Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Defaults in Foreclosure are a Thing of the Past

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law an amendment to CPLR Rule 3408, which, at new subsection (m) thereof, effectively eliminates defaults in foreclosure actions as currently understood. Interestingly, the amendment is made to CPLR Rule 3408, which is the CPLR Rule titled “Mandatory settlement conference in residential foreclosure actions,” and not to CPLR Rule 320, which is the CPLR Rule titled “ Defendant’s appearance,” or to CPLR Rule 5015, which is the CPLR Rule titled “Relief from judgment or order,” or to CPLR §3012(d), which is the CPLR subsection titled “Extension of time to appear or plead.” This choice of placement raises questions about how the amendment will be effective in practice. Further questions are raised because the amendment includes superfluous language in expressly stating that the “default shall be deemed vacated” while also referencing the “reasonable excuse” language from both CPLR Rule 5015 and CPLR §3012(d). Still further, the new subsection does not eliminate the need for a defendant to formally answer, but only extends the time to answer, which presumptively will remain a problem for a foreclosure defendant to accomplish at a later date. These question marks need to be ironed out by practitioners and the courts after new subsection (m)’s effective date of December 20, 2016.

Read the full article published in The Suffolk Lawyer by Andrew Lieb, Esq. and Jay Sheryll, Esq. here. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Career Opportunity | Attorney | Litigation | Lieb at Law, P.C.

Lieb at Law, P.C., is seeking a Litigation Attorney.

We are looking to hire an associate attorney who is a sharp and dynamic leader (and/or potential leader) to join our litigation practice group in Center Moriches. We are a collaborative firm that leverages cutting edge technology and tangible fact-driven support to win cases. The ideal attorney has a fresh approach, thinks outside-the-box and does not cut corners. Our firm motto is 'no case; no statute; no talk'. This means that fluff will not get anyone very far at Lieb at Law. Specific practice field experience is not as relevant to us as finding the best cultural match (i.e., ambition and competence surpasses years in the industry). 

Depending on the level of expertise, the role will either support or lead cases inclusive of real estate litigation, real estate brokerage litigation, title disputes, contractual litigation, premises liability, ownership disputes, estate litigation and more. For more junior litigators, the role will start off drafting legal memorandums, pleadings, discovery demands and responses, motions, settlement negotiations, and more. Seasoned attorneys will engage in oral arguments, depositions, arbitrations, mediations, trials, and appeals. 

Our clients span across the New York Metro area and the Hamptons inclusive of major corporate accounts, high net worth individuals, small businesses, and more. 

The firm offers an environment that supports personal and professional growth without micromanagement or dogmatic resistance to fresh and innovative ideas. Driven attorneys who prove their competency are quickly rewarded with increased responsibilities and opportunities beyond that offered for similarly experienced attorneys at larger firms. Competence trumps experience and career growth is limited only by an attorney’s own ability, ambition and desire to learn, evolve and earn career "wows". 

Compensation is commensurate with competency. 

**TO APPLY** Email Cover Letter & Resume to careers@liebatlaw.com 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lieb School Launches 22.5 CE License Renewal Course Package | Online Video Classes | $99.00

NY Real Estate Continuing Education 22.5 Credit 

License Renewal Course Package 

(click for online classes preview - turn sound on)
Anywhere and anytime you can finish all 22.5 hours of real estate continuing education as long as you have internet access. Lieb School’s online license renewal package includes video, audio and interactivity to get the job done without making you want to gouge your eyeballs out. Satisfies Department of State, New York Real Estate Continuing Education Requirements for License Renewal.

Courses include:

  • Deal Killers (3 CE Credits)
  • Conflicts of Interest (3 CE Credits)
  • Agency Disclosure (8 CE Credits)
  • Divorce Deals (4.5 CE Credits)
  • Fair Housing Act (4 CE Credits)
The first course in this package is Deal Killers, where you will learn how to comprehensively negotiate a deal with substance and understand how to lock in your commission through creating a paper trail proving that you addressed substantially all of the essential terms of the transaction while negotiating the deal. Next, Conflicts of Interest will teach you the role of each player in a transaction and how to avoid an ethical claim that can otherwise ruin your career. Following, you will learn the whole enchilada about agency disclosure including an easy to follow 12 scenario explanation of which form to give and when. After you have mastered how to fill out the agency disclosure forms, Divorce Deals will show you how to navigate through all of the complexities of selling a marital residence and share with you interesting insights of what your clients are going through during their divorce process. Last but certainly not least, after completing the Fair Housing Act course, you will learn the nationwide standard for anti-discrimination laws in residential housing and how to perform your job while avoiding lawsuits, which New York State is actively pursuing against real estate brokers today.

After trying Lieb School’s ONLINE classes, you will never want online education from any other provider. Lieb School’s leading distance education combines the latest interactive technology, license law education and continuing edutainment.

Each course includes a video from a live classroom setting that was instructed by premiere lecturer Andrew Lieb, Esq. Content is thereafter broken down in order to simplify the learning experience so that students can absorb our field’s complex materials without being overwhelmed.

*Prices Subject to change
** Must complete the courses 6 months from the date you registered


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 9/20/16 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 9/20/16 the NYS Board of Real Estate continued its mission of optimizing the regulation of real estate brokers in our state by holding its meeting in NYC and Albany. To remind real estate brokers and salespersons, the public is welcome at these meetings where the public can bring comments from the floor. It's encouraged that Lieb School students attend these meetings to have your voices heard. 

