Author Archive

About Michael Farah

Michael Farah is the founder and managing attorney of the Farah Law Firm. Mike graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law with a Juris Doctor and an L.L.M. in Intellectual Property. A native Texan, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He enjoys traveling with his wife, flying planes, skiing, and spending time on the family farm. Mike is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York.

Posts by Michael Farah:

Auto Accidents in Work Zones

Aug 4, 14 • News

If you live in the DFW area, you’re probably used to driving through work zones (and navigating the inevitable traffic they tend to cause). Highway projects in the Metroplex seem to go on for months, or sometimes even years, and you’re almost bound to encounter one if you plan on driving more than 10 miles in any direction. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are currently 20 active work zones along I-35 alone, encompassing nearly 110 miles of roadway. That’s the largest number of work zones TxDOT has ever had on the state’s main corridor, and it all adds up to a whole lot of road rage and more than a few work zone-related auto accidents. (more…)

What You Need to Know About Notary Fraud

Jul 17, 14 • News

Buying groceries. Stopping for gas. Going to the bank. Picking up your dry cleaning. Of all the irritating but necessary errands you have to tend to, getting something notarized ranks among the most mundane—but it’s also among the most important. It seems like such a simple task, but your rendezvous with a Notary Public can pose certain risks that you need to be aware of.

Even more frightening, important documents could be fraudulently notarized without your knowledge or consent. Imagine coming home after a long, relaxing vacation and finding a “For Sale” sign in your front yard. It sounds far-fetched, but, unfortunately, it’s not.

Notary fraud is more common than you would think, so it’s important to arm yourself with information and know what to watch for. (more…)

10 Tips to Negotiate Your Commercial Lease Agreement

Jun 1, 14 • News

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding an existing one, signing a commercial lease agreement is an exciting and important step. It can be difficult to be patient and make sure all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, especially when you’re juggling so many other tasks and decisions. But it’s important to review your commercial lease agreement carefully, and it’s often in your best interest to negotiate certain elements. You should strongly consider relying on an experienced real estate attorney to review your lease agreement. To that end, here are 10 tips from The Farah Law Firm to help you successfully negotiate your commercial lease agreement. (more…)

The 10 Worst Types of Drivers

May 13, 14 • News

It’s a fact: Driving is a dangerous enterprise. You could be the very definition of a cautious driver, but you can’t control what the thousands of other drivers on the road are doing. And a lot of the time, what they’re doing is . . . well . . . pretty stupid. Here’s a look at the 10 worst types of drivers you’re bound to encounter when you get behind the wheel. (more…)

Exemplary Damages in Drunk Driving Cases

Apr 16, 14 • News

Most people injured by a drunk driver are aware that they are entitled to compensation related to the compensatory damages they have sustained, including medical expenses, pain, and suffering, lost wages, etc.  However, many folks are not aware of the potential to recover exemplary damages as well. (more…)

Property Tax Protests

Apr 10, 14 • Real Estate, Taxes

It’s that time of year again. Yes, tax time. If you’re like me, you received a notice from your appraisal district notifying you of the proposed value of your property for the current tax year. However, what many of you do not know is what to do if you are dissatisfied with the appraised value of your home, or if errors exist in the appraisal records regarding your property. In this post, I’ll quickly guide you through the processes of how appraisal districts value your property and how to go about protesting your property’s appraised value should you need to. (more…)

Texas Agricultural Exemption: Tips to Win on Your Own

Apr 4, 14 • Real Estate

The goal of the 1-d-1 agricultural “exemption” appraisal method is to only tax that portion of your property being used for the specific type of agricultural method based on the income potential of that use. Article VIII, Section 1-d-1, Texas Constitution, and Chapter 23, Subchapter D, Texas Property Tax Code, provides for appraisal of open-space land.

This method is most important if you own or maintain any sort of agricultural land, be it cattle pastures or ranch, farm, grazing, or hay production land. The 1-d-1 appraisal is even allowed for raising horses in certain circumstances.

Land qualifies for special appraisal (1-d-1 appraisal) if it has been (1) used for agriculture for five of the preceding seven years and is currently devoted principally to agricultural use as defined by statute, (2) used to protect federally listed endangered species under a federal permit, or (3) used for conservation or restitution projects under certain federal and state statutes. The land must also be used for agriculture to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the area. The value of the land is based on the annual net income from a typical lease arrangement that would have been earned from the land during the five-year period preceding the year before the date of appraisal by an owner using ordinary prudence in the management of the land and the farm crops and livestock produced or supported on the land, including income received from hunting or recreational leases. (more…)

Dividing Real Estate in a Divorce in Texas

Feb 27, 14 • Real Estate

It’s a fact: breaking up is hard to do. But whether you and your spouse are going through an amicable or contentious divorce, it is extremely important to be careful when it comes to dividing your assets, particularly any and all real estate you own. (more…)

Five Expert Tips for Preparing Real Estate Documents

Feb 18, 14 • News, Real Estate

If you’re facing a real estate transaction, the prospect of gathering, reviewing, filling out, and filing all of the attendant documents may seem overwhelming. Indeed, the volume of paperwork and seemingly complicated real estate jargon can be confounding. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips to help you navigate the not-so-tricky world of real estate documents. (more…)

Take Advantage of Tarrant County’s Property Fraud Alert Service

Jan 16, 14 • Real Estate

According to the FBI, property and mortgage fraud is the fastest growing white collar crime in the United States. By definition, mortgage fraud schemes employ some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission relating to a real estate transaction which is relied on by one or more parties to the transaction. Such schemes can include:

  • Foreclosure rescue schemes
  • Loan modification schemes
  • Illegal property flipping
  • Builder bailout/condo conversion
  • Equity skimming (a type of foreclosure rescue scheme that often targets low-income homeowners)
  • Silent second (a secondary loan on a property that is not disclosed to the lender of the original loan)
  • Home equity conversion mortgage
  • Commercial real estate loans
  • Air loans (a scheme involving a fictitious property and borrower)

The FBI reports that in 2007 there were 46,717 mortgage fraud suspicious activity reports (SARs). By 2011, that number had risen to 93, 508, and it’s still continuing to rise. (more…)