New Firm Name & Partners

New Firm Name The law firm of Black, Slaughter & Black will now be doing business as Law Firm Carolinas. The firm, which practices in North and South Carolina, has four offices: Greensboro, Charlotte, Triangle (Garner) and Coastal (Wilmington). New Partners In addition, three attorneys have been named partners in the firm: Jennifer Ruby, who does general civil litigation, business litigation and appeals. Ruby is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006) and Elon University School of Law (2010) and is based in the Greensboro office. Michael Taliercio, who manages the firm’s HOA/condo assessment collections … Continue reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) HOA & Condo Blog Articles

During the past month we have posted a number of articles on how community associations should respond to the coronavirus crisis as well as changes in HOA/condo practices that may need to be considered. For ease of finding, these articles are linked below: The Coronavirus, Flu, and HOA/Condo Association Meetings – 2/26/20 Coronavirus: What Should Homeowner and Condominium Associations Do? – 3/1/2020 “Let’s Have Our Meeting or Convention Online!” – 3/14/2020 How to Hold Your North Carolina HOA/Condo Hearing in a Pandemic – 3/24/2020 Should My Community Close Its Common Areas Due to COVID-19? – 3/25/2020 What to Do About … Continue reading

Title Fraud or Deed Theft and Preventative Measures

Recently our office has received inquiries regarding advertisements from companies offering services to protect against home title fraud, also frequently called deed theft. Many do not know what title fraud is, or whether they need to pay a service to guard against it. The concept of title fraud generally involves recording forged or altered documents in a county’s registry that purport to transfer ownership of real estate from one party to another. Once a county’s records have been updated to show the fraudster or their affiliated entity as the property’s owner, the criminal may attempt to sell the property or … Continue reading

Emergency Video Notarization in North Carolina in the Real Estate Transaction Context during the COVID-19 Crisis

On May 4, 2020, the North Carolina Governor signed into law Senate Bill 704.  The Law was drafted specifically to respond to hardships created by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Crisis.  One of the key provisions of the Law, in consultation with and at the recommendation of the North Carolina Secretary of State, authorizes all Notaries Public of the State of North Carolina to, “temporarily perform emergency video notarizations so that notarial acts will not impede crucial business transactions, real estate transactions, medical documents, court documents, and most other important document notarizations.”  This emergency authorization is a temporary authorization, as … Continue reading

Emergency Video Notarization: What Real Estate Agents Need to Know

This past Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Cooper signed Senate Bill 704, enacted as Session Law 2020-3, which is designed to aid North Carolinians in response to the Coronavirus disease. Of particular interest to Real Estate Agents is the portion of the bill found in Part IV entitled “Emergency Video Notarization.” Currently, when a real estate document requires notarization, that means the homebuyer must be “physically present” in front of the notary in order for the notarization to take place. Here at Black, Slaughter & Black, P.A. we are experienced with our attorneys utilizing a variety of methods to close … Continue reading

CARES Act Imposes 120 Day Moratorium on Some Residential Evictions

The Federal CARES Act that was signed into law on March 27, 2020 includes a 120-day moratorium on evictions of tenants in federally financed housing based solely on nonpayment of rent or other fees or charges. The CARES Act further prohibits a lessor/landlord of a covered property from charging any tenant fees, penalties or other charges for nonpayment of rent during this time. During the moratorium period, the landlord of a covered property also cannot “require a tenant to vacate a dwelling unit before the date that is 30 days after the date on which the lessor provides the tenant … Continue reading

Quiet Title Actions in North Carolina

We frequently field questions from clients regarding their ownership in property that has been passed down through multiple generations of family members.  Issues tend to arise due to how title is held to the property.  Sometimes, several members of a family own a small share of a piece of property but are unsure of their exact ownership interests.  This can result in confusion and the inability to immediately sell the property to an eager buyer. Frequently, property held by a family for generations is never deeded down the generational line.  This results in a perceived gap or uncertainty in ownership.  … Continue reading

Landlord/Tenant Issues In the Midst of COVID-19

In an effort to reduce courthouse traffic and slow the spread of COVID-19, Chief Justice Beasley has halted all eviction hearings through April 17, 2020. Below is some clarification of what this means for landlords and tenants in North Carolina. Keep in mind that each lease is different, so it is important that you carefully read the terms of your lease to determine exactly what your rights and obligations are. If you are in doubt, the attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black can assist you with offices in Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington and the Triangle. *Be aware that this information is … Continue reading

It May Be A Tiny Home, But Is It A Tiny Price?

It’s a tempting fad if you think about it—being able to purchase a beautiful new house for half the price and only have to clean half of a house. With home prices continuing to soar, and home inventory becoming less readily available every day, Reality TV shows focused on finding the right Tiny Home are starting to plant the seed in more and more home buyers’ minds that maybe they COULD give up some of the convenience that comes with the size of a traditional home. However, before you jump onto the Tiny Home bandwagon, there may be a couple … Continue reading

How a Mobile Closing is Going to Make My Transaction Smoother

            Historically, closing on a residential property and use of related vendors to do so has been a largely local (to the property location) endeavor.  It does make sense to do so since local real estate agents, attorneys and other vendors have specific knowledge of intricacies of the area and other special processes that may be required to provide relevant advice and complete a transaction most efficiently.  Most times, it also requires a trip or three to the closing attorney’s office to sign documents and meet with other parties to the transaction in order to consummate the deal.  However, whether … Continue reading

DRONE FLIGHTS OVER PROPERTY: What Are My Rights?

