Bank of America last week published parameters of what is and what is not allowed for relationships of the selling agent or buying agent to the selling borrower. 
Short Sale commissions have been a matter of continuous discussion amongst those that have had commissions reduced or short sales denied because of relationships of the brokers or agents to the seller. Arm’s Length Transaction rules are fiercely enforced by lenders and understanding the agent commission rules and how they interact with Arm’s Length Transaction rules is a “must know” and “must understand” part of short sales.
When I said that the … (32 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: SHORT SALE PRIMER - PART II - 1099 INCOME, SHORT SALES AND LOAN MODS - 11/17/12 06:10 AM
This is the continuation of the preceding article, SHORT SALE PRIMER - PART I - THE "NEW STANDARD SHORT SALE" and you really need to read it first before you read this article.  The articles were divided into two articles because when put together it was just too long!  If you have already been to the Part I article, welcome back!
I am just amazed that educated people will ask me why they have to report income if they don't get a 1099 from the lender for forgiven debt.  If you work and get paid and there is no 1099, do … (20 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: BANK OF AMERICA NEW SHORT SALE CONTRACT PACKAGE - 04/22/12 12:47 AM
In the never-ending revision of lender rules for short sales, Bank of America recently released a new package of documents preliminary to considering a short sale of a mortgage held or serviced by them. This package of documents eliminates the preliminary arms length affidavit that was in use for a period of time in the late Summer 2011through Winter 2012, and essentially was preliminary to a final arms length affidavit about which I have written several blogs:

foreclosure lawyer: CAN A BANK SUE TWICE ON THE PROMISSORY NOTE AND MORTGAGE? - 09/15/11 03:33 PM
You can have a cow without a tail, but you cannot have a tail without a cow.
My law office has been receiving reports of aggressive tactics of mortgage lenders pursuing borrowers on the promissory note alone.  This means they are avoiding foreclosure actions and going straight after borrower assets. Some self educated or video seminar educated borrowers contacted me saying that if the lender goes after the borrower only on the promissory note, then the lender gives up the right to pursue a mortgage foreclosure, opening the door to the borrower getting the home free and clear of the mortgage … (4 comments)

PRESENTING THE SHORT SALE ADDENDUM YOU CAN'T SIGN!   Agents hold on to your wallets as this could cost you big time!  This is just too big and important to let one blog article suffice.  And developments on this are occurring quickly.  The problem was pointed out in my re-blog Freddie Mac Short Sale Addendum - Item #13 - I DON'T THINK SO!!  on September 9, 2011.
On September 3rd there was a telephone conference call between ALTA (American Land Title Association) staff in Washington, DC and Freddie Mac’s Short Sale team to specifically discuss the addendum reproduced in Freddie Mac Short Sale … (11 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: BANK OF AMERICA SHORT SALE APPROVAL LETTER CHANGES - 11/13/10 04:52 PM
[ Note - after reading the below article, see updated article at ]
You may have been reading about Bank of America short sale approval letters and some changes that have occurred.  The Bank of America Short Sale Approval Letter has had various versions dealing with deficiency of the promissory note.  This article will look at the BoA short sale letter recent changes.
History - Before June 2009
Until June 2009 the typical Bank of America short sale approval letter was not a release of mortgage and a release of liability of the indebtedness (release of the note).  My February 2009 article LENDER … (42 comments)

The Palm Beach Post reported today that GMAC has suspended all pending foreclosures nationwide because of a practice uncovered in Florida that could lead to VOIDABLE foreclosure judgments - thus creating havoc with foreclosure sales and REO sales.  The article, GMAC Suspends Foreclosure Evictions and Sales of Seized Property, cites the deposition taken by a Palm Beach County law firm that exposed the practice of affidavits regarding the verification of accuracy of a complaint and information about the loan being summarily signed in conveyor belt fashion. In the affidavits the signor is saying he or she has personal knowledge of the … (12 comments)

