1

Avoid the Foreclosure Process: Land Sales Contracts

The foreclosure process is extensive and costly.  Avoiding foreclosure as a real estate investor would certainly be an advantage.  Instead of using a normal Agreement of Sale for property, an investor can turn towards a Land Sales Contract which does not require the foreclosure process upon default from the borrower.

A Land Sales Contract (also known as “Contract for Deed” or “Land Installment Contract”) is a form of seller financing in which actual possession of the property stays with the seller until the borrower fulfills the contract by paying off the principal and interest.  After the terms of the contract are met, title of the property transfers to the borrower.  If the borrower defaults on a Land Sales Contract, the foreclosure process is not triggered.  Instead, the seller simply executes an eviction in Landlord Tenant Court.  The eviction process is much simpler and much less costly than a foreclosure.

Why would a buyer agree to a Land Sales Contract and give up the rights under foreclosure?  The simple answer is that a buyer wouldn’t unless he or she did not have a choice.  However, there are many times where a prospective buyer cannot get approved for the financing required for a mortgage even though they are financially sound.  This can happen due to past credit troubles, divorce, and other instances.  These buyers can be saved by seller financing through a Land Sales Contract.  A seller can simply request more down, or a higher rate of interest.  Either way, both the seller and the buyer win.  The seller avoids foreclosure and the buyer can purchase a property without going through the conventional mortgage system.

For specifics and further implications on Land Sales Contracts and whether it is right for you, please call us here at Bergmann & Good.

0

If Your Beagle Has Been Singled Out In The Past, This is Good News for You

There is a new proposed bill in the New York legislature that may prevent landlords from banning specific breeds of dog from their properties. If New York Assembly Bill A2065A passes, landlords will still be allowed to ban tenants from owning any animals or ban particular animals if that animal has a history of violence, but they will no longer be allowed to ban specific breeds entirely. Although this rule will only apply to New York leases, it’s an example of how often changes occur, often without those effected having any advance notice.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, always remember the rules and regulations surrounding rental properties are constantly changing at both the state and federal level.  A landlord in New York who has a lease banning beagles could find themselves in trouble.  Likewise, a beagle-owning tenant looking for a new apartment should know their breed cannot be singled out. Having an attorney review your lease, whether you are a landlord renewing or a tenant looking for a new home, is always the best way to ensure your lease is in line with the rules and regulations of your state – and the rights of both you and your beagle are fully protected.

0

A Few Things to Keep In Mind About Overtime…

On December 1, 2016 the rules regarding the overtime regulations for white collar workers are going to take effect. Overtime pay will remain one and a half times the regular rate of pay after 40 hours of work in a work week, but the rules surrounding overtime, and those who qualify for overtime, will see some changes.

All hourly employees will still qualify for overtime pay, but the rules for salaried workers are going to change, however the test that determines which salaried employees qualify for overtime is being raised for the first time since 2004. The salary threshold will rise from $455 per week, or $23,660 for a full-year worker to $913 per week, or $47,476 for a full-year worker. This amount has been calculated based on national census data. Rather than having to issue new rules every few decades, as in the past, the new rules have also included a recalculation of the threshold every three years starting in 2020.

The exemptions for managers and administrators will not change.  Administrators and managers whose wage is above the salary threshold still will not qualify for overtime. The current overtime laws have long courted controversy because of this exemption. Many employees accused their employers of giving them fake job titles to ensure they did not have to pay them overtime, but the new salary threshold will hopefully offer protection to anyone who may be overlooked in the current system. There will still be a number of professions who are exempt from these overtime laws including teachers, doctors and highly compensated employees or HCE’s according to federal regulations.

The overtime laws were put in place to ensure workers were not forced into long hours without proper compensation. Employees who needed employers to work more hours were forced to hire more employees and those who only occasionally needed overtime work could simply choose to pay workers the occasional higher wage. The drastic changes to the salary threshold could play out in several ways as some employers are threatening to reduce salaried workers to hourly or lowering starting salaries, but the changes are intended to give more workers either more reasonable hours or better compensation.

Small businesses have the most freedom of choice in this situation because, depending on your business and your employees, you can decide on a smaller scale how to make these changes work for your business.  However, you do need to keep them in mind. Failure to comply with federal overtime law can lead to serious ramifications and lawsuits. You can read more at the Department of labor website here. If you have any questions, you should consult your business’s financial advisers and your business attorney.