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Commentary: The curse of the Revel casino

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Article source: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/new-jersey/87748-revel-casino-atlantic-citys-24-billion-house-of-horrors-

Wish you could ask a lawyer about the landlord-tenant relationship? We …

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There are two starting points to consider regarding mold. First, the landlord must comply with all building, housing, and health codes, which essentially means that a leased home or apartment must be water-tight (mold is usually caused by the presence of excess moisture). Second, the tenant has a duty to take care of his/her leased home/apartment, which includes not allowing moisture to accumulate (i.e., moisture stemming from the shower being used, watering plants, condensation on the inside of windows on a hot day, etc.).

To make a claim upon a deposit, a landlord has to send a written notice to the tenant within 30 days of the date the tenant vacated, to the tenant’s last known address, by certified mail, stating [i] the amount of the landlord’s claim, and [ii] the basis for the claim. If the tenant does not agree with the landlord’s claim, the tenant must object, in writing, within 15 days of receiving the landlord’s claim letter. The Florida Statutes encourages the landlord and the tenant to negotiate a settlement at that point, which may or may not be successful. If no settlement is reached, the tenant has an option to file a lawsuit against the landlord to recover the security deposit. Such suit would be in small claims court if $5,000 or less; county court if over $5,000 but not more than $15,000.   In apartment communities, a landlord is required to comply with all “applicable building, housing and health codes.”  This generally means that the landlord is supposed to maintain many items, including fire alarms, leaky roofs and pipes, A/C, etc.  Landlords of single-family homes and duplexes may, if stated in the lease, move the responsibility for maintenance of those items over to the tenant. Also, if maintenance or repair is required due to the tenant’s negligence (i.e., the tenant damages the carpeting), then the landlord may charge back the cost of repair to the tenant.

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Article source: http://www.abcactionnews.com/money/wish-you-could-ask-a-lawyer-about-the-landlord-tenant-relationship-we-answered-10-common-questions

Property Trash Liens Disputed

    An area businessman is speaking out against a process he believes is cutting into the profits he makes from flipping foreclosed homes.

    Dale Livermore, the owner of Española’s Choice Properties, is in contact with North Central Solid Waste Trash officials in hopes of convincing them to waive the outstanding trash debts attached to houses he purchased.

    Authority General Manager Gino Romero said Livermore is seeking reimbursement for the $1,800 he paid to get clear titles on the two foreclosed houses he bought in Rio Arriba County.

    Romero said the Authority isn’t in a position to reimburse the money nor is he in a position to forgive the debt on any future foreclosed properties Dale and his company acquires.

    “Mr. Livermore is picking up these properties through bankruptcies and of course they owe money on them,” Romero said. “If there isn’t a lien, he is selling them, but if they got a lien and owe $2,000 or $3,000, he is asking us to waive that because he is upset he has to pay that debt.”   

    Livermore acknowledges the Authority has a right to place a lien on property where the owner or owners neglected to pay the bills, but he asserts that in these instances the liens were filed improperly.

    “I am disagreeing with North Central,” Livermore said. “There are two properties that had liens filed incorrectly and I went ahead and paid the liens, so the properties could close. So it wouldn’t be a problem.”

Waited too long

    Although Livermore said he doesn’t know the process Authority officials use for filing claims against errant property owners, they waited too long before placing the liens on the properties in question.

    “North Central has a right to lien, if the trash bills aren’t getting paid,” Livermore said. “But, if they don’t lien before the property is transferred, they lost that opportunity.”

    Since Authority officials failed to put a lien on the property before it changed hands, they should try to recover the outstanding balance via a debt collector, Livermore said.

    He concludes that since the property changed hands before the lien was filed, the balance on the accounts should have been zero.

    Romero said Livermore’s claim isn’t far off base but a few differences do exist. An organization such as the Authority usually can not collect a debt once the property is transferred to another owner.

    But, he said the situation with these two properties aren’t your run of the mill property transactions. Since the properties are foreclosures, Authority officials aren’t notified of the pending transactions and therefore aren’t given an opportunity to put a lien on the property, he believes it is right to make Livermore pay the past debt.

    Romero said the problem isn’t his creation and he is simply the benefactor of the decisions made by a third party.

