Archive for the ‘James Haroutunian’ Category

A Trust Sets Rules for Ownership of Assets – Reprint from Lowell Sun 6/9/2012

 

In response to a question on the use of trusts, Attorney James Haroutunian responds in his column in the Lowell Sun published 6/9/2012

Q: I am interested in estate planning, but most lawyers go off the rails when discussing the use of trusts. Can you explain “trusts” in real world terms?

A: I understand the mental haze formed by a single word. Whenever my computer technician mentions a “server,” my mind fogs up. I am happy to explain a trust in its most basic form.

There are two major functions of a trust:

1. A trust is like a rule book for your ownership of property. For example, let’s say you own your home individually. There are no rules to your ownership. You can sell anytime while you are alive, and leave the home to anyone in your will.

However, if you wish to take advantage of certain tax or Medicaid laws, or if you just wish to avoid probate — a trust will impose certain rules on your ownership, which benefit you.

Trusts aren’t only for the 1 percent. In fact, Medicaid avoidance trusts are primarily used by the middle class to ensure government funding for potential nursing home care.

2. A trust can split ownership of property so one person manages and one person benefits. This split usually occurs after you pass away. For example, let’s say my wife and I should pass away early. Our two children will benefit by my meager assets — which will be managed by my brother.

If a lawyer struggles to properly explain these concepts, or if this column doesn’t work for you, keep searching. You need to understand your estate plan.

James Haroutunian — real estate law, estate planning and probate at 630 Boston Road, Billerica, MA.
james@hlawoffice.com      978-671-0711    www.hlawoffice.com.

Contact Atty Haroutunian to find out if a trust may be an appropriate way to hold your asset – your home. 

Joan Parcewski   Woods Real Estate  Joan@Woodsre.com   978-376-3978    www.JoanParcewski.com

Real Estate Market May Be in Full Swing – Reprint from 6/2/12 Lowell Sun

 

The following is from guest columnist James Haroutunian, local real estate attorney, at the Lowell Sun.   

Like the sweat off my brow this afternoon, condensation rolls down the glass of my well-deserved nightcap. I write this column late in the evening of Thursday, May 31. Though I drink alone, I undoubtedly raise a glass with many weary real-estate professionals tonight.

Over the past 15 hours, the real-estate profession moved as ferociously as it did during the boom of the early 2000s. I personally visited five closings across the state, juggling coordination of tomorrow’s deals on my cellphone, driving to and forth. While the day’s action revived memories of years past, the culture at each closing table felt very different. Today I worked with true professionals.

These Realtors and lenders were the dedicated few who did not flee from the real-estate industry when times got tough. During our last boom market, in which used-car salesmen masqueraded as unregulated mortgage brokers, today’s real-estate workforce impresses me.

At some closings, more than 50 years of experience gathered to guide clients through successful transactions. Loans were funded on time. Last-minute negotiations were handled with grace and class. Clients were effectively informed about complex loan details.

Today stood as a shining example of a once-again vibrant real-estate market run by knowledgeable, intelligent and devoted professionals. Maybe it’s the drink talking, but today I am proud of my industry.

I am inspired to refer these individuals to my friends, family or clients. I invite any reader seeking the service of a Realtor or mortgage lender to contact me directly for an informed discussion and referral.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real-estate law, estate planning and probate at 630 Boston Road, Billerica. He gladly invites questions at james@hlawoffice.com or by phone at 978-671-0711. His website blog is found at www.hlawoffice.com.

 

Play Straight While Getting a Realtor – Reprint from Lowell Sun 4/23

James Haroutunian, a real estate attorney, always has a great column in the Lowell Sun.  This has to do with people who prefer selling their homes without a realtor but want to get a realtor’s opnion of the potential home value – which is done through a Comparative Marketing Analysis. His comments are right on.  A “realtor” will invest a number of hours not only meeting with you twice (once initially and again when the CMA is complete) but also preparing the information that you will ultimately use to sell your house.  So it would certainly be appreciated to be honest about your intent.   
 
Part of the real estate process is building relationships and this is considered one step in that direction

Q: I want to sell my house without a Realtor, but I want a Realtor’s opinion of my home’s value. Should I approach a Realtor under false pretense, or be honest? Also, how do I choose the right Realtor?

A: I polled a few experienced Realtors. All agree that honesty is the best policy.

Each Realtor said some form of the following: “I am happy to make a relationship, which may blossom into a listing.”

Acomparative market analysis, or CMA, is a real-estate agent’s presentation of their opinion of market value. Moreover, a CMA provides agents with an audition of sorts. During the CMA presentation, agents can exhibit their personalities, professionalism and marketing proficiency. This foot in the door plants a seed, which may grow over time.

Folks who attempt to sell their home independently may become frustrated with the process, or be unsuccessful. Should this happen, the first interview often goes to the real-estate agent whose CMA sits in the homeowner’s file.

Some online bloggers warn against honesty, fearing an agent will not provide an accurate opinion. However, my experience with quality agents is different. In order to gain confidence in a real-estate agent, rely upon professional opinions from trusted sources such as mortgage lenders, insurance brokers and real-estate lawyers.

Personally, after 13 years in this business, I have taken part in hundreds (if not thousands) of transactions. This perspective allows me to recommend the proper real-estate agent for the situation. Due to the personal referral, your real-estate agents will be interested in impressing the lawyer as well as you.

