Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 12/14/16 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 12/14/16 the NYS Board of Real Estate continued its mission of optimizing the regulation of real estate brokers in our state by holding its meeting. 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 collaboration between the Department of State and the Division of Human Rights in investigating claims of discrimination and enforcing the law. To date, the Department of State has referred 5 complaints to the Division of Human Rights. 
  2. The Department of State's right, even without subpoena, to request documents from a licensee (including to document requests pertaining to documents that are unrelated to the practice of real estate brokerage) and that a licensee's failure to cooperate may result in a license suspension. 
  3. A new licensing requirement of a 1 hour course on licensee safety is being added to curriculum and to make room for such additional hour the property insurance requirement is being reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour.
  4. The comments period for regulatory changes, [to 175.1 (commingling money), 175.7 (disclosure to clients before accepting money), 176.3 (1 hour license safety course), 177.3 (minimum instruction time of 1 hour rather than 3 hours), 177.7 (computation of time being 50 minutes for an hour requirement) and 175.25 (licensee disclosure of license type on business cards)], has expired and such regulations are expected to be effective in mid January 2017. 
  5. Brokerage firms can utilize cloud storage of their records so long as such cloud technology creates an accurate reproduction of paper records and has technology to permit discovery of any alterations of such records.
  6. The Board of Real Estate meeting schedule for 2017 is April 12, 2017, September 13, 2017 and December 6, 2017. 
The next meeting is expected on April 12, 2017. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Real Estate Transactions and Notary Public Exposure

In a real estate practice the act of notarizing documents is a matter of course for attorneys, paralegals and title closers alike. Often the stamps come out without even a first concern or a break for analysis because a real estate transaction is far too often undertaken while the professionals are on autopilot. Typically, a title closer will stamp documents, collect them and file them at the County Clerk’s Office with minimal oversight and scant quality control measures being in place to avoid forgery or the like. The courts remind us, from time-to-time, that this is a bad idea.

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lieb at Law seeks Associate Attorney for Complex Litigation

Lieb at Law, P.C. is seeking an Associate Attorney who can hit the ground running in a technologically advanced and collaborative environment. Ideal candidate is a top producer with impeccable research and writing skills. 

This role will start off working across all aspects of the firm’s litigation practice inclusive of real estate litigation, contractual litigation, premises liability, ownership disputes, plaintiff personal injury, estate litigation and more. You will draft legal memos, motions, pleading, discovery demands and responses. You will negotiate and prosecute personal injury claims against insurance adjusters. You will also help prepare for depositions, trials, mediations, arbitrations and expert consultations.  

Proven competency quickly leads to more challenging and rewarding litigation opportunities such as oral arguments, depositions, appeals, arbitrations, mediations and trials. Throughout every step you will be mentored. Those that succeed will be charged with developing their own personal niche as their career evolves.

The firm offers an environment that supports personal and professional growth without micromanagement or dogmatic resistance to fresh and innovative ideas.  Competence trumps experience and career growth is limited only by your own ability, ambition and desire to learn, evolve and earn career “wows”. 

This position is located in Center Moriches, which is in Suffolk County within the Riverhead / Westhampton Area. Clients span across Metro New York area.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience, includes full benefits package. 

To apply submit Cover Letter and Resume here. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

Ben Carson is nominated to be the next HUD Secretary

Media is reporting that Trump's HUD pick, Ben Carson, will undo Obama's fair housing legacy (e.g., Obama's rule on local communities assessing patterns of racial & income discrimination existing in housing, amongst others).

They cite to what Ben Carson wrote in the Washing Times:

These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse. There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.

Yet, remember fair housing is enforced on the local level of government and the federal government provides merely a floor of rights, not a ceiling. As stated in the Fair Housing Act, at 42 USC 3615:

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to invalidate or limit any law of a State or political subdivision of a State, or of any other jurisdiction in which this subchapter shall be effective, that grants, guarantees, or protects the same rights as are granted by this subchapter; but any law of a State, a political subdivision, or other such jurisdiction that purports to require or permit any action that would be a discriminatory housing practice under this subchapter shall to that extent be invalid.

So, states like New York, who provide additional protections to the federal government, will continue to protect society's most vulnerable irrespective of what the federal government does. As Governor Cuomo said in a speech on February 14, 2016:
This state is about acceptance of all by all; discrimination of none by none. Those are the rules that we live by in this state,  ... if you are looking for the progressive future and you want to know how to deal with tough problems, like racial unrest and cultural diversity, you look to the great state of new york.