Category: Real Estate

Why I Love Teaching at St. John’s University School of Law
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Why I Love Teaching at St. John’s University School of Law | Peter Roach

I have been teaching at St. John’s University School of Law as an adjunct professor since 1987. Adjunct law school professors teach part-time as opposed to full-time, and are typically lawyers who are brought in to lecture on their expertise. The primary course I teach is Real Estate Finance, which covers regulation of the mortgage industry and the foreclosure process, including all of the new consumer protection laws, the impact of bankruptcy, and post foreclosure proceedings.

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6 Common Myths About Title Insurance
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6 Common Myths About Title Insurance | Patrick Yu

{3:30 minutes to read}  Anyone thinking of purchasing real estate has to deal with the quality of the seller’s title and title insurance. These subjects can be very confusing. In this article, we address 6 very common myths or misconceptions regarding title and title insurance. Myth 1 – “Consumers cannot comparison shop for title insurance.” The right of the consumer to shop for title insurance and select the carrier of their choice is protected by the federal law known as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Consumers have a right to require their attorney to use the title insurance carrier of their choice. Not all title insurance carriers are created equal.

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Mortgages: Adjustable or Fixed Rate; Which Is Better for You?
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Mortgages: Adjustable or Fixed Rate; Which Is Better for You | Peter Roach

One of the most important decisions to make when purchasing a home is the type of mortgage to obtain. A fixed-rate mortgage is one where the interest rate remains the same throughout the entire life of the loan until it is fully paid off. An adjustable- or variable-rate mortgage is one where the interest rate changes periodically. Some of them have the interest rate change each year; others change every three (3) years, every five (5) years, or every seven (7) years.

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Are You Proactive or Reactive with Your Real Estate Planning?
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, on .
Are You Proactive or Reactive with Your Real Estate Planning | George Grace

Most companies are reactive in their commercial real estate needs, especially as their business locations increase. To become proactive, companies need to see the big picture – there needs to be a vision that comes from the top. If the CEO or Division Manager hasn’t defined a vision for the business, it’s hard to be proactive with real estate. A vision tells people where they want to go, so real estate can be planned and managed in order to support that vision and those business goals.

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Selecting a Purchasing Entity
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Selecting a Purchasing Entity | Patrick Yu

{5 minutes to read} Introduction The U.S. government does not require foreign persons to notify it merely because he or she is purchasing U.S. real estate. However, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis does require foreign buyers who have substantial holdings in terms of total fair market value to complete surveys. When purchasing U.S. real estate as a foreign buyer, the ownership entity is an important consideration.

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Craft Brewing: How to “Hop” into This Cool Business
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Authored by , re: Business Development, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, on .
Craft Brewing: How to “Hop” into This Cool Business | Curtis Battles

{4:00 minutes to read} Back in April 2014, I was introduced to a group of guys whom I call “The Beer Boys.” They come from different backgrounds: two are restaurateurs, one is in construction, and the other is a brewmaster. These men now want to start their own craft brewery in Warwick, New York, in a kind of farm-to-table concept, and have asked me to lend my expertise. 

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Do We Still Need Assignments of Mortgages in New York?
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Do We Still Need Assignments of Mortgages in New York | Peter Roach

{2:45 minutes to read} The Court of Appeals recently confirmed that “the note, and not the mortgage, is the dispositive instrument that conveys standing to foreclose under New York law,” and that “the validity of the … assignment of the mortgage" is "irrelevant!”

The case, Aurora Loan Services, LLC v. Taylor, just decided by the Court of Appeals on June 11th 2015, confirms that it is critical for lenders to have possession of the note before commencing a foreclosure, affirming the decision of the Appellate Division 2nd Dept case,Bank of N.Y. v. Silverberg, decided in 2011.

