Monday, December 29, 2014

Tenants of Properties in Foreclosure May Be in Trouble in 2015

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), tenants comprise 40% of the families facing foreclosure.  In the past, many tenants did not know their homes were in foreclosure until they were forced to move out with little to no notice after the foreclosure sale date. Landlords had incentive to keep the foreclosure a secret from their tenants so that they could collect rent in the meantime. As a result, tenants had little recourse and were among the families hurt most by foreclosure.

In 2009, the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act was enacted in order to protect tenants of properties in foreclosure from being evicted from their homes without due notice. Under this Act, a tenant had the right to stay in the property until the end of his or her lease unless the new owner intended to live in the property. If the property were to be owner-occupied, a 90-day notice was required before the tenant could be evicted. Month-to-month tenants also required 90 days’ notice. No longer were tenants forced to move out within a few days of being given an eviction notice.

The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act was set to expire on December 31, 2012 but Section 1484 of the Dodd-Frank Act extended it to December 31, 2014. Two bills, S.1761 and H.R. 3543, were introduced in 2013 to permanently extend the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act. However, neither bill has been passed, and it is unlikely that they will be passed in the next 2 days. It is possible, however, that the bills can be enacted retroactively in 2015.

Without this Act, tenants will not have the same heightened protections during the foreclosure process. It is imperative that a bill is passed to ensure that tenants are given due notice after a foreclosure sale date.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

No Fracking Way - New York to ban fracking based on adverse health data (lawsuits likely to follow)

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will issue a legally binding findings statement to prohibit High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) in the State of New York.

New York's move should motivate the Erin Brokoviches of this world to start their lawsuits against companies involved in fracking based on the plethora of adverse health data exposed.

This DEC's statement comes on the heels of the Acting Department of Health Commissioner recommending that fracking should not move forward in the State.

According to the Commissioner "I have considered all of the data and find significant questions and risks to public health which as of yet are unanswered,". The review by the Department of Health, entitled "A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development", is the basis for the DEC's decision to ban fracking.

The review states, in pertinent part, that "there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF, the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health."

The review summarizes "some of the environmental impacts and health outcomes potentially associated with HVHF activities:
• Air impacts that could affect respiratory health due to increased levels of particulate matter, diesel exhaust, or volatile organic chemicals.
• Climate change impacts due to methane and other volatile organic chemical releases to the atmosphere.
• Drinking water impacts from underground migration of methane and/or fracking chemicals associated with faulty well construction.
• Surface spills potentially resulting in soil and water contamination.
• Surface-water contamination resulting from inadequate wastewater treatment.
• Earthquakes induced during fracturing.
• Community impacts associated with boom-town economic effects such as increased vehicle traffic, road damage, noise, odor complaints, increased demand for housing and medical care, and stress."

Today is a bad day to own a fracking company. Yet, so many lives will be bettered as a result of this new rule.

New Show Brings Your Neighbors to "Court" - Andrew Lieb's New Reality TV Show Featured on Dan's Papers

Real estate has long been the star attraction on the East End, and soon it will star in the pilot of a new reality TV show. The brainchild of real estate attorney and Lieb School founder Andrew Lieb, Neighbor Court will hear real estate disputes between neighbors and, with Lieb himself as the Arbitrator, resolve the situations while entertaining and educating the public about the laws that rule the market in which we buy, sell, rent and live.

To read the full article, written by Eric Feil of Dan's Papers click here

Find Full Casting Call for "Neighbor Court" at

Friday, December 12, 2014

Casting Call! Andrew Lieb's Reality Show Pilot Seeks Neighbors in Dispute

We're looking for people who have had some sort of colorful, interesting dispute with a neighbor, and who are willing to go on camera to resolve the dispute in a reality court TV show with Andrew Lieb, Esq. as the Arbitrator. We will render decisions in a fun and educational atmosphere (“edutainment”). Both neighbors must participate. We are looking for a variety of locations and stories, so you can live in any type of neighborhood, or dwelling: houses, condos, co-ops, rental apartments, etc. Issues can range from your neighbor’s invasive landscaping, to the wrongful removal of your trees, to the maintenance of a shared driveway, to a loud share-house next door, or to being harassed by a neighbor.

