palm beach: PRINCIPAL REDUCTIONS - WILL THE BANK GUARANTEE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME? - 01/27/12 02:00 PM
In a briefing by Credit Suisse this week, the financial giant’s opinion was that reducing principal balances of underwater mortgages is a risky idea that has not been shown to keep underwater borrowers from later defaults.  In my practice as a Florida real estate lawyer, that opinion flies in the face of borrower sentiment.  The guiding force in the Credit Suisse statement seems to be the “moral hazard” argument, coupled with statistics about the failure of principal reductions helping homeowners.
As reported by Bloomberg News, Dale Westhoff on behalf of Credit Suisse said that of the 11 million “underwater” homeowners, about … (9 comments)

palm beach: THERE IS NO RIGHT OF REDEMPTION AFTER FORECLOSURE SALE IN FLORIDA - CONTRARY TO FLORIDA REALTORS ARTICLE - 08/25/11 01:54 AM
The Florida Association of Realtors published yesterday an article called The Basic Steps of Foreclosure, picked up from the Detroit Free Press.  It lists the 7 stages of a typical foreclosure.  Unfortunately, although these 7 steps may be valid somewhere – they are incorrect in Florida.  In fact the last step does not exist in Florida.  My thanks to Cheryl Link, Esq., General Counsel to Illustrated Properties Real Estate for pointing out the article to me with the heads up!
 
The news report is on the FAR Website, and appears below.
 
The report if read by a homeowner, would … (20 comments)

palm beach: FREE ATTORNEY REPRESENTATION IN SHORT SALE OR LOAN MODIFICATION - 05/13/11 01:20 AM
I still see real estate brokers and even some title companies and "case workers" advertising that if you use THEM, they will supply for free an attorney to represent YOU for your short sale or loan modification.  I wrote about this issue once before (see No-Conflict Considerations in Short Sale Fees), but today I got an email from a real estate broker involved with a short sale we are handling and when looking at his website I saw the statement, "You get FREE attorney services with us! Not all companies that do short sales for clients provide this."
FREE WORK ?  HARDLY
(26 comments)

palm beach: TOP SECRET SHORT SALE APPROVAL DOCUMENTATION LEAKED - READ IT HERE - 05/01/11 08:55 AM
It is not too often we "in the trenches" of short sale negotiations get to understand why lenders act the way they do through "behind the scenes" documentation.  However a couple of months ago we did get some "lender to servicer" documentation that I thought was interesting enough to pass on to my ActiveRain readers.  Note: the documentation you are about to read states in BOLD CAPITALS, "YOU MAY NOT GIVE A COPY OF THIS COVER LETTER TO THE BORROWER, THE CLOSING ATTORNEY/SETTLEMENT AGENT, REAL ESTATE BROKER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY".  I would add that I am not sure how we … (25 comments)

palm beach: FORECLOSURE EXPRESS vs THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD - IN COURT SHORT SALE SUCCESS! - 03/27/11 07:11 AM
In another prime example of the FORECLOSURE EXPRESS vs. THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD, this past week I defeated a lender's counter argument as to why the foreclosure sale scheduled for that day should proceed, even though the lender issued its short sale approval letter.
The issue was that the lender issued the short sale approval letter with a typo in the loan number.  No big deal you would think, but after 5 business days of waiting to get it fixed so the short sale could immediately close, the lender couldn't get it done - maybe they ran out of ink … (46 comments)

palm beach: 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)

palm beach: 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)

palm beach: TENANT RIGHTS AND FORECLOSURE - A DISCUSSION OF SAFEGUARDS - 03/03/09 12:50 PM
The unintended victims of the foreclosure process are often the occupant of the home that is a tenant.  The landlord is a borrower under a mortgage that has gone into default and is now being foreclosed.  What is going to happen to the tenant as a result of the foreclosure?  How can a tenant or future tenant be protected from the ill effects of a foreclosure?  This article will attempt to address these issues.
Landlord Tenant relationships are governed by State statute
The landlord tenant relationship is governed by statutes of the state in which the real estate is located.  Generally … (18 comments)

palm beach: 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)