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Co-op & Condo Mediation is a Smart, Speedy, and Cost-Effective Way to Resolve Disputes
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Co-op & Condo Mediation is a Smart, Speedy, and Cost-Effective Way to Resolve Disputes | Bart Eagle

{4:30 minutes to read} For those living vertically in the city, there are many benefits – snow removal, maintenance, having someone to accept packages, and the proximity to great restaurants, theater, museums and music. There can also be many little annoyances, such as:

  • A neighbor playing music too loud;
  • Kids running around in the apartment above;
  • Cigarette or cigar smoke that sifts into one’s apartment;
  • Neighbors practicing the piano until all hours of the night; or
  • Neighbors who leave skateboards and other personal items in common hallways.

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Stay Ahead of the Curve with New York’s Online Real Estate Databases
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Stay Ahead of the Curve with New York’s Online Real Estate Databases | Peter Roach

Prior to the age of the Internet, specific information about real estate, such as who owned the property, what mortgages were attached to it and what taxes were owed, could only be obtained by physically examining the County Clerk's records. While this could be done by an attorney or even a lay person, few had the requisite expertise or time to do so and typically a title insurance company would be paid a fee to conduct a search and prepare a report containing the information required.

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The Problem With a Life Estate
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The Problem With a Life Estate | Vincent Russo & Associates

A “life estate” is an ownership interest that a person retains in real property while transferring a remainder interest to one or more individuals. Life estates are sometimes used as a planning technique by individuals who wish to safeguard their residence or other real estate. For example: Mrs. Smith is worried that one day she will require nursing home care, but she does not want her home to be garnished by

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Looking Forward with a Reverse Mortgage
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Looking Forward with a Reverse Mortgage | Vincent J. Russo & Associates

Reverse mortgages have become more popular in recent years. For many of Long Island’s seniors, the ever-increasing cost of living on a fixed income is a daily challenge. Often seniors look to the equity in their homes to relieve some of their financial pressure. A reverse mortgage is a secured loan on your home. It allows you to convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. It is called a reverse mortgage because instead of making monthly payments to a lender, as with a traditional mortgage, the lender makes payments to the borrower.

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Fiscal Year vs Calendar Year: What’s Best For You?
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Fiscal Year vs Calendar Year: What’s Best For You | Vincent J. Russo & Associates

The fiduciary of an estate may use either the calendar year or the fiscal year as the “taxable year.” Typically, most fiduciaries elect to use a fiscal year because it gives them more time. A calendar year ends December 31st, whereas the fiscal year begins on the day of the individual’s death and ends on the last day of the month prior to the one year death anniversary. For example, if the decedent died on any day in March of 2015, his or her estate’s fiscal year would end February 28th, 2016.

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Loss Mitigation: The Bankruptcy Process
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Loss Mitigation The Bankruptcy Process | Peter Roach

In our last article, we discussed the Loss Mitigation procedures that occur in the state court, as part of the foreclosure process. In addition, Servicers are required to participate in Loss Mitigation within the Bankruptcy Court, once a Borrower files a Bankruptcy Petition. Since the Bankruptcy Court is a part of the federal court system, the process begins anew, regardless of what occurred at the state court mediation. While a request for Loss Mitigation may be made at any time during which the case is pending in the Bankruptcy Court, Debtors

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Loss Mitigation: The NY State Court Process
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Loss Mitigation: The NY State Court Process | Peter Roach

Prior to 2008, a New York foreclosure would be completed in a year or less. While Loss Mitigation existed, it was not a formal process as it is today, it's something that Servicers did throughout the foreclosure process. This process, known as “Dual Tracking,” was intended to avoid delays in the foreclosure process should the Loss Mitigation efforts fail, but is now prohibited by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Read about it by clicking into our previous article.