Drone usage has become increasingly popular and is only expected to increase in coming years. Although the vast majority of commercial and recreational drone fliers are responsible rule-followers, there are always a few who will break or bend the rules to the displeasure of their neighbors. General rules dictate that drones (or a UAS/UAV, to the fliers) must be flown within line of sight of the operator, may not be flown over people, may not be flown more than 400 feet above ground level, and may only be flown during daylight hours, among other things. Complaints about “illegal” drone flights … Continue reading

What is Property Title?

What exactly is title? The practice of real estate concerns understanding how property is affected by a property owner in the chain of title. An owner of property can restrict and convey property while they own it. Once they convey the property, they no longer have the ability to restrict or convey that property but the property remains subject to the restrictions they placed on it while they did own it. Similarly, personal judgments and liens can attach to real property while it is owned by an individual. Judgment creditors can execute their judgment to partition and/or sell the property … Continue reading

The Basics of Title Insurance

Purchasing a home is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences in one’s life. It can also be a very confusing process for first-time homebuyers or for people that do not deal in real estate transactions often. One of the more confusing aspects of a real estate purchase is the importance of title insurance. Prior to sitting at the closing table, very few buyers have ever heard of, let alone understand, the concept of title insurance. Title insurance can protect the buyer and the lender, if a home loan is required for purchase, from undue loss caused by a … Continue reading

Best Lawyers Recognition 2020

Black, Slaughter & Black and two of its attorneys have been named to the 2020 US News Best Lawyers in America. Jim Slaughter has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the practices of Community Association Law and Real Estate Law. Keith Black has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the practice of Family Law. Black, Slaughter & Black is again the only firm in North Carolina with a listing of “Community Association Law.”

Hurry Up and Wait – What If My Closing Is Delayed?

            A typical real estate transaction is complicated and has many moving parts. In plainest terms, many parties have to come together, ready and willing to move forward at one time, for a real estate transaction to close. Nearly every aspect of real estate transactions has increased in complexity, and despite advances in technology, delays are still common.             When a delay arises, one of the first questions asked is: “What are my rights?” Some may wonder if a delay is a breach of the contract. More often than not, a delay is not necessarily a breach of the contract, … Continue reading

New Firm Facebook Page

Black, Slaughter & Black has a new Facebook page where you can keep up with firm activities, read recent blogs, and find out where attorneys are speaking (and includes a photo from this morning’s Piedmont Education Breakfast where Steve Black spoke on Declaration Amendments: Pandora’s Box)? The new page can be found at www.facebook.com/BlackSlaughterBlack. We ask that you follow it, like it, and share it!

Real Property Tax Time: Legislative Update – Tax Certification, H201

Now is the time of the year in North Carolina that real property tax (ad valorem) bills are going to be coming out in all counties, if they have not already.  They are most typically due upon receipt but not incurring any late charges or additional interest unless not paid by or before the first part of January of the following year.  You should check with the specific county (there are 100 counties in North Carolina) to determine exact date unpaid tax bills are considered late.             A North Carolina statute that sometimes get overlooked in connection with non-payment of … Continue reading

Earnest Money Deposit & Contract Default Damages Between North and South Carolina Residential Purchase Contracts

Many real estate attorneys, including Black, Slaughter & Black, PA, work in North and South Carolina to handle matters in both states to benefit their clients’ best interests, but require competence in the laws of both states.  There are many differences in the laws of each state, so your counsel must have requisite knowledge of both in order to handle these types of engagements for you effectively. One area of difference between North and South Carolina is how earnest money deposits made in connection with an accepted offer to purchase are treated once the contract terminates due to default. In … Continue reading

I Want to Sell My Home But the Buyer Cannot Get Financing

CONCERNS WITH CONTRACTS FOR DEED / LAND INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS As my mother told me long ago, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” If we establish that saying as truth, and there are many ways to accomplish the same goal, I would have to add that some methods are certainly better than others given the same fact pattern; experience teaches us this.  It is my experience that if you are selling a home in North Carolina to a buyer who does not have all of the funds to purchase the property, either thorough available cash or an … Continue reading

I’m Just Buying a Home… Why Does a Judgment Against Me Matter?

When a client is purchasing a home, my primary job as an attorney representing the buyer is to research the chain of title for the property and to make sure that no one can, as I like to put it, “come out of the woodwork and claim an interest in the new home.” I explain this to clients during the closing by stating that before they own the home, their seller owned it, and someone else before them, and so on. We call this the “chain of title.” When those owners owned the property, they had the power to affect … Continue reading