Friday, March 31, 2017

JUST RELEASED | Agency 1 Hour ONLINE | Satisfies DOS Requirement | $5.00

This 1 hour Video CE course instructed by Andrew Lieb, Esq. was designed to be the ultimate refresher course on agency. Students will learn to select the appropriate agency forms for varying scenarios, how to translate agency terms into simple English in order to communicate with transacting parties, and how to properly fill-out the forms in compliance with New York license law.

This is a skills class where students can expect to perfect their agency disclosure abilities. In fact, agency disclosure skills are the most important skill for real estate salespersons today. Learn how to fulfill your license requirement, protect yourself from litigious clients and customers, and most importantly, how to leverage the law by making agency into a value add when offering your services to prospects.

This 1 credit CE course fulfills your NY continuing education requirement on the law of agency (except for new agents who must take 2 hours).

Special Price: $5.00

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Radio Interview with Andrew Lieb, Esq.: Top 5 Legal Concepts That Can Make or Break a Spec Development

This radio segment features Andrew Lieb, Esq. discussing the top 5 legal concepts that can make or break a speculative development real estate project.

Topics Include:

  • Getting Financing
  • Structuring the Venture
  • Setting a Realistic Vision
  • Owning the Plans
  • Hiring the Contractor

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Guidance for Borrowers Seeking Home Loan Modifications Under the Making Homes Affordable Act

On Monday, February 27, 2017, Fannie Mae, acting as administrator of Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), implemented portions of the Supplemental Directive 16-02 regarding the termination of Making Homes Affordable Program (MHA).

Now, borrowers who have applied for a modification on or before the termination of the MHA on December 31, 2016 under HAMP Tier 1, HAMP Tier 2, Streamline HAMP, Second Lien Modification Program (2MP), Treasury Federal Housing Administration HAMP (Treasury FHA-HAMP), and Rural Development HAMP (RD-HAMP) must have modification effective dates on or before December 1, 2017. Additionally, closing dates for a transaction under Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) must be on or before December 1, 2017.

In conjunction with the termination of the MHA on December 31, 2016, Supplemental Directive 16-02 provides guidance to servicers regarding non-Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) Mortgages of borrowers who have requested assistance prior to December 31, 2016. Specifically, this Directive applies to: the HAMP, the Home Affordable Unemployment Program (UP), HAFA, 2MP, Treasury FHA-HAMP, and RD-HAMP. In addition, this Supplemental Directive provides guidance with respect to the eligibility of certain GSE HAMP Loans to receive pay-for-performance incentives through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

So, the MHA has ended. However, no need to worry if you have applied on or before December 31, 2016 for a home loan modification through MHA because you still have time to receive the benefits of the MHA if you complete the modification process by December 1, 2017.

Alternatively, if you have not yet applied for a home loan modification, New Yorkers may continue seek mortgage modifications under Civil Practice Law and Rule §3408.



New HUD Secretary Confirmed by Senate

Dr. Ben Carson, former Republican Presidential Candidate and Neurosurgeon, has been confirmed as the new Housing and Urban Development Secretary (HUD).

HUD, formed by an act of Congress in 1965, is tasked with implementing federal policies directed at the housing market.

As Secretary, Dr. Carson will have vast power in regards to the organization and structure of the agency, specifically the field structure at the local level. Nonetheless, Dr. Carson’s discretion is bound by the confines of federal mandates.

As real estate industry professionals, we wish Dr. Ben Carson much success in his new role. 

FinCEN Renews Order Requiring Full Disclosure of Persons Behind All Cash Purchases of High-End Real-Estate

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Department of the Treasury renewed a Geographic Targeting Order (GTO), on February 23, 2017, requiring “U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind shell companies used to pay ‘all cash’ for high-end real estate in six major metropolitan areas.” The counties covered in this renewal are: all New York City Burroughs, Miami-Dade County, Broward County (FL), Palm Beach County (FL), Los Angeles County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County (CA), Santa Clara County (CA), San Diego County, and Bexar County (TX).

Each county will have a different monetary threshold for transactions covered by this GTO to become applicable. In New York, covered transactions shall be all cash payments for real property at or above a total purchase price of $1,500,000 in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. In Manhattan, covered transactions are set at or above a purchase price of $3,000,000.

A title insurance company involved in a covered transaction will be required to file a FinCEN Form 8300 detailing, inter alia, the identities of any persons representing the purchaser and any “Beneficial Owners” (an individual who owns 25% or more in equity of the purchaser) “within 30 days of the closing.” For New York, this GTO will continue to prevent anonymous high-end purchasers in the five boroughs.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tracking Proposed Legislation to Extend the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act into 2017

The remnants of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act only apply in 2017 to debts that were subject to a written agreement which was entered into in 2016. So, as of today, all new agreements that forgive debt (i.e., short sale, deed-in-lieu or mortgage modification with principal reduction) will expose the debtor to income tax, which tax will be based upon their corresponding debt savings.

H.R.110, the Mortgage Debt Tax Forgiveness Act of 2017, seeks to "amend[] the Internal Revenue Code to make permanent the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness."

S.122, the Mortgage Debt Tax Relief Act, seeks to "amend[] the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2018 the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence."

While H.R.110 is preferable to forever eliminate a tax on unfortunate homeowners incident to having their debt forgiven, please support either bill by contacting your local congressman and having your voice heard.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Top 10 Real Estate Laws of 2016

Now that 2017 is here it is important to be aware of the changes in the law for our industry. This is not a list about the best events from 2016, but, instead, a list that highlights the new legal landscape that you face as real estate attorneys in 2017. Being familiar with these laws, regulations and opinions may help you to better address your client’s goals and to make you money while helping you to avoid malpractice.

Topics Include:

  • Defaults waived in foreclosures
  • Real Estate broker continuing education changes
  • Premises liability for neighboring properties to the situs of trip and fall expanded
  • Storm in Progress Doctrine includes wintery mix
  • Vested right to develop requires reasonable reliance
  • Vested right to develop requires legally issued permit
  • Justiciability of positive declaration pursuant to SEQRA
  • Condominium lien priority
  • End of anonymous LLC members in NYC
  • Citizenship for real estate investment trusts