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Rachel J. Foster

Partner | Email

  • Kalamazoo

    t. +1.269.276.8117

    f. 269.276.8300

Biography


Rachel Foster’s practice encompasses an array of real estate transactional endeavors. Construction contracts, condominiums, foreclosures, low-income housing tax credits and real estate acquisitions and sales are her primary areas of expertise. Rachel also acts as local counsel for clients in financing and refinancing projects and provides opinion letters for the benefit of borrowers and their lenders on loan documents. She advises numerous organizations across a variety of industries, including the nonprofit sector. Originally a real estate litigator, Rachel has a tactical approach and is heavily involved in the onset of every project. She has a talent for problem solving and is personally invested in attaining successful results for her clients.

Education

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology J.D. with honors
  • Western Michigan University B.S.

Admitted

  • Illinois
  • Michigan

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    Co-Chair, Commercial Development, Ownership, and Finance Committee, Real Property Law Section
  • Kalamazoo County Bar Association
  • State Bar of Illinois

Experience

  • Represents Land Banks in quiet title matters, eviction matters and other general real estate matters
  • Assists in organizing limited liability companies, corporations, nonprofit corporations and limited partnerships
  • Prepares purchase agreements, confidentiality agreements and other contractual agreements
  • Represents developers, landlords, tenants as well as commercial and residential property owners in the acquisition, sale and leasing of real property
  • Counsels developers in residential and commercial condominium projects
  • Represents condominium associations in a variety of legal matters including but not limited to amendments to condominium documents and the preparation of condominium liens
  • Prepares construction agreements and provides assistance with construction lien and bonding matters
  • Drafts opinion letters while acting as local counsel in financial transactions
  • Represents lenders in foreclosure matters
  • Experienced in low income housing tax credit projects

Honors & Awards

Publications

  • Members of the Construction Industry Be Warned – Michigan Department of Treasury is Aggressively Enforcing Application of Sales and Use Tax to the Construction Industry (2012)
  • Changes to Homestead Exemption Designed to Provide Relief to Homeowners and Foreclosing Entities (2012)
  • Principal Residence Exemption for Contiguous Property Is Clarified (2012)
  • Tick-Tock:  When has Time Run Out to Bring a Claim Against a Contractor? (2011)
  • Residential Developers Beware! If You’re Not a licensed Residential Builder, Your Contracts are Unenforceable (2011)
  • State Terminates Homeowner Construction Recovery Fund (2010)
  • School Districts Should be Cautious When Adopting a Contractor Preference Policy (2010)
  • Weathering the Storm: Complying with the Builders Trust Fund Act in Tough Economic Times (2009)
  • Green Leasing (2009)
  • Conditional Zoning:  Is it Really Contract Zoning in Disguise (2008)
  • Equitable Subrogation Doctrine Hampered in Mortgage Disputes (2006)
  • Mobile Home Security Interests Can be Perfected with Mortgage Liens (2006)
  • Court Clarifies Lender’s Duty with Respect to Future Advance Mortgages (2006)
  • Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly – Account Agreements: Pay Attention to ‘Standard Language’ (co-author)

Leadership

Professional Affiliations

  • Greater Kalamazoo Association of Realtors
    Risk Management Committee
  • Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity Board Member

Community Affiliations

  • Kalamazoo County Humane Society Campaign Cabinet Member
  • Western Michigan University Theatre Guild
    Past President
  • Grand Rapids High School Mock Trial Tournament Judge and Volunteer

Speaking Engagements

  • PFAS, Grand Rapids Association of Realtors, March 28, 2018
  • Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act Seminar (December 2017)
  • “Environmental Responsibility Practices for Contaminated Parcels,” 2017 Michigan Land Bank Leadership Summit, October 3, 2017, Battle Creek, Michigan
  • “Due Diligence in Representation of Buyers and Sellers,” Warner Norcross + Judd, October 31, 2017, and September 11, 2017, Midland, Michigan
  • Real Estate Scams, 2015
  • Negotiating Commercial Leases: Tips and Traps, 2015
  • How Does that Work Again?  A Seminar on the Construction Payment Process, 2014
  • Michigan’s Foreclosure Process, 2010
  • Title Issues:  From Start to Finish, NBI Seminar 2006
  • Internet Strategies for Legal Professionals, NBI Seminar, 2004
  • Advanced Legal Drafting for Michigan Paralegals, NBI Seminar 2003

Testimonials

Rachel handled the largest real estate purchase I had completed to date. I was extremely impressed with her attention to detail and thoroughness. She caught many things the other legal team missed. I felt confident that nothing would go unnoticed with her. It definitely pays to have Rachel on your side! -- Scott Bekins, Owner, Bekins
 
***

We are working with Rachel Foster on a low income housing project requiring a PILOT ordinance with the city of Midland.  Rachel has been an integral part of our project and has gone above and beyond to support our endeavors in bringing affordable housing to Midland. She is attentive, responsive and her knowledge surrounding low income housing tax credits is exceptional.  As part of the process in securing a PILOT for this project, Rachel was also valuable in helping us garner the backing of members of the community by preparing letters of support for our project. -- Rod Lockwood, Chairman/CEO, Lockwood Companies  
 
***

Rachel Foster represents Hastings City Bank in all of our conventional and Small Business Administration (SBA) foreclosures. She is very knowledgeable and has become our go-to attorney. We know we can count on Rachel to provide creative solutions with a high level of detail. She exceeds our expectations and continues to deliver quality work on time, every time. We highly recommend Rachel for any organization seeking reputable counsel for their real estate needs. -- Khaja (Jay) Ahmed, Vice President, Credit Department Manager, Hastings City Bank
***
 
As the Executive Director of the Kalamazoo Humane Society (KHS), I had the privilege of working with Rachel Foster on real estate matters relating to the selection of property for a new facility. This process involved conducting due diligence on two buildings and two vacant pieces of land over a three year period. Rachel was very responsive in answering my many questions relating to surveys, environmental studies, real estate law and negotiations with property owners. Furthermore, she worked as a partner with the KHS every step of the way. When tough discussion needed to happen, Rachel was at our side guiding us or speaking on our behalf. Lastly, Rachel’s services were very affordable. Every dollar counts for a non-profit organization. Rachel always made it clear which items the KHS could do on their own to avoid additional legal fees. Often we felt we’d save more time and have better results by having Rachel do the work instead of over burdening our already overworked staff members. -- Aaron Winters, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Humane Society
 

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