    “The issue is not with us,” he said, “It is with the title companies that want those bills paid off,” he said. “I am not giving him a clearance until the property is sold and registered to someone else.”

    Romero said title companies have an interest in ensuring the title is clear because it reduces their exposure to liability.

Not our problem

    Rio Arriba County Manager Tomas Campos and alternative Authority Board member said he supports Romero’s decision.

    He said Livermore has contacted the Authority’s Board and several members of the County’s management team seeking a grievance hearing but Campos said he doesn’t understand what grounds Livermore would cite to further his cause.

    “That is between him and the title company,” Campos said. “He wants to hold a hearing, but I don’t see no cause.”

    One of the reasons Campos doesn’t see a cause for a hearing is because Livermore is buying the properties from the bank and reselling them without registering the properties in his name.

    If Livermore put the property in his name, it would effectively stop the debt from accruing, and it would help resolve the previous debt, Romero said. But Livermore isn’t the only one who could help mitigate the situation.

    He said the bank that foreclosed the property could probably take a few steps to make life easier for those they do business with.

    “If he was to register the property as vacant and for sale, it would stop the clock,” he said. “But, I am not about to give a free title for a property where services were rendered during the time the property went to foreclosure. Fannie Mae could probably solve the problem by putting it as a vacancy as soon as they take over.”

    Romero said the only time the Authority has been successful in placing liens on the property of errant account holders is when the homeowner file for bankruptcy.

    The Rio Arriba County Solid Waste ordinance authorizes the authority to place liens on properties in an effort to collect outstanding debt.

    Livermore hasn’t filed a grievance regarding the Authority’s position.

Article source: http://www.riograndesun.com/articles/2015/10/30/news/doc563100d65bedd847042525.txt

How Marco Rubio deals with debate questions he doesn’t like

Community

Centre Region trick-or-treaters scare up some candy

Article source: http://www.centredaily.com/2015/10/30/4991735/how-marco-rubio-deals-with-debate.html

How to Avoid Estate Issues

 

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You’ve heard a lot about ‘green’ laundry machines lately. Would it pay for your building to upgrade? Denise Savino of Automatic Industries can tell you.

Click here to visit Ask the Experts, where you’ll find more insights and answers from authorities in fields such as finance, law, leak repair, building restoration, laundry, and lobby design.

Article source: http://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Legal-Financial/2015/2015-October/Foreclosure-Issues

Woman, parents guilty of fraud scheme

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Article source: http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/news/crime/2015/10/30/buckman-foxworth-mortgage-fraud/74894910/

Senators Call Federal Regulators to Action on Zombie Foreclosures

writing-on-paper1U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker have written a letter to federal banking and housing leaders urging them to take action on the “zombie” foreclosure crisis which has plagued the nation.

A recent report found that nationwide, there are approximately 20,000 so-called zombie foreclosures, which are residential properties that have been vacated by the owner but the foreclosure process has not yet been completed. With the owners gone, these abandoned properties are typically not maintained by banks, which potentially breeds blight, attracts violent crime, and brings down values of surrounding properties.

While the number of zombie properties has been in decline for the last couple of years, it is on the rise in New Jersey. About 4,000 of the nation’s 20,000 zombie properties (one-fifth) are in the Garden State.

Menendez and Booker, both Democrats from New Jersey, addressed HUD Secretary Julián Castro, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, FHFA Director Mel Watt, and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz on the zombie foreclosure crisis with their letter, which was dated October 30, the day before Halloweeen.

“Zombie Halloween costumes may cause a scare, but what we really should be frightened about is the growing zombie foreclosure crisis haunting our communities,” Menendez said. “We sent this letter to top federal leaders today because we want to work together to end the unacceptable practice where banks sit on abandoned properties, hitting struggling borrowers with new debt and damaging the property values and quality of life in neighborhoods. It’s past time we put the health of our communities above bank profits.”

Menendez, Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, introduced the Preserving American Homeownership Act earlier this year to address the zombie foreclosure crisis. The bill is aimed at helping homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages remain in their homes and mitigate the impact zombie foreclosures have on New Jersey communities and the economy.