"[T]he Board has general authority to promulgate rules and regulations affecting real estate brokers and salespersons in order to administer and effectuate the purposes of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law."

A complete video of the meeting is available on youtube.

In summary, the following was discussed:
  1. The partnership between the Department of State and the Division of Human Rights to enforce fair housing laws; 
  2. The new agency disclosure continuing education requirements as signed by the Governor into law earlier this month; 
  3. Diversity being an approved topic for continuing education;
  4. Notice of regulatory changes for the following topics will appear on the state register for 45 day comment period on 9/28/16: 19 NYCRR 175.1 (escrow and how much time can be held before deposited), 19 NYCRR 175.7 (consent of parties), 19 NYCRR 176.3 (license safety course and reduction in hours to property insurance course), 19 NYCRR 177.3 (allows training modules to be 1 hour rather than 3), 19 NYCRR 177.7 (allows the computating the computation from 60 to 50 minutes), and 19 NYCRR 175.25 (advertisements of business cards that license type be listed as a clarification); and
  5. Changing point allocation for acting as listing agent and selling agent.
Of note, no quorum existed so no votes were taken. The next meeting is expected in January 2017. 

Real Estate Brokerage - Major Change to Continuing Education Requirements - Agency Disclosure REQUIRED

On September 9, 2016 Governor Cuomo signed into law a major change to the continuing education requirements for real estate brokers, associate real estate brokers and real estate salespersons.

The new requirement reads as follows:
"[A]t least one hour of instruction pertaining to the law of agency except in the case of the initial two-year licensing term for real estate salespersons, two hours of agency related instruction must be completed"

This act takes effect on January 1, 2017.

The stated purpose of the Bill is:
"The bill amends the real property law to require two hours of agency related coursework in the licensee's initial two-year licensing term as part of the 22 1/2 hours of continuing education required for renewal of a real estate license in New York. In subsequent license terms one hour of agency related coursework will be required."

The justification for the Bill is:
"Understanding the agency relationship created between buyers/sellers, landlords/tenants and the real estate professional representing them during the real estate transaction is essential.

There are many real estate professionals and consumers who are often confused by the agency relationships created during the real estate transaction. At various points in time there may be several different agency relationships created, terminated or changed from first encounter to the closing table. Understanding what fiduciary duties are owed, the proper use of the agency disclosure form, and the ability to successfully represent clients in various forms of agency relationships such as buyer/tenant agency, seller/landlord agency and dual agency are critical for consumer protection."

Fulfill the requirement at Lieb School with our Agency Disclosure ONLINE course TODAY

Monday, September 19, 2016

RECAP: Eye On Real Estate with Andrew Lieb as Guest 9/17/16

Andrew Matthew Lieb was a guest on Eye on Real Estate this past weekend. Topics include: Pet Policies & Discrimination, Fair Housing, Airbnb, updates to the NY housing market, fiduciary duties of real estate agents, how to find who owns a property in NY and more...

To listen to the podcast, click here

Thursday, September 08, 2016

New Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Refinance Program for 2017

On August 25, 2016, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a new refinance program by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that will be implemented in October 2017 for borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages.

This new program will replace the current Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which was set to expire on December 31, 2016. To avoid a gap of almost one year between the commencement of the new program and the expiration of HARP, the FHFA, which oversees both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has also extended HARP through September 30, 2017.

HARP was launched in 2009 to assist homeowners who have high loan-to-value ratios to obtain refinanced loans with better rates. For clarity, HARP is different than the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is more generally familiar to our readership. HAMP was designed to assist homeowners in obtaining mortgage modifications on their existing loans whereas HARP is for homeowners seeking to refinance their loans into an entirely new mortgage product. Moreover, HAMP is for loans that are already in default or at risk of default whereas HARP is only for homeowners who are current on their loans.

A borrower is eligible for HARP through September 30, 2017 if:
  1.  There are no missed mortgage payments within the last six months;
  2. There is not more than one missed mortgage payment within the last twelve months;
  3. The house is a primary residence, 1-unit second home, or a 1- to 4- unit investment property;
  4. It is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-owned loan;
  5. The loan was made on or before May 31, 2009; and
  6. The loan-to-value is greater than 80%.
The new refinance program launching in October 2017 will be more “targeted” than HARP, but details are not yet fully available. The following are the currently known eligibility requirements:
  1. There are no missed mortgage payments within the last six months;
  2. There is not more than one missed mortgage payment within the last twelve months;
  3. The borrower must have a source of income;
  4.  It is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-owned loan; and
  5. The borrower must receive a benefit, such as reduced monthly mortgage payments.
Of greatest import, unlike the expiring HARP, the new program will extend eligibility to loans made after May 2009 and borrowers will be able to refinance under the new program more than one time. Though more than 3.4 million homeowners have already refinanced under HARP, there are still hundreds of thousands of eligible homeowners who are still in need of assistance. This new program will continue to assist homeowners who are suffering from the housing crisis and open up opportunities to refinance for new categories of homeowners.

Unfortunately, no new announcements have been made to extend HAMP through 2017 even though there remains many properties currently in foreclosure and many millions more properties at risk for default. HAMP is set to expire on December 31, 2016.