palm beach: BILLIONS (MORE) IN BANK LOSSES - NEEDLESSLY - 09/20/08 10:07 PM
Short Sale Buyers are increasingly investors seeking to buy and flip or buy and rent for positive cash flow.  Missing from the field are homebuyers seeking a place to live.  Why?
Banks Encourage Short Sale Investors and Discourage Retail Buyers
Let's look at the basic premise of a short sale.  The lender generally has a loan in or near foreclosure and likely it is non-performing.  The owner determines that continuing to make the payments has become financially irresponsible or impossible.  The owner also determines that avoidance of a foreclosure by attempting a short sale is the preferable method of disposition of … (5 comments)

palm beach: Second Mortgage Short Sale - Holding Up the Railroad Loot - 09/08/08 03:47 PM
The Second Mortgage Dilemma can ruin your short sale -
Like the old West, the stagecoach holding the railroad's payroll was always getting held up by the bad guys - at least in the movies.  Has much changed in the Wild West environment of short sales and the fight between primary and secondary mortgage holders?
Remember the old adage, "the tail that wags the dog"?  Second mortgage lenders are experiencing percentage losses probably beyond the losses of first lenders.  In mortgage foreclosure proceedings the second mortgage typically ends up with little if any dollars from an overbid on the first mortgage judgment, and … (7 comments)

palm beach: 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)

palm beach: STEP BACK OBSERVATIONS - FOREST FROM THE TREES - A RAMBLE - 03/28/08 01:56 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)

palm beach: CHAINED TO THE HOUSE - DIVORCE SOLUTIONS INVOLVING SHORT SALES - 03/26/08 03:15 PM
DIVORCE - CHAINS TO THE UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE VALUE CAN BE BROKEN!!! (edit/delete)
Chained to your home and can't get a divorce?  You are not alone!  A major problem with divorcing couples is that they cannot sell the marital home.  They think they are forced to stay in a difficult relationship or marriage.  Today's economic climate is terribly impacting couples (or former significant others) from terminating their relationships.  Divorce attorneys call these people "roommate marriages".
There is no difference between roommate marriages and real marriages that stay married.  But let me digress to give the full view of the problem.
In recent years … (12 comments)

palm beach: DIVORCE - CHAINS TO THE UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE VALUE CAN BE BROKEN!!! - 03/26/08 03:08 PM
Chained to your home and can't get a divorce?  You are not alone!  A major problem with divorcing couples is that they cannot sell the marital home.  They think they are forced to stay in a difficult relationship or marriage.  Today's economic climate is terribly impacting couples (or former significant others) from terminating their relationships.  Divorce attorneys call these people "roommate marriages".
There is no difference between roommate marriages and real marriages that stay married.  But let me digress to give the full view of the problem.
In recent years I have seen people come to me that got married and … (2 comments)

palm beach: TOO RICH TO DO A SHORT SALE? - ECONOMIC LOGIC APPLIES - 02/09/08 04:28 AM
This week I spoke with several people that wanted to do a short sale of investment property that is upside down in value.  They are sick and tired of the short fall on rental income (if they are lucky to have a renter that actually pays rent) vs the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance and maintenance costs.
The "short sale" phenomenon is giving some upside down investors the belief that they can get out of the mortgage by getting the property sold for less than the mortgage indebtedness and the bank will share in that loss.
I have spoken in the past about the theory … (6 comments)

palm beach: Who Says Owner Doesn't Have Time To Do a Short Sale? - 01/27/08 06:37 AM
Some writers to my blogs have commented that "they don't have time to do a short sale".  The reasons they think they don't have time can vary - usually it is because they are already in a mortgage foreclosure, and some said that they are leaving the area to a new life in some other state or even some other country.
Timing on a short sale is important, but it is only too late for a short sale when the foreclosure sale at the courthouse steps has already occurred.  Judgments of foreclosure result in a foreclosure sale - but unless the property … (11 comments)

palm beach: WHAT DO I DO? -- I CAN'T PAY MY MORTGAGE - 01/12/08 01:13 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 … (6 comments)

palm beach: SHORT SALE TRILOGY - 01/01/08 12:04 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 … (0 comments)

palm beach: SHORT SALE TRILOGY - 01/01/08 12:03 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 … (1 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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