Business Partner Forced to Abide by Joint Venture



Our real estate investor client had entered into a joint venture with another real estate investor pursuant to which they agreed to purchase, renovate, and ultimately sell a single-family home located in Center City, Philadelphia and evenly split the net proceeds from the sale of that property.

Under their written joint venture agreement, the other real estate investor would pay for the initial purchase of the property and place title to the property in his name and our real estate investor client would be responsible for managing the rehabilitation of the property which she did by expending significant personal funds and time on the renovation project.

The other real estate investor financed the purchase of the property by obtaining a loan from an individual and that loan was collateralized by way of a mortgage encumbering title to the property.

A conflict then ensued between the parties during the renovation project.

The other real estate investor refused to grant our real estate investor client access to the property to finalize its renovation or to allow the property to be listed or marketed for sale.

Worse yet, the individual who financed the purchase of the property threatened to foreclose on the mortgage encumbering title to the property.

After our real estate investor client retained us, we filed a lawsuit to compel the other real estate investor to specifically perform under the joint venture by allowing for the completion of the renovation project and for the property to be listed and marketed for sale, as originally agreed to by the parties.

Since the property was titled only in the name of the other real estate investor, when we filed the lawsuit, we also filed and recorded a lis pendens encumbering title to the property, so that the other real estate investor could not sell the property to any other third parties while the litigation was pending between them.

During the litigation, we also convinced the individual holding the mortgage encumbering title to the property not to foreclose on it.

After over a year of contentious and often highly emotional litigation, the lawsuit was settled by allowing our real estate investor client to complete the renovation project and compelling the property to be listed and marketed for sale by a mutually agreeable real estate agent.

The property ultimately sold at a significantly higher amount than originally anticipated by the parties, and, as such, our real estate investor client not only recouped all the costs and expenses she incurred in connection with the renovation project, but she also received her fair share of the net sale proceeds, as per the terms and condition of the joint venture agreement executed by the parties.

 

Natalie was my attorney in a very contentious lawsuit against a former business partner who sought to freeze me out of our partnership. She did a great job of recovering my investment while dealing with an extremely hostile opponent and his attorney. Natalie is a top-notch litigator whom I always recommend to business associates and friends.

- Holly Rehfuss

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