Calling all Realtors - What follows is a segment of a blog response to a discussion on the concept of "buy and bail". The words below were written by an unnamed person who is obviously an underwater owner.  It is important to know that to many, Realtors and Bankers are the cause of everyone's financial distress.  But one has to wonder, if our American Citizenry has a mindset like the author below, where would be this country's future?  With capitalism comes responsibility.  One of the great benefits of capitalism is the right to take a risk and be rewarded or penalized … (2 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: Strategic Defaults UP – Loan Modifications Down - 06/25/10 04:04 PM
C-Span is a wonderful thing.  Just listen or watch - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings yesterday brought in some interesting statements from CEO's and Presidents of Bank of America, JP Morgan/Chase and others.
As I reported in my article WALK AWAY FROM THE PROPERTY - STRATEGIC MORTGAGE DEFAULTS GROW TO 26%, that figure is now updated by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University researchers for the previous figures - a year later the strategic default rate is up another 10%!
Why is this happening?  Industry leaders blame the government programs.  The HAMP program has 800 specific requirements … (10 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: FORECLOSURE DEFENSE FALLACY - 10/26/08 03:40 AM
If you are a listingRealtor or a person who has just gotten foreclosure notice from your lender(s), no doubt you have heard about a myriad of "Foreclosure Defense" firms that promise to delay or prevent foreclosure or even prevent the enforcement of the mortgage because if irregularities in the loan.  What in fact are foreclosure defenses?
The most popularly cited defenses relate to violations of RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) and TILA (Truth In Lending Act).  Other federal and state laws may also be in violation.  The general remedy to the borrower for violation of these laws … (10 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: TOP TEN LIST OF SHORT SALE OBSERVATIONS - 10/05/08 05:56 AM
OK all you short sale Realtors - Here is my list of the top ten short sale rules when dealing with sellers and buyers.  What is your top ten list for YOUR favorite category involved in the short sale process (lender, buyer, seller, buyer Realtor, Seller Realtor, processor, loss mitigator and servicing agent, etc.)?
My TOP TEN BUYER / SELLER observations regarding Short Sales are:
10 - A Short Sale is a tough place for a buyer looking for personal housing.
  9 - A Short Sale is not for people that just want to move.
  8 - A Short … (11 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: Negotiated Payback or Foreclosure Judgment Deficiency? Compared - 03/06/08 12:52 PM
I was negotiating on a very large problem mortgage today with a high-up executive at the servicing firm.  He made a comment that I thought peculiar and I called him to task on the matter.
The comment was that "after the foreclosure sale, lenders seldom bother to get a court ordered deficiency judgment".  I knew this to be false, because lenders today - more than in the past - are investing a few hundred more in attorney fees to get a deficiency judgment.  I will tell you why.
But first, lets all get on the same page.  A deficiency judgment is … (58 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: No-Conflict Considerations in Short Sale Fees - 02/17/08 01:46 PM
No-Conflict Considerations in Short Sale Fees
As short sales and pre-foreclosure assistance servicers proliferate, the type, style and amount of fees that these individuals and companies charge has become ingenious and varied.  This article discusses the rights and wrongs regarding the most popular of the charging methods.
A short sale and pre-foreclosure servicer for our definitional purposes will be called the Short Sale Servicer.  The services offered usually include some mixture of collecting financial information from the "financially stricken borrower", getting current valuations on the mortgaged property, finding a realtor or working with a realtor to find a buyer, and finally negotiating for … (1 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: RECOVERY IN 2009??? - 01/08/08 01:23 PM
CNN posted this article today on the "housing meltdown" and that price rebound will get a full year under its belt until 2009.  CNN ARTICLE
I don't know if this is really new news.  On AR we have been seeing this statement for months in various blogs, and my own opinion in South Florida is that we are about 1 or 2 quarters from seeing pricing "scrape across the bottom" for another quarter or two, and then begin to rebound.
An article by Fishkind, a Florida real estate consultant guru, released a report today (I have not read the whole report) that had … (5 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: Foreclosures Triple - AGAIN!?! - 01/02/08 11:25 PM
Another article in the Palm Beach Post this morning says that foreclosures here have tripled from the same period last year.
It also says that the important "ratio" of home price to household income is double what is considered affordable and normal.
In Palm Beach County foreclosure rate is a STAGGERING 1 in 45 homes!!!!!  Yes that is staggering!  The number on a national scale is 1 in 617.
The article is titled PALM BEACH COUNTY FORECLOSURES TRIPLE, and is by Post reporter Linda Rawls.
I last wrote a blog on foreclosures tripling on December 20 and there said that the Post reported a tripling … (4 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: SHORT SALE TRILOGY - 01/01/08 12:05 PM
We get at least one call a day at my office on short sales.  It is really amazing how many people - professionals as well as potential sellers - do not even know what the term "short sale" means.  This blog assumes you have actually worked a short sale already -- if you have -- or if you are curious -- read on!
For the short sale to work I like to think of the process as the coupling of a trilogy.
#1 - you need to have the Seller who can no longer (maybe never could in the beginning too!) afford … (3 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007- Another Look - 01/01/08 04:15 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 … (2 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: FORECLOSURES UP 68% - 12/19/07 09:52 PM
Foreclosures up 68% !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Latest Report From AP - Florida near the TOP of foreclosure list -
 Here is today's AP article on Foreclosures Nationwide -- its the daily dose of depressing news
Our phone rings daily with brokers and sellers needing help with the short sale process.  Sometimes we can help and avoid the short sale or any sale at all -- it takes patience and having plenty of information on the owner's finances and the property value.  But it is getting to be like putting a finger in the dike.................
Richard Zaretsky, Esq., RICHARD P. ZARETSKY P.A. ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1655 PALM BEACH LAKES … (3 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: Foreclosures Triple - What's Next? - 12/12/07 11:43 PM
In a report issued today from the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County had 1 foreclosure filed for every 371 homeowners.  Surpassing that was St Lucie County with 1 for every 306 households.  The October average for Florida was 1 in 273 (new filings for foreclosure).
Prices for homes in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties have been dropping precipitously in recent months. But homeowners have mostly tried to hold on to boom-time prices, hoping for a turnaround - or at least for things to stabilize.
For too many, however, holding on to a mortgage they can't afford in hopes of a … (9 comments)

foreclosure lawyer: FORECLOSURES TRIPLE - What's Next - 12/12/07 11:36 PM
In a report issued today from the Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach County had 1 foreclosure filed for every 371 homeowners.  Surpassing that was St Lucie County with 1 for every 306 households.  The October average for Florida was 1 in 273 (new filings for foreclosure).
Prices for homes in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties have been dropping precipitously in recent months. But homeowners have mostly tried to hold on to boom-time prices, hoping for a turnaround - or at least for things to stabilize.
For too many, however, holding on to a mortgage they can't afford in hopes of a … (4 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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Address: 1615 Forum Place, Suite 3A, West Palm Beach, Fl, 33401

Office: 5616896660 x 107

Mobile: (561) 329-2279

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