You find that a utility company claims the right to remove your fence, trees, and landscaping. To make matters worse, the company claims your home is built on their easement and may have to be removed.
You return home to find that the utility that serves your rural area has cut down the cherished hundred-year old pecan tree that gave your home the distinctive character that drew you to it when you purchased it many years ago.
Your neighbor claims that he now owns the portion of your side yard that you let him use for his elaborate train set.
One of the world’s largest banks claims that it owns your home even though you bought it years ago for full market value and closed at a title company with no warning of any other claims.
The person who sold you your home was actually the son with the same name as the deceased owner and that the son had forged the deed because he had grown impatient with the distribution of the estate.
The deed by which you thought you acquired your home described the wrong property.
The deed by which you thought you acquired a rental property was never recorded and the prior owner has since sold the property to another person who had no idea you previously bought the same house.
A landscaper is now claiming tens of thousands of dollars in liens against your home for extensive work performed on your home prior to your purchase.
The Cope Law Firm has resolved these issues and many more.
Title Companies & Escrow Officers
We defend title companies and escrow officers from misguided attacks arising from real estate transactions and, on a more limited basis, employment disputes associated with violations of non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. Common disputes that the Cope Firm has resolved include allegations that liens and other encumbrances were not identified, that liens were not satisfied, and that documents were incorrectly drafted. We have also successfully addressed competing claims for earnest money deposits and a litany of allegations associated with escrow officer conduct such as:
that the escrow officer misled a party regarding the meaning of a survey, deed, or other document relating to the transaction,
that the escrow officer failed to disclose information, and
that the escrow officer failed to perform a contractual obligation of a party.
These claims are often the understandable result of frustration and erroneous legal advice. Cope will work to resolve these issues in a way that demonstrates respect for the claimant and compassion for their situation while efficiently marshaling the law and our experience to firmly defend the integrity of our title companies and escrow officers.
Mortgage lenders are the lifeblood of home ownership; they deserve a vigorous defense against illegitimate claims that are often designed simply to delay inevitable foreclosures. Cope learned the industry in the trenches and began his career as a mortgage loan processor. Cope was then promoted to assist distressed homeowners by modifying mortgages. Later, Cope managed mortgage originations for an independent bank. Cope’s experience in the industry provides insights that have informed his effective representation of some of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders for over 14 years. Common disputes the Cope Firm has resolved include battles over compliance with the extensive provisions governing home equity loans, lien priority, identity theft, fraudulent execution of documents, disputes over funding home improvement loans, mechanic’s liens, unrecorded lien instruments, omission of interest holders from lien documents, and numerous other disputes. The Cope Firm has resolved these disputes efficiently by carefully investigating facts and objectively applying the law while balancing respect for often sincere but misguided borrowers and a healthy awareness of the deliberate abuse of the courts.
Title Insurance Companies
The Cope Firm has successfully resolved hundreds of claims throughout Texas on behalf of national title insurance companies and their insureds for over 14 years, often without litigation. His unique background as felony prosecutor, community and mortgage banker, and civil litigator affords uncommon insight into disputes, whether they involve the insurers themselves or their insured homeowners and lenders. The Cope Firm is keenly aware of the importance of resolving claims in a way that harmonizes (1) the litigation attorney’s ethical duty to zealously represent the insured client, (2) the scope of representation defined by the title insurance company, and (3) the need to communicate proactively with clients, privately retained counsel, and overburdened claims attorneys. In addition, The Cope Firm is sensitive to controlling costs without compromising the best result possible for the insured client.
John Cope has resolved hundreds of title cases on behalf of homeowners, title companies, mortgage companies, and title insurers. We know that disputes involving your homestead are deeply disturbing so we approach these matters with sensitivity to your desire for a favorable resolution as quickly as possible. While we cannot guarantee outcomes or any given time line, we can assure you of our commitment to treat you as we would want to be treated.
Former Felony Prosecutor
John Cope began his legal career in 1993 with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office with the Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence & Coordination Unit. Cope initially handled asset forfeitures while assisting with felony narcotics prosecutions before quickly moving full-time into narcotics prosecutions. After several years of specializing in narcotics prosecutions, Cope moved to the general trial section where he handled the full spectrum of criminal cases, including non-death penalty capital murder. By the time he left the office in 2000, Cope had prosecuted 50 jury trials.
Former Senior Real Estate Lender
Cope served as a real estate lending officer for approximately 7 years, beginning in mortgage and real estate lending prior to law school and continued his banking career as a real estate lending officer after leaving the DA’s Office. Cope served as a senior lender for a 5-branch community bank and as vice president and lender for another institution, handling construction lines of credit in excess of $23 million.
Former Loan Modification Specialist
Cope helped establish the mortgage loan modification department for local mortgage servicer Colonial Savings and Loan after breaking into the business as a loan processor. As the department’s first supervisor, resolutions required the agreement of investors, servicers, mortgage insurers, and borrowers. Frequent parties to agreements included the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”).
Originated Purchase, Construction, And Mortgage Loans
Cope worked for independent banks originating loans for home purchase and rehabilitation, interim construction, and permanent mortgage loans placed with national lenders.
Cope began focusing on title defense in 2004 and began his own practice in 2012. Cope is routinely called upon by national title insurance companies as a “go-to” attorney in the north Texas area. While focused in the counties surrounding the DFW area, Cope has handled title defense cases from Amarillo to Abilene to San Antonio to Houston to East Texas to the Texoma region.