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Earlier this year I spoke to real estate investors and agents about legal tips and traps in real estate sales and purchases, to Claude Boiron’s group at Royal LePage Terrequity Realty in Toronto. The presentation went well so one of my goals for 2019 is to make more presentations to groups of real estate investors and agents.

When real estate values sag, some buyers get severe buyer’s remorse. Some of them, rightly or wrongly, repudiate the purchase, refusing to close. I call them “runaway buyers.” When runaway buyers register a caution they should expect the court to remove the caution and order costs against them.

On Friday, Feb 2/18, the article “I Want My Deposit Back” appeared in The Globe And Mail (Ontario Edition). It discusses a case of mine where a real estate buyer backed out of the purchase, refusing to close. The buyer then, because of the deposit, registered a caution against title to the sellers’ land.

I went to court for an Order to remove the caution from title. The judge decided that the buyer should never have registered the caution. There was no proper basis for the caution. It was for an improper purpose – to gain leverage in the dispute about the deposit.

The judge ordered the buyer to pay costs on a substantial indemnity scale to compensate the sellers for their legal expense in going to court for the Order to remove the caution.

Note that the judge did not rule on whether the buyer had a good basis for repudiation. That issue is for another day.

Other buyers also recently got the idea of registering a caution to press for return of the deposit. If this is a trend it is a bad one.

Globe subscribers can read the article online: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/real-estate/toronto/backing-out-of-a-real-estate-deal-a-cautionary-tale-against-strong-arm-tactics/article37801532/

Experience can boost your business confidence at the same time as your business intuition is actually getting WORSE. Worse, because things are changing. Be aware of it, and deal with it. Here is a brief video I have done about this:

Here is a press release that I have done about the Federal government’s proposed tax changes:

For immediate release

For further information contact Albert S. Frank – 416-929-7202

Economic vandalism – federal tax proposals are destructive, unfair to small business

Albert S. Frank, business and trial lawyer of over 30 years’ experience, agrees with the Coalition for Small Business Tax Fairness that the recent federal tax proposals are harmful to independent business owners. The proposals are destructive and unfair:

  • Albert Frank says, “The proposals are economic vandalism – they would destroy existing plans and force huge costs on business owners”;
  • The proposed changes would hit small business owners the hardest as the smaller the business the bigger the impact of the extra legal and accounting expenses caused by having to re-examine and change succession planning and estate planning arrangements;
  • Tax incentives that business owners have relied on in good faith are now unfairly being called loopholes;
  • The proposals would make it harder to keep a business in the family;
  • Preventing the sharing of income among the family members amounts to a tax increase on the family, reducing the benefit of having an independent business. Business owners do not get schoolteacher or parliamentary pensions. The owners of the smaller businesses would be hit the hardest.

According to Albert Frank, “These proposals are unfair. They make sense only if the government wants to hurt small business.”

To interview Albert Frank you can call him during the day at 416-929-7202 (or email him at afrank@FrankLaw.ca).

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Business books obsess about the competition. Coke versus Pepsi. General Motors versus Ford. United Airlines versus its own customers – sorry, I couldn’t resist saying that.

But is your competition really the problem? Your competition could be neutral, or even helpful. Your real problem might be customers deciding not to buy from anyone.

I discuss these questions in my latest business strategy video:

Many businesses are hostile – or at best uncaring – towards their customers. Why, and is it good strategy?

Here is my video about this:

There are advantages to using your outside lawyer as a confidential advisor, and not just for legal issues. Also, do it right and nobody can ever find out what you and your business lawyer talked about.

Here is a video about this:




In business, even the idea that things will stay the same is just an assumption: present trends will continue only until they do not. Challenging your assumptions is vital, but there is not enough time in the world to challenge EVERY assumption. So when (and how) do you challenge assumptions?

Ask why, and then ask the why behind the why.

I have done a video about this, with insights from the theory of constraints and the 80/20 (Pareto) Principle:

The Klondike Gold Rush, fondly remembered in Edmonton every Klondike Days, shows us two paths to wealth. The obvious one – dig for gold. Also a less obvious one, which I explain in video 4 of my business strategy series:

Sooner or later your distributor will have a change of management, and the new management could ruin the business. This is a problem not just for the distributor but also for the manufacturer. In my latest business strategy video – number three in the series – I discuss the problem and some contractual terms that can help: