your bankruptcy, such as your home mortgage and car note, should always be paid on time. I recommend setting up automatic payment deductions for all expenses so you don’t even have to think about it. Payment history is one of the most important factors in determining your FICO score, so never make a late payment.
2. Take a Credit Card Offer, ON ONE CONDITION!
Everyone falls on hard times, and after bankruptcy, you will have credit card offers coming in the mail. If you absolutely know that you will pay off the balance in full every single month, then apply and use this to your advantage. This is a quick way to rebuild your credit after filing a Georgia bankruptcy. I recommend charging only one item per month on this card in the beginning, such as your cable bill or your car’s gas usage. If you pay it off in full every month, charge a little more.
3. Cash is King
If you want to purchase a house, cash will always be king, and saving up for a 20% down payment will make it much easier to qualify for a mortgage with an interest rate you can afford.
4. Verify Your Credit Report
Four months after your bankruptcy case closes, check your credit report to ensure that any pre-bankruptcy charges are still includes and talk with your attorney about disputing them.
5. Get a Second Card
If you prove to yourself that you can pay off the entire balance on the first card at the end of each month, apply for a second credit card and do the same.
Rountree Leitman Klein & Geer, LLC's blog is a resource provided to clients, prospective clients, and colleagues that discusses issues related to Personal Bankruptcy, Business Bankruptcy, Collections, and Litigation.