Howard A. Birmiel Attorney at Law

Law office in West Springfield/Burke handling civil matters in Northern Virginia

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Firm Overview

Our experienced staff provides superior legal counsel to the people of Northern Virginia. We are skilled at managing complex real estate transactions, and we provide thorough legal service to people in business. Our law office also handles bankruptcy cases.

Why do I want an attorney as my settlement agent?

This is an important question. Find out the answer here.

Personal attention to your real estate and business law needs

We offer one-on-one legal consultation to families and small businesses:

Real estate:
-Title insurance & settlements
-Title issues
-Mortgages
-Contracts
-Disputes
-Landlord/tenant

Business law:
-Formation
-Sales & transfers of businesses
-Litigation

Bankruptcy:
Chapters 7 & 13

Visit our Real Estate Law, Commercial Real Estate, or Residential Real Estate Page


Professional legal service in Northern Virginia:

Our law firm provides legal assistance to residents of local cities:

-Falls Church
-Fairfax
-Alexandria
-Springfield
-McLean
-Vienna
-Lorton
-Lake Ridge
-Manassas
-Annandale

We also help people throughout the counties of Northern Virginia:

-Fairfax County
-Arlington County
-Prince William County
-Loudoun County
-Warren County
-Fauquier County
-Clarke County
-Frederick County
Main Office

Main Office
9314 - C Old Keene Mill Road
Burke  VA  22015

Phone
  • 703 451-4506
Fax
  • 703-455-9278
Commercial Real Estate
Professional legal advice for your small business
Commercial litigation

Our law firm handles business disputes of all kinds:

-Allegations of fraud
-Breaches of contract
-Vendor relations problems
-Property conflicts
-Contested documents
Real Estate
Residential property and commercial transactions
We enjoy helping Northern Virginia families make their largest and most challenging financial decision - the purchase of a home. Our law firm also works with businesses on commercial property transactions, including leases. We assist you through the important steps to help you feel certain that all pieces are in place.

Title issues:

The resolution of the title to the property is one of the most important preliminary legal steps in any real estate purchase or sale. There are several steps involved:

-Title examination
-Resolution of title objections
-Removal of liens

-Resolution of easements
These are just a few of the basic issues involving the property title, and you need an experienced real estate attorney to see you through the title process. Our law firm has detailed knowledge of title issues, and ensures your title is properly examined.

Title insurance:

An owner's title insurance policy is a necessary option. Claims against titles are at an all-time high, and misunderstandings about what title insurance protection provides are commonplace. In Virginia, the premium is typically paid for by the purchaser. Sometimes the seller will offer to pay for owner's title insurance (does not include paying for lender's, which is typically the greater part of the cost to the average purchaser), conditioned on the use of the seller's settlement agent. Penny wise and pound foolish is often the result, as that inducement will lead a person to often give up a competent settlement attorney's advice and counsel in handling the transaction for a few dollars saved, to have a notary hand them important legal papers to sign with no
explanation.

Common misconceptions:

The seller bought the house new and there has only been one owner.

However, the land to which the house is attached has been there for hundreds of years and likely changed ownership many times before. You are buying the land with the house attached, and title to the land is what you receive.

A title search has been done and no problem has been found.
That assumes that the search has been done properly, but many title claims arise from issues not apparent in a title search:

-Forgeries
-Improper foreclosures
-Incomplete estate issues

A host of additional items come out of the background. The advice of a competent settlement attorney is always advisable prior to and at closing, to complement title insurance protection

Conveyancing:

Transferring a property title is not as simple as transferring the title of a car. You cannot simply sign it on the back and hand it over to someone else. Property conveyance is a highly detailed legal process requiring the help of a seasoned real estate lawyer. Our law firm has many years of experience with real estate conveyancing, and is pleased to help you with your property transfer.

Mortgages:

We work with you on all aspects of your mortgage:

-Short sales
-Settlement
-Refinancing
-Modification

Our law firm works to keep your mortgage process smooth and straightforward, so you can focus on plans for you property.

Closings:

We conduct the closing of your transaction. The closing is more than just handing over a check for the down payment and signing a stack of papers. All of those papers should be reviewed carefully by a real estate lawyer and explained before you sign them. We focus on checking that your contract contains all agreements made in the negotiation of the sale.

Disputes:

Real estate disputes may occur long after the initial transaction. We are skilled negotiators and can often mediate satisfactorily, but we also have extensive experience in real estate dispute litigation.

Fraud:

Some disputes arise from a claim of misrepresentation:

-Toxic conditions not disclosed
-Improper construction concealed
-Title issues misrepresented
-Repairs not completed
-Property details misstated
-Boundary disputes

Other disputes concern the sharing of property lines:

-Runoff damage
-Fence repair
-Tree overgrowth
-Driveway maintenance

We work with the opposing party's attorney to reach an amicable resolution to your real estate dispute. If this cannot be achieved, we litigate your case and fight for your legal rights in a court of law.

-Real Estate law
-Residential Real Estate
-Commercial Real Estate

Howard A. Birmiel

A respected lawyer in real estate, bankruptcy, and business law

Howard A. Birmiel earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1975 and established himself as a well-known practitioner of real estate, small business, and bankruptcy law in Northern Virginia. On behalf of his many satisfied clients, Howard has appeared before numerous courts:

-District and Circuit Courts throughout Virginia
-U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
-Virginia Supreme Court

Howard has been called upon to give expert testimony regarding consumer interests in real estate transactions before the following:

-Committees of Congress
-Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
-Committees of the Virginia Legislature

Mr. Birmiel chaired the Coalition to Retain Independent Services in Settlements in 1992 and served as a director of the Virginia Real Estate Attorneys League. He has testified before Congress, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and before committees of the Virginia legislature regarding consumer interests in real estate transactions. Howard Birmiel is well-respected by his colleagues in Northern Virginia for his detailed knowledge of real estate law.

Practice areas:

Real estate:
-Title insurance and settlement
-Title Issues
-Mortgages
-Contracts
-Disputes

Business law:
-Formation
-Sales and transfers of businesses
-Litigation

Bankruptcy:
Chapters 7 & 13

Visit our Real Estate Law, Commercial Real Estate, or Residential Real Estate Page


Bar admissions:
-Virginia, 1975
-U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
-U.S. Court, Eastern District of Virginia
-Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Education:
-University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D., 1975
-City College of New York, B.E.E., 1970
-Brooklyn Technical High School

Memberships:
-Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
-Virginia Real Estate Attorneys League
-Fairfax Bar Association

Email attorney Howard A. Birmiel.

Legal staff:
Howard's office staff of settlement processing, legal assistants and title personnel is highly regarded in Northern Virginia for their work on real estate transactions. They have a reputation for getting the job done right the first time.

-Norma Shull, Title Agent and Processor
-Deborah Whitener, Settlement Processor
-Mary Smith, Pre/Post Closing and Processing
-Evelyn Elena, Hispanic Language Closings
-Debi Neblett, Accounting
Education
  • University of Baltimore School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1975
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