Friday, October 31, 2014

Short Sales Incentivized

On October 30, 2014, Supplemental Directive 14-04 was issued by Treasury.

2 major changes for those considering a short sale or deed-in-lieu are offered by this Directive.

FIRST - Relocation assistance available to the property owner, who occupies the property as a principal residence and is required to vacate as a condition of the short sale or deed-in-lieu, will be eligible for $10,000 as opposed to $3,000 for transactions that close on or after February 1, 2015.

SECOND - Perhaps most importantly, for transactions closing on or after February 1, 2015, the gross sales proceeds that may be paid to a subordinate mortgage lien holder (e.g. 2nd mortgage) used to be capped at $8,500, but now there is no cap requirement. Instead, servicers can create their own cap provided its not less than $12,000.

To explain the second change above, a first mortgagee may approve a short sale, but the second mortgagee may deny it because there is no fair market value to support a payment to the mortgagee (i.e. the house is underwater as to the second mortgage). This change permits the first mortgagee to pay the second mortgagee (out of their monies from the short sale) to approve the short sale and extends what was a cap of $8,500 in payment to a minimum new cap of $12,000 and potentially no cap at all.

Many deals die because of the second lienholder - this Supplemental Directive should save a lot of deals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ocwen Mortgages May Get a Reprieve from Foreclosure

On October 21, 2014 the New York State Department of Financial Services sent correspondence to Ocwen's General Counsel raising issue "with Ocwen's systems and processes".

The issue presented by NYS DFS deals squarely with Ocwen engaging in bad faith negotiations to modify mortgages. 

Borrowers in New York should be arming their applications for violations of CPLR 3408's good faith negotiation requirement as they review this correspondence and asking the Courts to sanction Ocwen should they have experienced the issues highlighted in the correspondence.

Of note are the record keeping inaccuracies attributed to Ocwen by NYS DFS, which impact RPAPL 1303 and 1304 as well as issues with standing and, in particularly, the attorney verification requirements embodied CPLR 3012-b. How can a Court trust their applications to foreclose in light of this correspondence?

The correspondence claims that "these issues remain unresolved today". This is very concerning. 

Real Estate Roundtable: Best Advice for Buyers Now

What's the single piece of advice you'd give any prospective buyer right now?

Andrew Lieb along with a select group of industry insiders on the East End share advice to prospective buyers on Dan's Papers. Click here to learn more. 

Mortgage Modifications Update - New Base Net Present Value Model v5.0

This revised tool is used by "servicers participating in HAMP as a tool for deciding whether to modify a troubled mortgage that is eligible for subsidies under the program".

A main thrust of this new version of the NPV tool is for non-owner-occupied properties.

Additionally, investor incentives for successful modifications are enhanced by way of this new Model v5.0.

If you want to actually know how modification decisions are made, knowing this document is a must.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Biggest US Landowner - 3,437.5 Square Miles

Business Insider has a terrific article, The 25 Biggest Landowners In The US, where we meet who controls the soil in our country.

The data behind the article was provided by The Land Report.

Most fascinating are the blurbs under each landowner that explains what you do with all of that land - there are ranchers, aerospace testers, foresters, lumber-manufacturers, equestrians, conservationists, farmers, and much more.

In perspective, Manhattan Island in New York City is 22.7 square miles or better stated - John Malone owns more land than 151 Manhattans.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lease Guaranties & Modifications - Be Sure to Draft Modifications Carefully

The Appellate Division recently addressed a situation where a guaranty accompanying the original lease was enforced post-modification of that underlying lease in 4 USS LLC v. DSW MS LLC where the court ruled that the Guarantee could "recover under the terms of the lease, prior to its modification".

This means that where you make a deal to modify the terms of your lease, you may still be personally liable under the old guaranty for past breaches of that previous lease.

The takeaway from this case is to address the guaranty documents in the modification documents and expressly state the intentions of the parties as to past breaches and their enforceability post-modification.

Real estate agents often only think about getting the functional results that their clients expressly state accomplished - this case is a reminder of the necessity to clean up the past before emerging into the goals stated by your clients for the future.

Otherwise, the past can come back to bite you.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Andrew Lieb's Radio Segment: Save a Deal From Pitfalls (Real Life - 88.3FM)

Here is a clip from Andrew Lieb's radio segment last week on Real Life 88.3 Peconic Broadcasting - You can check it out here. Topics discussed include real estate tips to close a deal for sellers and agents. Learn how to be proactive to save a deal from pitfalls.

Surprises About Homeowners' Insurance You Probably Didn't Know

If you or your clients are in the process of purchasing property and want a resource guide that explains Homeowners' Insurance, check out Andrew Matthew Lieb's latest article featured in The Huffington Post.

Surprises About Homeowners' Insurance You Probably Didn't Know


Topics Include:


  • Categories of Insurance
  • Deductibles
  • Property Damage Coverage
  • Off-Premises Coverage
  • Household Workers' Coverage
  • Rental Issues
  • Notice Requirements
  • Mitigation Requirements
  • Duty to Defend
  • Declaratory Judgment Option: 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Amendment Allows For Borrowers to Re-Modify Loans That Have Already Received a HAMP Modification If They Experience a New Hardship

Great news for those struggling with their mortgage after previously receiving a modification! Now, you can re-modify your mortgage due to recent amendments to the Making Homes Affordable (MHA) Handbook. On September 30th, Treasury released Supplemental Directive 14-03, which provides new guidelines, updates and clarifications that servicers must follow.

To better understand these new amendments, previously, a servicer could not re-modify a loan that received a HAMP permanent modification until either the loan lost good standing or more than 5 years had passed since the permanent modification effective date.

Now, the new rule permits a loan that was previously permanently modified under HAMP to be re-modified regardless of loss of good standing so long as, either, the borrower has experienced a change in circumstance, or at least 12 months have passed since the HAMP Modification Effective Date. This amendment will allow for borrowers to re-modify loans that have already received a HAMP permanent modification if they experience a new hardship or if one year has passed.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lieb at Law is Hiring a New Law School Graduate (Law Clerk / Entry Level Junior Associate)

Join a thriving law firm that leverages informational imbalances and leads our profession through advocacy and advice supported by cutting-edge technology and know-how.

You will be exposed to real estate litigation and assist in cases from real estate brokerage through landlord / tenant, premises liability, personal injury, foreclosure defense and more.

This is a litigation support position, inclusive of drafting legal memos, pleadings, discovery and motion practice. Deductive reasoning skills required. Must be a self-starter with ambition and drive.

Those that succeed in this position can earn a Junior Associate Attorney position once licensed. Partner track available for the highest level achievers.

This career opportunity is out of our Center Moriches office.

To Apply: Submit Cover Letter, Resume and Writing Sample to careers@liebatlaw.com 

Click here to learn more about Lieb at Law. 


Friday, October 3, 2014

Just Released: New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine (Andrew Lieb is Featured)

2014 New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine

The digital version of the New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine contains the entire print publication. Andrew Lieb is featured on page 151.


The New York Metro Super Lawyers supplement will be in The New York Times newspaper on Sunday 10/5/2014. Andrew Lieb is featured on page 143.