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The Basics of Title Insurance
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The Basics of Title Insurance | Patrick Yu

{3:48 minutes to read} I am sometimes asked to explain what is meant by the terms “title” and “title insurance” when working on real estate transactions. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, the definitions are as follows: Title “is [t]he formal right of ownership of property. Title is the means whereby the owner of lands has the just possession of his property.”¹ Title Insurance –  “[a] policy issued by a title company after searching the title, representing the state of that title and insuring the accuracy of its search against claims of title defects.”²

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Enforceability (or lack thereof) of Due-on-Sale and Due-on-Encumbrance Clauses
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Authored by , re: LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, REAL ESTATE ARTICLES, Residential Real Estate, on .
Enforceability (or lack thereof) of Due-on-Sale and Due-on-Encumbrance Clauses | Peter Roach

Due-on-Sale Clause The Due-on-Sale clause contained in most mortgages provides that if the property secured by the mortgage is sold to a third party without the lender's consent, the lender has the right to demand full payment of the loan. Lenders require this so that any prospective purchaser will feel compelled to submit a complete application to them, in order to avoid the risk of a foreclosure based upon the default of failing to obtain the lender’s consent.

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The No Pet Clause in Leases
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The No Pet Clause in Leases | Patrick Yu

{2:30 minutes to read} Is a tenant keeping a dog, cat or even exotic animal in your building? What can a landlord do? In general, the standard form lease signed by most tenants, contains a prohibition against harboring a pet in the subject apartment. With such a provision in the lease, the landlord has the ability to evict a tenant who violates this provision. However, as with most laws, this “no pet clause” has exceptions. Exception 1

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Bankruptcy Trustee Cannot Sell Debtor-Tenant’s Rent Stabilized Lease
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Authored by , re: Bankruptcy & Credit, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, on .
Bankruptcy Trustee Cannot Sell Debtor-Tenant’s Rent Stabilized Lease | Patrick Yu

{3:54 to read} In the case of Mary Veronica Santiago-Monteverde v. John S. Pereira, Chapter 7 Trustee (In re: Santiago-Monteverde), 12-4131, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“U.S. Court of Appeals”) reversed the decision of the lower federal court (“District Court”), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which affirmed the order of the bankruptcy court (“Bankruptcy Court”) striking the claim of the debtor, Mary Veronica Santiago-Monteverde (“Debtor-Appellant”), that her rent stabilized lease was exempt from her bankruptcy estate

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Court Holds Rent Stabilized Apartment Rented Through Airbnb Is Profiteering and Grounds for Eviction
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Court Holds Rent Stabilized Apartment Rented Through Airbnb Is Profiteering and Grounds for Eviction | Patrick Yu

{2:42 to read} The recent case of 42nd and 10th Associates LLC v. Henry P. Ikezi, Civil Court of the City of New York, County of NY, L&T Index No. 85736/2014, has very interesting holdings that could impact housing share websites, especially in reference to rent stabilized apartments in the New York City area. The facts of the case are these:

  • Henry P. Ikezi (“Tenant”), rented apartment 46B (“Apartment”) located in the high-rise building at 450 W 42nd Street, New York, NY from 42nd and 10th Associates LLC, (“Landlord”).

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Unique Approach. Unparalleled Results.
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, REAL ESTATE ARTICLES, on .

GE Grace of Mohr Partners, Inc. represents corporate and commercial tenants. Whether leasing or buying commercial property, we ensure that you assess all options and that the building can support your business. If you have a vision, Mohr Partners will provide the tools to make the real estate component happen for you and your company. Make your decision with confidence.

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Is Your Broker Looking Out for You or Your Landlord?
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, REAL ESTATE ARTICLES, on .

It is a little-known fact among tenants in the commercial real estate market that large, multi-service brokers consistently exhibit a bias that benefits landlords. The business plans of almost all multi-service real estate brokerage companies make it highly improbable that their brokers are motivated by zealously advocating for their tenants. In fact, a multi-service firm has a financial interest in pleasing their landlord clients. For most of these firms, the majority of their incomes are from serving their landlords.