Attorney James Haroutunian practices real-estate law, estate planning and probate at 630 Boston Road, Billerica. He invites questions at james@hlawoffice.com or by phone at 978-671-0711. His blog is found at http://www.hlawoffice. com.

Incentive Payments and Short Sales – Reprint from Lowell Sun 3/10/2012

James Haroutunian writes a column for the Lowell Sun.  This is great information about the ever changing short sale market. 

Last week I discovered the holy grail in the world of short sales: My office performed a short-sale closing where the lender paid a $20,000 incentive payment to the seller. That’s right, the seller got out from her loan and got paid for it at the same time.

Industry rumors rang in the new year, as lenders indicated 2012 would be a big year for short sales. High foreclosure volume in hard-hit states such as Florida motivate lenders to use the collaborative process as an alternative to legal action. Some lenders claimed to begin using incentive payments in 2011, though infrequently.

Last week, I bore witness to this phenomenon, as a very happy seller walked away from her mortgage with $20,000 cash. The lender further agreed to waive any deficiency obligation by the seller.

Will this become the norm with short sales? Local real-estate agents are hopeful incentive payments will continue because they will help clear housing inventory. But they remain skeptical it will actually happen.

USA Today reports the following major lenders providing certain programs:

* JPMorgan Chase went national with short-sale incentive offers last year, paying up to $35,000 in some cases.

* Bank of America is testing incentives from $5,000 to $25,000 in Florida to see if it should be expanded to more states.

* Wells Fargo’s incentive offers range from less than $3,000 to $20,000, according to a company spokesman.

Attorney James Haroutunian practice includes real-estate and estate planning law. Contact him with questions at the Haroutunian Law Office at 630 Boston Road, Billerica, 978-671-0711 or email at james@hlawoffice.com.
Read more: http://www.lowellsun.com/rss/ci_20145775#ixzz1rRjluVhM

Incentive Payments for Short Sales?? – Reprint from Lowell Sun 3/10/12

Saturday’s Lowell Sun article (www.lowellsun.com) by Attorney James Haroutunian tells us about possible changes on how the banks handle short sales and their clients.

Incentive payments becoming part of some short-sale deals

 

Last week I discovered the holy grail in the world of short sales: My office performed a short-sale closing where the lender paid a $20,000 incentive payment to the seller. That’s right, the seller got out from her loan and got paid for it at the same time.

Industry rumors rang in the new year, as lenders indicated 2012 would be a big year for short sales. High foreclosure volume in hard-hit states such as Florida motivate lenders to use the collaborative process as an alternative to legal action. Some lenders claimed to begin using incentive payments in 2011, though infrequently.

Last week, I bore witness to this phenomenon, as a very happy seller walked away from her mortgage with $20,000 cash. The lender further agreed to waive any deficiency obligation by the seller.

Will this become the norm with short sales? Local real-estate agents are hopeful incentive payments will continue because they will help clear housing inventory. But they remain skeptical it will actually happen.

USA Today reports the following major lenders providing certain programs:

* JPMorgan Chase went national with short-sale incentive offers last year, paying up to $35,000 in some cases.

* Bank of America is testing incentives from $5,000 to $25,000 in Florida to see if it should be expanded to more states.

* Wells Fargo’s incentive offers range from less than $3,000 to $20,000, according to a company spokesman.

James Haroutunian Law Office at 630 Boston Road, Billerica, 978-671-0711 or email at james@hlawoffice.com.

 

How Important is Owner’s Title Insurance?

THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS A REPRINT FROM OCTOBER 22, 2011 IN THE LOWELL SUN written by Attorney James Haroutunian (Billerica MA).  With the spring market already off and running and with so many foreclosures out there, this is a reminder to ALL buyers to consider purchasing owner’s title insurance as par t of the closing process on your new home. 

———-

A new chapter unfolds in the foreclosure saga

This week, the commonwealth’s highest court substantiated the long-term negative effect of a defective foreclosure on subsequent owners.

 

Last year, the infamous Ibanez-case ruling identified why foreclosures can be defective if a lender forecloses without proper documentation proving its ownership at the time. This week, the Supreme Judicial Court applied that ruling against a subsequent buyer of a defectively foreclosed property. The ruling effectively stated the new owner’s title is null and void, despite his paying for and improving the property.

 

These are amazing times in property-law history. The Bevilacqua case sets a new precedent for owners seeking proper channels to prove their title through Massachusetts Land Court. Yes, there is a Land Court, which deals primarily with land legal issues.

 

One method the Land Court offers is a lawsuit to “try title.” This action is brought against known or unknown potential adversary parties who may claim to own your land.

 

The tool provides everyone in the world an opportunity to step forward and fight for a claim to your title. Most cases result in default plaintiff victories, when nobody appears to challenge ownership. However, plaintiffs must first prove they own the property.

 

In Bevilacqua, the court ruled the plaintiff had no standing to file the case (i.e., no ownership of the property he paid for), due to a defective foreclosure in its title history. This new case proves a practical effect to the Ibanez ruling. Other big cases are in the court’s pipeline, which will hopefully soon direct the method by which Bevilacqua can clear the title to his property.

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In the meantime, remember to buy owner’s title insurance when you purchase (or maybe even when you refinance). Take advantage of the protection title insurance provides.

 

THE COST FOR PURCHASING OWNER’S INSURANCE IS MINIMAL COMPARED TO WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT.

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