“It’s past time we put the health of our communities above bank profits.”

—Senator Bob Menendez

FHFA General Counsel Alfred M. Pollard addressed the subject of vacant and abandoned residential properties earlier this week in his testimony before the Pennsylvania Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee House of Representatives Urban Affairs Committee. Pollard reaffirmed that the FHFA’s first priority is avoiding foreclosures and listed several ways to potentially mitigate the vacant and abandoned property crisis: accelerated foreclosure of those properties, streamlined rules, neighborhood-based programs, uniformity, and vacant property registration.

Pollard also stated in his testimony that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are under the FHFA’s conservatorship, are partnering with National Community Stabilization Trust, a non-profit experienced in stabilizing distressed communities.

“Working together, they will leverage their ties to ‘boots on the ground’ community organizations and local non-profits and work closely with local governments to make timely and informed decisions about the best treatment of individual properties,” Pollard said. “These may include sales to nonprofits, rehabilitation of homes, loan modifications and, in some instances, demolitions.”

Click here to read the letter written by Menendez and Booker.

Click here to read the full text of Pollard’s testimony.

Article source: http://dsnews.com/news/10-30-2015/senators-call-federal-regulators-to-action-on-zombie-foreclosures

Georgia Man Admits to Bid Rigging in Foreclosure Auctions

A Georgia real estate investor pleaded guilty this week to property bid rigging and mail fraud, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Atlanta division.

Trent Gaines admitted to conspiring with other developers to not bid against each other in public foreclosure auctions held in two Georgia counties between September 2006 and February 2011.

Gaines and his collaborators would then conduct a separate auction among themselves in order to receive payoffs and divert the money away from lien holders and in some cases the defaulted borrower in the transaction.

The conspirators would then proceed to sell the properties to each other through a private auction.

“This case again illustrates not only the problems regarding bid rigging at real estate auctions in Georgia but also the federal efforts involved in shutting this type of criminal activity down,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson, in the FBI’s Atlanta Division, in a press release.

Nine other lawsuits have been filed in relation to this ongoing investigation.

Article source: http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/servicing/georgia-man-admits-to-bid-rigging-in-foreclosure-auctions-1064824-1.html

Scott County attorney’s Eden Prairie house sold in foreclosure sale

An Eden Prairie house owned by Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar, which became a point of contention in the 2014 election, was sold in a foreclosure sale in Hennepin County last week.

The house owned by Ronald and Marcia Hocevar in the 17000 block of Valley Road in Eden Prairie was sold to U.S. Bank National Association in an Oct. 23 foreclosure sale for $456,000. Hocevar said he has hired an attorney to challenge the sale.

Hocevar lived on Valley Road until moving to a rented home in Prior Lake in July 2014. His Eden Prairie residency was criticized by opponent Jim Terwedo in last year’s race for Scott County attorney. But Hocevar countered that he had moved to Prior Lake and knew the community well after 15 years as chief deputy in the county attorney’s office.

Hocevar said this week that he is renting the Eden Prairie home to someone whom he declined to identify.

“We are working amicably to save the home and have a rescission of the sale,” Hocevar said of the foreclosure.

Hocevar confirmed that he is renting the Prior Lake home from Pawn America CEO Brad Rixmann, who endorsed Hocevar and donated $300 to his campaign last year, according to campaign finance records.

A legal challenge to the Oct. 23 foreclosure sale would be the second court battle over the Hocevars’ house. They sued U.S. Bank in 2013 for foreclosing on the property before they could complete a mortgage modification process in 2012.

According to the complaint filed by the Hocevars, they were delinquent on their mortgage because of “unforeseeable financial difficulties” and requested assistance in late 2011. In January 2012, they requested a modification of their mortgage. They said they met the bank’s deadline for providing additional information, but the bank sold the home at a foreclosure sale in November 2012.

A judge decided in favor of the Hocevars in that lawsuit, voiding the foreclosure and restoring their mortgage.

 

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Stephen Montemayor 952-746-3282

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Article source: http://www.startribune.com/scott-county-attorney-s-eden-prairie-house-sold-in-foreclosure-sale/338569222/

A Tale of Two Rubios

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Article source: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/tale-two-rubios