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The Booming Market of Elder Care
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate, REAL ESTATE ARTICLES, on .
The Booming Market of Elder Care | Curtis Battles

{Time to read: 2:25 minutes} Over the last month, I've been having conversations with a colleague who acquired a home care assistant franchise in the lower Fairfield County area. With the population aging, baby boomers are becoming elder boomers. Many of them have disposable income and want to make sure they can stay in their homes. Senior care is one of these fastest growing market segments because the population is aging so quickly. There are two primary dynamics involved:

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Is Your Apartment Subject to Rent Stabilization or Rent Control?
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Is Your Apartment Subject to Rent Stabilization or Rent Control? | Patrick Yu

{Time to read: 3 3/4 minutes}  Municipalities in New York State have rent regulation programs covering apartments known as rent control or rent stabilization. Whether you’re a tenant or an owner, you should be able to recognize into which of these two categories your rental apartment falls. Rent Control v. Rent Stabilization The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) distinguishes between the two categories, and stated in “Fact Sheet #1- Rent Control and Rent Stabilization” (Retrieved 2-10-2015), as follows:  Continue reading

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What Happens When You Apply for a Mortgage?
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What Happens When You Apply for a Mortgage? | Laraine Schwartz

When applying for a mortgage, what does “pre-approval” mean?

To begin the process of purchasing a home with a mortgage, the lender will typically provide a pre-approval letter before looking deeper into your financial situation. You first submit a short application to ascertain if you have sufficient funds to meet your monthly expenses including the mortgage, insurance and taxes, as well as other monthly charges.

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The Right to Counsel in Housing Court
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The Right to Counsel in Housing Court |  Patrick Yu

[Time to read: 3.6 mins] Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has promised to increase access to affordable housing for the people of New York City. One way to do that is to limit the number of tenants evicted in Housing Court. Currently, the accused in civil cases have to represent themselves if they can’t afford to hire a lawyer. This lack of representation often sets low-income tenants up to lose.

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
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Authored by , re: Business Law, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Real Estate, on .
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act | Peter Roach

{Time to read: 4.5 minutes} The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), codified in 15 USC, section 1692, is a federal statute which was enacted to protect consumers from abusive, unfair or deceptive practices by debt collectors.

Who is considered a debt collector?

Under Section 1592a(6) of the FDCPA, a debt collector is defined as “any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business, the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debt, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another.”

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Timely Service of Golub Notices is Critical to Non-Primary Residence Cases
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Timely Service of Golub Notices is Critical to Non-Primary Residence Cases |  Patrick Yu

Golub Notice is a generally known term for the type of notice that a landlord serves upon a rent-stabilized tenant prior to the landlord’s decision not to renew the tenant’s lease upon the grounds that the apartment is not the tenant’s primary residence. The Golub Notice must be served 90 to 150 days before the expiration date of the current lease. Tenants of rent-stabilized apartments are entitled by law to a renewal lease every year unless there’s a reason to not provide the renewal, such as the grounds of non-primary residence. Rather than the tenant renewal lease, the landlord serves the Golub Notice, and withholds the renewal lease.

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Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
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Low-Income Housing Tax Credit | Patrick Yu

Who knew that the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program which was created by the Tax Reform Act of 1986, would now be the hot, new way to finance rehabilitation, new construction or acquisition of affordable rental housing?

How it Works

The LIHTC program gives property owners a tax credit allocation from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) for holding a percentage of rental units for low-income residents and charging a restricted rent.

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Proving the Note was Transferred
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Proving the Note was Transferred | Peter Roach

Prior to the “modern era” where mortgages were “securitized,” the original Note and Mortgage typically remained in the possession of the “local bank” that originated the loan, and the bank collected and retained the loan payments. Today, most mortgages are sold and transferred numerous times, often without adequate procedures to document each transfer. Since the foreclosure crisis began, courts have begun to scrutinize Plaintiff’s “standing” to commence the foreclosure, whether or not the issue of Standing was raised by a defendant!

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Adverse Possession – Ya gotta believe!
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Adverse Possession - Ya gotta believe! | Peter Roach

Adverse possession is a long-standing doctrine which can be used to acquire title or other property rights to a parcel of land regardless of record title to the premises. By virtue of “adversely possessing” a parcel or portion thereof, a person who does not, in fact, have title to a particular property may acquire title to it which is superior to, and extinguishes the rights of, the record title holder.

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