florida: IRS LIENS ON SHORT SALE PROPERTY - RESOLVING PHANTOM VALUE CLAIMS - 12/02/10 03:28 PM
One of the weirder roadblocks we have been seeing is the clearing of IRS liens against a taxpayer (property seller) when the taxpayer is trying to short sell a property.  Typically if an IRS lien is on a property the attorney or accountant will present to the IRS a waiver of lien request with requisite proposed settlement statement, recent appraisal of the property, and reason for the lien waiver request.  But the IRS started interpreting a rule that caused the IRS to demand the monies that were to pay the transfer (in Florida the "documentary stamps") tax to instead be paid to … (25 comments)

florida: MOTION FOR DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT - FORECLOSURE CONSEQUENCES - 06/30/10 10:24 AM
Today I received a call from one of my blog readers asking me for help with a pleading he received months ago, that is now being scheduled for a hearing in August.  This is a prime example of why Strategic Defaults or just walking away from a property can be so dangerous.  The pleading is a Motion for Deficiency Judgment from a foreclosure judgment and sale that occurred but was (like most other foreclosure sales) acquired by the lender for a nominal bid.  I and many others have been writing about this forgotten liability of borrowers. 
Now here is an example of … (13 comments)

florida: SHORT SALE MARKET EVOLUTION - GMAC SOLUTION TO FALSE BUYERS - 02/11/10 09:50 AM
KUDOS to GMAC mortgage.  Their new criteria for short sale consideration is that all contracts with buyers must have a clause that requires the deposit on buyer default to go to GMAC.
Here is the language GMAC wants if you have a short sale with them as the lender:
2-3% earnest money must be agreeable to buyer. Contingencies must be removed 14 days after we issue approval letter and earnest money becomes non-refundable. If buyer walks, buyer and seller must agree in writing that earnest money will be wired to GMAC.
      This development is clearly an attempt to stem the … (97 comments)

florida: IRS announces a new tax receipts form 4506T-EZ - 10/28/09 03:06 PM
            Michael Lampert Esq., the tax attorney who is Of Counsel to my law office has alerted me that on October 21, 2009 the IRS issued a new form, 4506T-EZ, entitled "Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript".  This new form will make it easier for homeowners trying to short sale, modify, refinance or finance their mortgages to obtain their tax return transcripts.
            A transcript is a computer print out that includes most line items on the original return.  Many lenders accept the transcript as a substitute for a copy of the original tax return for income and other … (11 comments)

florida: FORECLOSURE DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT or SHORT SALE PROMISSORY NOTE or BANKRUPTCY? - REVISITED - 01/27/09 12:43 AM
Whether to agree to a negotiated promissory note in a short sale or allow the house to go to foreclosure is one of the most discussed topics around.  It deserves a simple comparison.
[February 3, 2010 update - see today's article on this subject at CNN MONEY.]
My previous article on this subject can be found at Negotiated Payback or Foreclosure Judgment Deficiency? Compared.
A negotiated promissory note is ALWAYS better than a deficiency judgment resulting from a foreclosure.  Here is why:
Deficiency Judgment -
1.  You have a foreclosure judgment against you and if you fill out most applications about … (68 comments)

florida: SHORT SELLER STILL MUST DECLARE INCOME ON SALE! - 04/18/08 12:25 AM
The Mystery of income you can't spend - but do you have to declare it?
When DON'T you have to report forgiven debt (from a short sale, deed in lieu or foreclosure with release from the lender) as income?
One of the biggest issues that potential short sellers and those in foreclosure ask me is whether they have to get a 1099 for any forgiven debt from their lender.  Without a single exception so far, every debtor (borrower) has assumed that if they can avoid a report from their lender that they are being forgiven a portion of the mortgage debt, … (7 comments)

florida: SELLERS ALWAYS HAVE INCOME FROM A SHORT SALE / DIL / AND MAYBE A FORECLOSURE - 04/16/08 10:20 AM
CANCELLATION OF DEBT INCOME - WHAT IF THERE IS NO 1099?
When DON'T you have to report forgiven debt as income?
One of the biggest issues that potential short sellers and those in foreclosure ask me is whether they have to get a 1099 for any forgiven debt from their lender.  Without a single exception so far, every debtor (borrower) has assumed that if they can avoid a report from their lender that they are being forgiven a portion of the mortgage debt, they will not have to report any income nor pay any income tax on that forgiven debt.
While … (49 comments)

