About James Robert Deal
James Robert Deal
I had to take the bar exam, so I signed up for a bar review course. Every night for four hours the attorneys explained in plain language what the professors had done their best to obscure. Every night I found myself exclaiming repeatedly, “Oh is that what he was trying to say!” I passed the bar exam on the first try.Back in law school I often thought of dropping out. Most of the classes were pretty boring, and sometimes intimidating. But my mother advised me not to quit. “Son, don’t be a quitter,” she said. “If you don’t like it, you can always do something else. But get yourself a professional degree, and then you will always have an income if you need it.” So I stuck it out, and I am glad I did. I graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1978.
But I couldn’t get anyone to hire me, so I set up my own practice. I started out working as a consumer protection attorney, suing dishonest car dealers. Seattle Consumer Action Network, now Washington Consumer Action Network, would refer clients to me. I found litigation not to be a good fit with my easy going personality. I considered other options.
In 1980 I got involved in transactional real estate law, writing purchase agreements and closing real estate transactions. John Wagner and I labored in the Penthouse Suites overlooking Condon Hall doing assumptions, wrap-around deeds of trust, and lease-option deals. Over the next twenty years I escrowed thousands of real estate and business sales. I wrote thousands of purchase and sale agreements. I facilitated dozens of tax-deferred real estate exchanges. I wrote scores of wills and trusts. I put together dozens of leases.
I still do some legal work but only in a few areas, primarily advising buyers and sellers of real estate and handling work-outs, otherwise known as mortgage modification or mortgage reduction. I still write purchase and sale agreements and assist For-Sale-By-Owner FSBO buyers and sellers. I very much enjoy putting together assumptions, wrap-around deed of trust deals, and lease-option deals. They are ways of avoiding having the buyer go qualify for a new loan.
These are the areas in which I am still available to do legal work:
I have retained pages on this web site which discuss areas in which I formerly practiced. I do this to give the reader useful information and also to attract the internet web crawlers. The fact that I am experienced in these areas helps me give better legal advice to my legal and mortgage clients. However, I no longer practice in these areas:
I decided in 2000 to make a transition out of the regular practice of law into real estate finance. It is my theory that for any attorney to be an effective transactional real estate lawyer, he should understand real estate finance. I set up Deal Mortgage Corporation in 2003.
I enjoyed being a mortgage broker, but I decided in 2009 to return to the practice of law.
With the drastic fall in property values and the increasing number if people having trouble paying their mortgages, it was almost inevitable that I would get into doing workouts, also known as mortgage modification or mortgage reduction, which is keeping me very busy right now.
I also help debtors file bankruptcy. I do both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
I am semi-retired now. I only take as many cases as I can handle.
I take a great interest in regional transportation issues.I have ridden and studied light rail train and monorail systems in New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Madrid, Japan, Seoul, and Manila.
I have written a 448 page book entitled What to Serve A Goddess When She Comes for Dinner-A Theology of Food. It deals with the connection between our diet, our health, the physical environment, and showing mercy to other species. Buy through Amazon.
When I am not in my office, I can often be found in my yard, doing organic gardening, or in my kitchen, creating vegan recipes with my goddess. At other times I am practicing my music.
I am happily married to Emelyn Deal, who manages my office, balances the accounts, and keeps the bills paid.