Archive for the ‘Lowell Sun’ 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

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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