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Friday, August 19, 2011

Red Zone letters and legal advice

Those in the Red Zone who promptly returned to CERA the information requested from them, will be getting letters of offer from the government in a day or so. In total about 3,000 letters will be sent out in the first batch.

As these documents vary in content from the standard real estate sale and purchase agreements Gerry Brownlee has made the letters and associated documents available early to the Law Society. The Society has put these on their web site so it's members can become familiar with them.

In a media release he advises:
“Due to the nature of the offers, there are variations from the standard sale and purchase agreements,” says Mr Brownlee.
“Being familiar with the documentation will allow lawyers to give better advice and service, from receipt of the offers by homeowners.
“I urge all parties involved to carefully study the documentation, so that we can have a positive outcome for homeowners in the Red Zone.”
The documents on the Law Society web site are the formal legal documents being used for briefing of Canterbury lawyers.  The letters of offer will be in plain language and will include clear explanations of the offer and other information to assist affected homeowners.  Homeowners should focus on the letters of offer and then discuss the formal documentation with their lawyers.
The New Zealand Law Society's website with copies of the letters and documentation, along with other earthquake related forms, can be found here.  Gerry Brownlee's media release on the subject is here.

Seeking legal advice would be the safest option for everyone who receives an offer. At this stage there is no urgency, and it is possible that lawyers will make a lot of explanatory material available publicly over the next few weeks.
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