Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Take a look at your insurance policy before you do anything about your claims. Read the policy, review your deductibles, determine the procedure, but act quickly so that the insurance company can't disclaim coverage for untimely notice. Yet, read your policy and learn your rights. Remember, insurance companies are not excited to pay claims and you need to be a great advocate for your own rights, you may even want to hire a lawyer if you get into a dispute with your insurance company about coverage. If you believe that they should pay based upon what your policy says, don't just take their denial as being correct, fight it. Be clear, each policy is different, so you have to read your policy before you act.
It's likely you have a Hurricane Deductible in your policy. New York is one of many States that have Hurricane Deductibles in homeowners' policies. These deductibles are a charge of a percentage of the claim, instead of a flat fee, prior to the policy paying. Some are in the neighborhood of 4% of a claim. So, it can get quite pricey. The States (territories) that have these deductibles are Washington DC, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.
The reason it's a good idea to look at your policy is that this deductible may not be triggered by a tropical storm. Each policy is different, but the downgrade in the storm may have saved you thousands of dollars in your deductible. Good luck.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
In a landlord-friendly decision, the Appellate Division, Second Department (with jurisdiction over Long Island, among other places) just ruled that minor children of tenants cannot sue landlords for injuries resulting from exposure to lead paint under this Act even if they take possession with the tenant at the beginning of the tenancy.
To be clear, we are talking about the law that requires disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards to a purchaser or lessee. A law that real estate agents should be very familiar with.
The Court held that the purpose of the act was to establish disclosure obligations triggered upon the lease or sale of property. The case is Brown v. Maple3, LLC and can be found by clicking here and the applicable law, RLPHRA, is 42 USC 4851. The clear rule is that infants residing with lessors are not within the zone of interest protected by the statute. The statute is about disclosure, not about strict liability for injuries.
Nonetheless, the Court did note that the door is not closed on the minor children and suggested that they instead pursue a claim under common law negligence. This means if you are injured in a residence as a result of lead exposure, your rights may be limited, but that you still do have rights and you should pursue them.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Recently, there have been developments in technology, notably, smart phone applications which allow persons who bank at large franchises to take snapshots of the front and back of a check in order to immediately send it for deposit. This can be useful-or detrimental-when it is done by a Seller at a real estate closing.
Cell phone applications now make available the option of taking a photograph of the front and back of check for immediate deposit.
Beware of this as the Buyer because Sellers should not be depositing checks without Buyer's awareness or consent, or until such time has passed that it is acceptable to do so.
This can be an extremely efficient way to deposit funds and move forward in a deal in the best case scenario-when everything goes smoothly. In fact, this can help where Seller is going to turn around and purchase a house after selling their former residence.
However, it does not always work out where that is appropriate. Checks should be monitored because there may be situations where they are initially presented (and deposited unbeknownst to the Buyer). If Seller immediately deposits, then the deal goes bad by bickering, which we all know is possible, by the end of the closing Seller now has money they are not entitled to.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
In contrast to the rule on transfer tax, just discussed, Federal Law provides that such a transfer of property incident to divorce does not work a gain or loss concerning capital gains tax; hence no stepped-up in basis results.
§ 1041. Transfers of property between spouses or incident to divorce
No gain or loss shall be recognized on a transfer of property from an individual to (or in trust for the benefit of)—
Recently, I attended a meeting of divorce attorneys in a group called the Collaborative Lawyers Association of New York (alternative dispute resolution for divorce). At the meeting, our group had mixed feelings if a transfer of real property between spouses at divorce was for no consideration (no tax) or for fair market value (tax). Ethically, the attorneys agreed that this matter required further research.
As it turns out there is a taxable event according to the New York Code of Rules and Regulations.
20 NYCRR 575.11(a)(10): A conveyance from one spouse to the other pursuant to the terms fo a divorce or separation agreement is subject to tax. (There is a rebuttable presumption in such case, that the consideration for the conveyance, which includes the relinquishment of marital rights, is equal to the fair market value of the interest in the real property conveyed.).
The takeaway is that even though you and your spouse own a piece of property already, when you transfer it to each other as part of a divorce settlement, you will be taxed or you are committing tax fraud.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
- Both agents (listing & buyers) work for the same company
- At the company (brokerage house) there is a boss (broker of record)
- Both agents (listing & buyers) have to report to the boss if the boss so requires
- While reporting to the boss confidences of the seller or buyer may be required to be shared
- The seller and buyer should know this limitation on their confidences before retaining the agents and either consent to it or not permit a dual agent with designated sales agent representation