Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah to the 112,761 licensed real estate agents in NYS

Sources for statistic:
http://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/olcny/real-estate-salesperson.shtm
http://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/olcny/real-estate-broker.shtm

Currently there are 57,599 real estate salespersons in NY & 55,162 real estate brokers.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fannie / Freddie Ex-Execs Charged

Six former execs, including two former CEOs, were recently charged by the SEC with misleading investors about sub prime loans. In essence, the suit charges that the group greatly underestimated the amount of sub prime loans it had on its books in 2007.

Yet, to be clear, this is not about misleading borrowers, but instead investors. So, all those homeowners out there cannot point to these charges as justice for their personal foreclosures. Instead, this suit is about selling the loans on the secondary market to investors who believed those homeowners / mortgagors / borrowers were more credit worthy than they actually were in the macro.

Its likely that this is not the end of these types of suits and no criminal charges have yet been filed.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Expedited Permits for Solar Panels in Brookhaven

Recently, the Town of Brookhaven Town Code was amended to allow for the adoption of the Residential Solar Energy System Fast Track Permit Application Process. This will allow residents installing electric or hot water solar energy systems to use the universal forms which allow for an expedited permit application process. As a result, residents taking advantage of these amendments will benefit from a faster process, less paperwork, reduced expenses, and expedited approval from the Town.

To learn more:

Click here for the meeting minutes.

Specifically, Chapter 85 of the Code of the Town of Brookhaven, “Zoning” and Chapter 29 of the Code “Fees” were amended. Click here to view the amended changes.

Click here to review the press release.

Click here to access the Town of Brookhaven Forms.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fannie Mae Eviction Moratorium - Happy Holidays

From December 19th, 2011 to January 2nd, 2012 you won't be evicted if you have been foreclosed upon in a Fannie Mae loan. The mortgage empire has spoken and you can read its words by clicking here. To be clear, this will not stop judicial eviction proceedings, just the actual act of eviction.

A good PR move by the mortgage empire, but not much substantively there. Yet, if you are facing eviction, Santa coming down the chimney one more time would be good for the kids.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tax Foreclosure Hardship Exemptions Broadened

The Suffolk County Legislature has approved a law amending the allowable tax foreclosure hardship exemptions within the county. The additional exemption is for those grandparents providing monetary support for a grandchild currently residing with them in the household affected by the tax sale.

Context is needed to provide more of a background of what this actually means, and how it impacts the local community. Pursuant to the Suffolk County Tax Act, the county is “authorized to take real property for unpaid taxes”, though the homeowner has a chance to keep his or her home through a redemption process. If the property is not redeemed within a six month window after the county tax deed is recorded, a homeowner’s only recourse is to apply for a hardship exemption extending that window.


Before this new law was passed, only an illness to the applicant, the applicant’s spouse, parent, or child (including one that is adopted) was an acceptable hardship. By adding grandchildren to this list, the legislature has shown both a surprising awareness of its community’s changing familial structure, as well as the ability to efficiently address and correct an issue with current statute.


Current economics dictate that more and more families need to help each other out, generally resulting in the family unit containing multiple generations under one roof. Grandparents let their children move back into the family home, this time bringing along grandchildren in the process. Other times, a parent may not be in the picture at all. The grandparent then becomes the de facto parent, but does not qualify for the same exemption a biological parent would under the old law.


While it should be noted that only new applications for hardship under the law include the provision for grandparents, the Suffolk County Legislature made a simple and logical change to an existing law that stands to benefit many in the community.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

HEAP - Energy grants to get the heat on

As its starting to get cold outside, Suffolk residents should be mindful of the Home Energy Assistance Program. This program offers financial assistance to help pay energy bills. Notate, this is not a loan, but assistance, so if you are in need permanently or on an emergency basis, check out this program by clicking here.

Qualification for the program is based upon your monthly income with reference to the number of household occupants. So first check out your paycheck and than see if you qualify.

Also, you can qualify regardless if your energy bill is in your name or part of your rent. Don't be ashamed if you need help, instead get the heat on because with a good night's rest you will be more productive and perform better at work. Thereafter, you can help someone else in need in the future.

Gov's CFPB offers centralized reporting for mortgage complaints

If you weren't aware, the Fed Gov launched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this year and its starting to take names. Beyond a positive attempt to reframe the HUD-1, which all NY real estate professionals should take an interest in, the CFPB just launched a mortgage complaint hotline and web portal. Go check out the website at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ to learn more.

While its still unclear what the extent of involvement in mortgage problems the CFPB will have, at the least, this new project provides a centralized place to submit complaints under the scary auspices of the government. Additionally, it is hoped that this new project will bring more attention to what has been this generation's epidemic, the housing bubble bursting. Maybe this project can help to light a fire under loan servicers to throw out their fax shredders and actually acknowledge receipt of workout documents and requests for information instead of blankedly claiming that the borrower has failed to comply.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Upcoming Free CLE - Property Wars: Real Estate Issues Incident to Divorce

The Long Island Education Board is excited to offer a brand new Free CLE course entitled Property Wars: Real Estate Issues Incident to Divorce.

Thanks to our event sponsor - PDE Title Services, LLC, this course will be offered on the following dates:

  • 1/11/12 - Bridgehampton
  • 2/29/12 - Manhattan
  • 3/28/12 - Melville 

Registration for this free Continuing Legal Education course in Bridgehampton on Long Island is now available. Click here to register. 


Property Wars: Real Estate Issues Incident to Divorce

While every divorce isn't the War of the Roses, no one likes to part with their home or commercial property and very often they are motivated to fight for what they believe to be theirs. In fact, many times divorcing parties will shop lawyers until they hear what they want to hear. Yet, this isn't limited to divorce lawyers. Often, the parties will seek real estate attorneys to move their property around before, during or after a divorce in order to circumvent the law. In the alternative, many divorces are settled amicably where a real estate transaction remains necessary incident to the divorce.
This 2 credit CLE course is designed to educate practitioners about the overlap between these 2 differing fields of law: matrimonial and real estate. In each field attorneys are often called upon to engage incident to the other. Following your attendance you will gain insight into both fields and become more familiarized with the statutes, cases and rules in the one that you don't typically engage. After all, clients like the Roses will go all the way to the end. You need to learn how to get out of the way of the falling chandelier. Credits: 2*
*Application for accreditation of this course or program in New York is currently pending*

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Mortgage Delinquencies to Rise & Fall in 2012

    According to TransUnion, click here, borrowers who are 60 or more days past due on their mortgages will decline from approximately 6% of all borrowers at the end of 2011 to 5% by the end of 2012.

    This is fantastic news and shows that we are slowly emerging from the ever present effects recession.

    Lets hope that this is a precursor to increased home sales. With less people talking foreclosure, consumer confidence should raise and people will feel safer making the large purchase of a new home. Here comes a better tomorrow.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Tax Cap on STAR savings

    NYS Government is capping the increases in savings experienced by School Tax Relief Program (STAR) and Enhanced STAR recipients at 2%. Therefore, during 2012, recipients will still save more than last year, but less than they otherwise would have saved. It appears to be a compromise by legislators in a troubled economy where tax dollars are necessary to found governmental programs. To learn more about this cap, click here.

    To learn more about the STAR program overall and legislation concerning this topic, click here.

    Savings is better than spending and in this economy any increases in savings is a good thing.