florida: CALLING ALL ETHICAL LOAN OFFICERS - HELLO? ANYONE THERE? - 04/09/08 02:23 PM
Calling All Ethical Loan Officers - Hello?  Anyone There?
Every day I field questions about short sales, foreclosures and real estate investing.  I represent developers, lenders, buyers, sellers, the sharks and the lambs.  All have different work for me and all need different solutions.  Today a call came in that was as they call it - "Over The Top"!  It compels this article on loan officers and how some continue to intentionally contribute to the financial credit mess our industry is experiencing.  The names are fictitious but the scenario unfortunately is something I have heard often.
Here is how it went.
Mr. Smith called … (8 comments)

florida: OBSERVATIONS ON A WEEK AT WORK - A RAMBLE - 03/28/08 02:01 PM
What a week!
Mortgage foreclosure White Knights targeted by the Florida Attorney General (no surprise there - just why did it take so long?!!!)
CNN special report on the Mortgage Meltdown and it being second only to the Great Depression.
Record foreclosures expected to continue to break records through 2008 and into 2009.
But heck - its Friday night and after working 5 - 19 hour days in a row I'm going to take Saturday off!
From the perch here in West Palm Beach things look like the stock market - volatility galore.  Usually this means that there is a big change on the horizon. The … (0 comments)

florida: FILING FORM RELEASED BY IRS FOR DEBT RELIEF ACT - 02/21/08 05:47 PM
New IRS Form for Filing for Debt Relief
The form for filing for tax relief under the Mortgage Forgeiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 has been released and is available online.  Click HERE for the form.
Information about the relief available - which is available only to primary residences that incurred the tax event - was set forth in my article about the legislation that went into effect on January 1, 2008.
Consult your tax professional when filing this form!
Remember - the Act gives no relief to investors and the relief is limited to losses under the amount of the funds borrowed for the initial … (4 comments)

florida: WHAT DO I DO? -- I'M UNABLE TO PAY MY MORTGAGE - 01/12/08 01:46 PM
Most Common Question: "What do I do? - I can't pay my mortgage"
As an attorney, I receive plenty of telephone calls and visits from people that are no longer able to pay their mortgage on their home or investment property.  They all have endless questions and usually tell me they are getting all sorts of advice that they don't like.  They come to me to find their BEST solution, and I suppose they hope I am some sort of magician that can create an answer that they like.
The analysis of the problem is the first order of business.  These questions revolve … (12 comments)

florida: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007- Another Look - 01/01/08 04:13 AM
I have been getting a lot of calls and emails about the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.  The new law became effective today, and applies to 1099's on short sales or foreclosures retroactive to January 1, 2007.
Before the Act was passed, one of the rewards for a homeowner helping the lender keep the home out of foreclosure and minimizing the enevitable monetary loss to the lender, was that the homeowner at the end of the process was saddled with a huge income tax bill compliments of a Form 1099 unearned income statement.
For detailed information and the text of the … (2 comments)

florida: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007- Another Look - 01/01/08 04:11 AM
I have been getting a lot of calls and emails about the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007.  The new law became effective today, and applies to 1099's on short sales or foreclosures retroactive to January 1, 2007.
Before the Act was passed, one of the rewards for a homeowner helping the lender keep the home out of foreclosure and minimizing the enevitable monetary loss to the lender, was that the homeowner at the end of the process was saddled with a huge income tax bill compliments of a Form 1099 unearned income statement.
For detailed information and the text of the … (2 comments)

florida: ECONOMICS 101 - SHORT SALES - WILL THE LENDER SHARE THE LOSS - 10/31/07 03:18 PM
I had just too many borrowers that "should have known better" in the office this week - so I feel very conservative just now - just to the right of Bill O'Reilly.
We do a lot of short sales in my law and title agency offices.  They come in from all sources - Realtors, referrals, lenders, friends, developers.  Some borrowers have one investment property and some have eleven, and all the numbers in between. Most are upside down and don't want to put more good money (if they have any left) into a bad investment.
When they ask us to negotiate with the lender to … (2 comments)

 
Richard Zaretsky, Florida Real Estate Attorney (THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY) Rainmaker large

Richard Zaretsky

Florida Real Estate Attorney

West Palm Beach, FL

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THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY

Address: 1615 Forum Place, Suite 3A, West Palm Beach, Fl, 33401

Office: 5616896660 x 107

Mobile: (561) 329-2279

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