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Legal Breakdowns of the Hottest Entertainment and Celebrity Drama

iyanla-chateau-sheree

Fans of the Real Housewives franchise are very aware of the many issues Sheree Whitfield has been facing this past year. Not only was she replaced on the RHOA show, she also had her lawsuit against several bloggers dismissed, needed some life fixin’ from Iyanla Vanzant and now is allegedly facing foreclosure or is in the process of foreclosure proceedings. According to numerous sources, Sheree has several loans out on the property “Chateau Sheree,” which she has defaulted on, despite the property not being completely built and/or finished in its entirety.

What Does This Mean?:

A foreclosure is no laughing matter, especially if the property being foreclosed upon is your primary residence. As Sheree was still presumably in the process of having the property completed, one may assume that this is not her primary residence, however, this may be the only property she has a mortgage or loan out on with the intent of it being her primary residence once it was completely built.

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As we are not certain on the terms and triggers of her loan agreements and subsequent foreclosure, there may be one or several reasons why she may be losing the property. She may have taken out one loan from a bank to cover the costs of the property as well as the construction. She may have taken out several loans from one bank to avoid mortgage insurance. She may have paid for the property outright then taken out a loan just to cover the costs of the build out. Who knows?

Your property, and any loans procured for the purchase, construction, renovations, etc. may face a foreclosure if you are delinquent on payments for a specified amount of time. The terms of when a default will move into foreclosure is dictated within your loan agreements, mortgage agreements, promissory notes and statutes. The rules on foreclosure and any notices required before a bank or third party may pursue a foreclosure depend on many things, including if the property is your primary residence as well as who has first standing/priority on the loan (as referenced by the Uniform Commercial Code).

How Does This Affect You?:

Loans and mortgages should be taken very seriously. The terms of your mortgage or loan agreement are negotiable and you and your lender should iron out all details specific to your lifestyle, income, goals, plans and other obligations before signing it. Before you default on a loan by missing a payment or payments, you should reach out to the lender to see if you can work out alternate payment options or negotiate for a lower interest payment, etc. Federal and state laws mandate timing of foreclosure proceedings and that includes when you receive notice that you are in default, how you receive such notice, how long you have to respond, if you requested and/or received a settlement conference or hearing, if you are in bankruptcy or not, etc.

It is imperative that we, as responsible adults, do not live beyond our means. It is equally imperative that we understand fully all terms of the loans we enter so as to not face dire consequences due to ignorance of certain terms and conditions. You should read and understand all provisions of a contract before signing on the dotted line. Along with a significant amount money received by you upon execution of a loan agreement, also comes mortgage payments, interest payments, PMI payments (unless otherwise negotiated) and responsibility to pay back what you have borrowed.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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