From waterfront vacation homes to everyday living, submit your story and contact information to to participate.

*No legal representation or advice is offered and/or provided incident to your participation in Neighbor Court and you should always consult with an attorney prior to determining if you should participate. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ALERT - Throw Out Your Old Form Leases Immediately

Residential leases are now required to contain a notice to tenant(s) concerning the existence of sprinkler systems.

“Sprinkler system” shall mean a system of piping and appurtenances designed and installed in accordance with generally accepted standards so that heat from a fire will automatically cause water to be discharged over the fire area to extinguish it or prevent its further spread.
See Executive Law 155-a.

Read the new law at Real Property Law 231-a.

The law specifically requires:

  • Notice in bold face type;
  • Notice that a maintained and operative sprinkler system in the leased premises is in - EXISTENCE OR NON-EXISTENCE; &
  • The last date of maintenance and inspection of any EXISTING sprinkler system.
The Bill's Justification states that "According to the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the availability of smoke detectors, coupled with a maintained and operative sprinkler system installed in a residence, decreases the risk of dying in a fire by over 80%."

As a person that is into living, that statistic is jaw-dropping in support of the existence of sprinklers in residential housing. At the least, this new law provides tenants with the knowledge to make an informed choice as to whether to live in a premises without a sprinkler system. 

Real estate professionals should now immediately throw out any of their old leases and make sure to have a new residential lease prepared that complies with Real Property Law 231-a. Also, cooperative boards must not forget that they are leasing property as well. So, cooperatives that amend their proprietary leases must comply with RPL 231-a or risk the lease being held void. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Help is Here to Prevent Mortgage Modification Scams

Do you feel that you are a victim of a mortgage modification scam?

According to the Attorney General: "Thousands of New Yorkers are scammed by companies who take advantage of homeowners in distress." 

To combat these scams, the Attorney General established, which offers "free, qualified mortgage assistance relief services from a network of trusted partners operating across the state under the New York Attorney General Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP)." 

The new site offers both English and Espanol.

The site also enables one to report a scam in a loan modification.

So, protect yourself if you need a modification. Remember, attorneys can provide valuable assistance in defending a foreclosure, but be careful of "attorneys who bring baseless lawsuits just to charge consumers a fee". Rarely, if ever, can attorney get your mortgage removed from your house. Instead, attorneys can assist in modifications, short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure incident to defending a lender's lawsuit.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Lieb at Law is Hiring an Associate Litigation Attorney

Lieb at Law, P.C., a thriving litigation firm, is expanding our team and seeking the next Associate Attorney to help raise the bar and lead our profession in a collaborative and inspiring setting. This is an exciting opportunity for someone looking to gain hands-on litigation experience inclusive of appearances and conferences, depositions, trials, negotiations, and motion practice.  The firm offers an educational environment where once you prove your competency you can set your own career benchmarks inclusive of partner track and the opportunity to get published.  You will be exposed to Complex Commercial, Corporate and Real Estate Litigation; Plaintiff Personal Injury; Outside Counsel Corporate Litigation; and Real Estate Brokerage Litigation. We are a paperless office that uses cutting edge technology.

Minimum Requirements Include:
  • 6 Months to 3 Years of Experience as an Associate Attorney
  • Excellent Communication Skills
  • Deductive Reasoning Skills

This position is exclusively out of our Center Moriches Office which is located in Suffolk County in the Riverhead / Westhampton Area.

To apply: Submit Cover Letter and Resume to

Include Salary Requirements

Candidates will only be considered that submit a compelling cover letter inclusive of why they want to interview for a career opportunity with Lieb at Law, P.C.