Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas says Santa Paterson - Governor increases Bankruptcy Homestead Exemption

Long Islanders filing bankruptcy can now protect $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples in home equity if they file for bankruptcy. This is in contrast to the $50,000 and $100,000 previously available. This is a huge change and a huge chance for a fresh start for many homeowners with equity. If you haven't considered bankruptcy because your house has a lot of equity, but you are otherwise strapped with bundles of credit card debt, this one is for you. Thank you Santa Paterson.

To read the law, click here.

Also, for all you contractors out there, the new law also increases the exemption from bankruptcy for tools of the trade from $600 to $3,000. So, now you can keep working after a bankruptcy with your tools by your side.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Registration NOW open for new Fair Housing course - 1/20 and 1/27

Attention Real Estate Professionals! We just opened registration for the brand new course The Fair Housing Act on the following dates:

Thursday January 20th in Bethpage - Thanks to our sponsor Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

Thursday January 27th in Northville (Riverhead) - Thanks to our brand new sponsor Long Island National Golf Club! http://www.longislandnationalgc.com/
*special catered event

Here are course details:

The Fair Housing Act
Credits: 3 Hours
Instructor(s): Andrew M. Lieb, Esq., MPH

Summary: Be warned - Discrimination in housing is very serious and exposes real estate agents to liability and the potential loss of their license. In fact, discrimination is so serious that the Department of State only requires that this course be included in the requisite 22.5 hours of continuing education and requires no other topic. This course is not a general survey course on discrimination, instead it explains a very specific law: The Fair Housing Act, which regulates our entire industry. The seminar will detail specific cases involving real estate agents and mortgage lenders who violated the Act. Be prepared for this course to hit home.

** To register go to http://bit.ly/hM2ok8

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hey California - borrowers need lawyers too

In an almost crazy move, California has enacted a new law where lawyers who work on loan modifications cannot receive any money until the work is complete.

Now, don't get me wrong, I have many clients who were previously swindled by a loan modification company who inaccurately made promises of grandeur in their success in getting a modification. Yet, lets look at it another way. Why would an attorney want to trust that their client will eventually pay them when they are in default on their current obligations to make payments before they have even met the lawyer.

To read a NY Times article on the topic, click here.

My opinion is that instead of preventing borrowers from receiving legal help, our society may want to make lawyers more readily available with public funding and public oversight of ethics. Now, that would solve the problem of lawyers making themselves into liars while also providing access to reputable attorneys who can actually help clients save their homes.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Having a problem negotiating a modification with your bank?

Often the people on the front lines for the banks inaccurately address your situation under the MHA guidelines. Click here to escalate your case to get answers and results.

Bankruptcy and Modifications can coexist

Clients often inquire if they should get a modification or file for bankruptcy. The answer is to do both. Click here to read a great article that will answer many of your questions in what is often a very scary time.

Knowing what the servicers know - The Servicer Handbook - Version 3.0

This reference guide outlines the requirements and guidelines for the Makhing Home Affordable (MHA) Program for non-GSE mortgagees.

To get your copy of the guide, click here.

The 8 chapters are:
Chapter I -- contains standard information affecting all MHA programs
Chapter II -- contains specific program information on the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
Chapter III -- contains specific program information on the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP)
Chapter IV -- contains specific program information on the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA)
Chapter V -- contains specific program information on the Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
Chapter VI -- contains specific program information on government loans
Chapter VII -- contains specific program information on the Treasury/FHA Second Lien Program (FHA2LP)
Chapter VIII -- contains specific program information on interactions with HFA Hardest Hit Fund Programs

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fair Housing Act Course APPROVED!

Happy Holidays! The Real Estate School will now be offering a brand new 3-credit CE course that fulfills the mandatory Fair Housing/Discrimination licensing requirement for Real Estate Sales Agents & Brokers.

'The Fair Housing Act' will be offered for the first time on January 20th at Bethpage Federal Credit Union.

IMPORTANT: Registration can only be done online - and will open shortly!


The Fair Housing Act
Credits: 3 Hours
Instructor(s): Andrew M. Lieb, Esq., MPH

Summary: Be warned - Discrimination in housing is very serious and exposes real estate agents to liability and the potential loss of their license. In fact, discrimination is so serious that the Department of State only requires that this course be included in the requisite 22.5 hours of continuing education and requires no other topic. This course is not a general survey course on discrimination, instead it explains a very specific law: The Fair Housing Act, which regulates our entire industry. The seminar will detail specific cases involving real estate agents and mortgage lenders who violated the Act. Be prepared for this course to hit home.

Here's a Sneak Peak of the Course Outline:

1. Introduction – Fair Housing Act, Law, and Overview: The Facts/Case Study Overview & Applicable Law/Results

2. The Fair Housing Act Explained: Protected Categories; Prohibited Conduct in Real Estate Brokerage; Prohibited Conduct in Mortgage Lending

3. Enforcement of FHA: Fair Housing Claim Elements; Fair Housing Defense; Fair Housing Administration/HUD; Fair Housing Act Penalties; Judicial

4. You the Agent & Brokerage: Discrimination; Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LIEB's Offer to Real Estate Agencies - Dual Agency Disclosure

Please contact Lieb at Law at 631-878-4455 to schedule a complimentary 20 minute question & answer at your office about the new dual agency disclosure forms - the new forms will be provided.