Massive U.S. 158 Widening Project Leaves Property Owners With Questions, Concerns of Lost Value

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The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will host a meeting for property owners on Thursday, August 17th, to explain property owners’ rights and possible “second check”

“If an offer has been made, there may be a more complete and satisfactory offer to be gained through reappraisal and negotiations,” said NC Eminent Domain Attorney Jason Campbell.

The widening of U.S. 158/N.C. 46, a $76 million road project affecting more than 120 property owners, is finally slated to move forward after years of controversy and protests.

However, the offers some property owners receive from state officials may amount to far less than what their property is worth, according to former NCDOT attorneys at the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm. Rather than accepting these offers, owners may want to exercise often-misunderstood rights, including the ability to negotiate for a “second check.”

A seminar on Thursday evening, August 17th, at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn Roanoke Rapids will explore property owners’ rights at no cost to participants (more below).

A History of Controversy
As reported by the Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald (8/23/2012), property and business owners have expressed concerns that the project will force traffic away from small, local businesses.

"In the case of this project, the economic impact on the community could be quite large,” said Jason Campbell, an attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm and former NCDOT attorney. “Home, property and business owners are likely to see drastic reductions in value for what has been described as a fix for a problem that may never come.”

Roanoke Rapids property and business owners in the path of the U.S. 158 widening will soon receive purchase offers from state officials. According to Campbell, property owners should be careful – a project with this amount of controversy can spare a few moments to ensure citizens get a fair shake.

“Homeowners receive a very official offer and think that is the ‘law’ for what they are able to receive,” Campbell said. “If an offer has been made, there may be a more complete and satisfactory offer to be gained through reappraisal and negotiations.”

“Second Check”
By North Carolina law, property owners whose land or businesses are targeted for acquisition ultimately receive an offer from the state. If the owner chooses not to accept the offer and takes no further steps, the state will still acquire the land and deposit the amount of the original offer with the County Clerk for the owner.

This is where the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm’s “second check” approach comes in. In most cases, the property owner is then free to pursue a better, fairer arrangement, without losing the first offer.

If continued negotiations do not change the offer, the owner still has the first offer. But if continued negotiations are successful, the property owner will receive a “second” check in addition to the first offer.

“We hate it when we see property owners get less money than they should, simply because they didn’t know the full extent of their rights,” said Stan Abrams, also a former NCDOT attorney with the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm.

The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm will host a free informational session on Thursday, August 17th at Hampton Inn Roanoke Rapids (85 Hampton Boulevard, Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, 27870) to answer property and business owners’ key questions. Those questions typically include:

For more information about the meetings, please call the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm at 1-877-393-4990.

A division of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm is dedicated solely to representing property owners throughout North Carolina, who may be impacted by eminent domain law. The NC Eminent Domain Law Firm is led by attorneys Stan Abrams and Jason Campbell, both of whom previously worked as Assistant Attorneys General for the North Carolina Department of Justice in the Transportation Section, where they litigated condemnation cases for the NCDOT. They have over 25 years of combined experience working exclusively on eminent domain cases. The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has the legal resources of 43 attorneys and is based in Durham, North Carolina, with 14 offices throughout the state to serve its clients.

Contact Information:
Stan Abrams
NC Eminent Domain Law Firm
280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, North Carolina 27701

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