Real Estate/Construction

realestate constructionBret Gerard is particularly experienced in representing clients with their real estate and construction legal needs. He regularly assists clients in resolving real estate and construction-related issues. From the drawing board to the job site, and from operation to property sale, Bret has the necessary knowledge to counsel clients on risks and seek speedy resolutions to avoid expensive litigation.

Bret’s property experience includes disputes concerning shopping centers, shopping malls, office buildings, apartments, condominiums, infrastructure, hotels, land development, raw land, industrial complexes, and residential properties.

His experience in this industry includes:

  • Options and rights of first refusal
  • Commercial and residential property deed restrictions
  • Boundary disputes
  • Foreclosures
  • Lien priority and validity disputes
  • Lis pendens
  • Breach of contract
  • Construction defects and other disputes
  • Breaches of representations and warranties
  • Mechanic’s and materialman’s liens
  • Landlord liens
  • Tax liens
  • Bankruptcy matters
  • Title examinations and insurance
  • Usury
  • Fraudulent conveyances
  • Fraud
  • Negligent misrepresentation
  • Trespass
  • Premises liability
  • Nuisance
  • Construction Matters: contract review, progress payment bonds, construction insurance issues, damages, liquidated damages, substantial completion issues
    Landlord/Tenant Matters: eviction, tenant remedies in the event of landlord breach, landlord rights for property repossession
  • Leasing Matters: contract review, landlord/tenant disputes, review of lease terms, lease-related claims, amendments and other documents required by law
    Perfection of Lien Rights Matters: preparation and filing of affidavits in the county records, foreclosure of liens and notices, and summary removals
  • Real Estate Matters: title disputes
  • Real Estate/Construction Litigation Matters

Bret’s clients include business owners, real estate investment and development companies, investors and developers, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), property and building owners, retail companies, commercial landlords and management companies, tenants, title insurance companies, real estate management companies, architects, engineers, hotel developers, landlords, construction companies, general contractors, subcontractors, construction material providers, construction equipment companies, insurance agents and brokers, and several major insurance companies and insureds. He also represents individuals.


Bret’s client contracted to purchase real property from the estate of a deceased individual.  A Real Estate Agreement was signed by the client and the executor of the estate. Under the terms of the Real Estate Agreement, the client agreed to purchase 10 lots, all of which were to be financed by Bank of America, N.A. (BOA).  Six of the lots, were financed by a $96,000.00 loan from BOA. The other four lots were financed by an $18,000.00 loan from BOA. At closing, the independent executor of the estate conveyed title to all 10 lots to Bret’s client.

Shortly thereafter, BOA notified the client that it was unwilling to finance the purchase of four of the 10 lots.  BOA signed a Partial Release of Lien under the terms of which it released and discharged the four lots from any liens, security interests, or other rights, titles, and interests held by BOA to secure payment of the indebtedness, obligations, and liabilities evidenced by the $96,000.00 note that secured the purchase of the other six lots.

Bret’s client was able to obtain financing for four lots from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  The executor of the estate conveyed title to the remaining four lots to Bret’s client. The client paid JPMorgan Chase Bank in full and JPMorgan Chase Bank recorded a release of its lien.

Subsequently, Bret’s client defaulted on his obligations under the terms of the $96,000.00 loan from BOA. As a result, BOA appointed a substitute trustee under the original deed of trust securing the $96,000.00 loan. The substitute trustee conducted a foreclosure sale and sold all 10 lots to Federal National Mortgage Association a/k/a Fannie Mae for $93,923.35. BOA did not have the power to sell all 10 lots since it had released its lien against four of the lots.

By holding the foreclosure sale without such power and  failing to strictly follow the terms of the power granted to it under the Deed of Trust as modified by the Partial Release of Lien, BOA committed wrongful foreclosure of Bret’s client’s property. As a result, the purchaser at the foreclosure sale did not obtain title to four of the lots because there was no authority granted to BOA to sell that property.

Bret threatened to file a lawsuit seeking damages for wrongful foreclosure; to set aside the Substitute Trustee’s Deed that was given to Fannie Mae at the foreclosure sale, and declaratory relief under Chapter 37 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code, including a request that the Substitute Trustee’s Deed be set aside as void. This threat was conveyed to the law firm that was involved in the foreclosure sale and resulted in a settlement in favor of Bret’s client without ever having to file the suit.

Se habla Español.