A developer established a residential subdivision and sold many of the lots to a builder for construction of custom homes. When the builder encountered financial difficulties, it refused to close on the lots under the contract. Even worse, the builder accused the developer of misrepresenting the intended appearance of the subdivision and breaching the contract by not completing certain amenities on time. The builder filed a lawsuit against the developer and even tied up all of the lots in the subdivision, including lots owned by other builders and homeowners, with a lien lis pendens, which gives notice to the owner of the real estate that there is a claim on the property and publicly records the action, thus making it difficult to sell or finance any lots. The project went from great success to certain disaster within weeks.

At that point, the developer engaged Garrett Swartwood to represent it in the lawsuit. Garrett quickly secured the release of the lien lis pendens, allowing the developer to continue selling lots in the subdivision. Garrett also turned the tables on the builder at the trial of the lawsuit. With the aid of expert testimony and video evidence of the subdivision amenities, Garrett was able to not only defeat the builder’s claims but also press claims against the builder on behalf of the developer and obtain a substantial judgment against the builder for its breach of contract.




Protect subdivision project from unwarranted action


Garrett P. Swartwood