Capital Region Legal News

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Toward Electronic Mortgage Closings

What are the benefits of e-Closings?

Technological innovation has dramatically changed the landscape of real estate finance making new and different types of mortgage loans available to consumers. In addition, the delivery real estate related services has become far more efficient, and the mortgage origination process is becoming more digitized, enabling many deals to close more quickly.

What is an electronic mortgage closing?

The Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, calls the closing of a mortgage loan electronically an "eClosing."  When an mortgage loan is being executed today, many of the closing documents are accessed and signed on the web. The key instruments such as the note and the mortgage, are printed and hard copy is signed.

Read more . . .

Thursday, June 16, 2016

State's Adirondack Purchases Raise Land Use Questions

What affect does the use of motor vehicles have on property values in the Adirondacks?

New York State continues to add property to the state Forest Preserve in the Adirondacks. The preserve is situated in Essex County and the state recently purchased 22,000 acres, referred to as the Boreas Ponds tract. This part of the forest, once owned by the Finch Pruyn paper company, was subsequently acquired by The Nature Conservancy which sold the tract to the state for $14.5 million.

According to the Times Union, the governor reportedly said the purchase is "one of the most important additions ever made to the state Forest Preserve.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 28, 2016

DUI Charges Brought Against former Navy SEAL Who Says He Shot Bin Laden

Robert O'Neill, a former Navy SEAL, was arrested on charges of DUI several weeks ago. According to O'Neill's statement, he is the man who fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden. O'Neill was arrested when found asleep in a car parked at a convenience store in his hometown of Butte, Montana. According to Butte-Silver Bow County Undersheriff George Skuletich, customers at the store called the police at 2:30 a.m.

Read more . . .

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gender Gap in Divorce Settlements Is Not What It Seems

Are women being ripped off in some divorce settlements?  

Despite the public perception that women make out well in divorce settlements, this is far from the case. In actual fact, the income of women who worked before, during or after their marriages declines by an average of 20 percent after a divorce, while the income of their ex-husbands rises more than 30 percent after the split. Even more inequitable, 27 percent of separated women are living in poverty --almost triple the rate for men in the same position.

Because, in our society, women are still more likely than men to leave the workforce while raising young children, they suffer the consequences of earning less when they go back to work. In addition, divorce proceedings themselves are, for many, prohibitively expensive.
Read more . . .

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Road Less Traveled: Collaborative Law Divorce

Can I divorce my spouse without going to court?

Let's face it: divorce is common, so much so that 50% of first marriages end in divorce; and second and third marriages fair even worse. As the song goes, "breaking up is hard it do," but that is not to say ending a marriage needs to become an endless cycle of anger, pain and accusation. For those who want to take the road less traveled and bypass the conflict normally associated with divorce, there is an alternative: collaborative law.

What is collaborative law divorce?

Collaborative law divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution aimed at avoiding litigating a marital break-up in court. It is designed to put aside the acrimony that often arises over questions of dividing the marital property, spousal support, and child custody and support.

Read more . . .

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Primer on Real Estate Contracts

What items should be included in a real estate purchase contract?

Buying a home requires careful planning, particularly when it comes to signing a contract with the seller. In order to protect your interests, there are certain items that should included in the agreement. While most real estate purchase contracts contain standard terms, it is important to know what to look for before you sign on the dotted line.

Key Terms of a Sales Contract

For most individuals, buying a home typically involves arranging for financing with a mortgage lender, and any offer should be contingent upon your loan application being approved. In particular, you should specify the interest rate in the contract to ensure that you can afford the monthly obligation.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New York Home Sales Continue to Climb

How is the housing market in New York performing in 2016?

It's been a long time coming, but the housing market in New York seems to have turned the corner on the real estate collapse that triggered the financial crisis in 2008. In fact, a recent report by the New York State Association of REALTORS indicates that the first quarter of 2016 has been the best start to the state's housing market since 2007. The Association is a not-for-profit trade organization representing more than 50,000 real estate professionals in the state.

Home Sales in New York

For the first three months of the year, there were 23,932 closed sales which equates to a 17 percent improvement over the same period in 2015. Median sales prices also slightly improved by about  1 percent.

Read more . . .

Monday, May 2, 2016

Loss Mitigation Continues to Benefit Home Owners

Why are non-foreclosure solutions outpacing foreclosures?

Loss mitigation is a process through which mortgage lenders work with homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments. Through loss mitigation, a lender can modify the terms of a home loan, allowing the homeowner to sell the property for less than is owed, or transfer the deed back to the lender. Though designed to reduce potential loss incurred by lenders, the process also helps borrowers to remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure.
Read more . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Criminal Justice Reform Comes to Albany

What can cities do to end mass incarceration?

The city of Albany, NY is leading the way in criminal justice reform with an innovative new program aimed at ending mass incarceration. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is a so-called "harm reduction" approach to reducing arrests and recidivism.

What is the LEAD program?

LEAD's new approach gives law enforcement the power to exercise discretion when encountering criminal offenders. Rather than arresting these individuals, police have the choice of diverting them to a case manager. In so doing, low-level offenders, including those facing certain drug charges, will not become trapped in the criminal justice system.
Read more . . .

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Homebuyer Beware: The Need for Title Insurance

How does title insurance protect a homebuyer?

For many individuals, owning a home is the heart of the American Dream, and there are a number of steps homebuyers need to take to make that dream a reality. Because buying a home is the largest investment many New York residents will make, it is essential for future homeowners to protect themselves. In addition to verifying the valuation of a home and arranging for an inspection, it is necessary to obtain title insurance to ensure that the seller can legally transfer free and clear ownership of the property.
Read more . . .

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Latest in the Apple vs. FBI Search and Seizure Conflict

Last year, a stunned nation grappled with the implications that the terrorist group ISIS may have infiltrated the United States –- namely, an ill-fated San Bernardino Christmas party hosted by a center for mentally and physically disabled adults. More specifically, a husband and wife team allegedly opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd, leaving 14 people dead and several others seriously wounded.

Now, the conflict has taken an unprecedented turn as Apple­­, the multinational technology company – makers of the shooters’ mobile phones – has vehemently refused to turn over digital records pertaining to the phones. At issue, the company cites the slippery slope that could ensue once Apple “unlocks” the devices. As a result, Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been at judicial odds with one another, filing brief after brief in support of their positions.

As a bit of procedural background, Apple was originally ordered to unlock the shooters’ iPhones by court order, which followed the Department of Justice’s “motion to compel” the evidence. Apple quickly and publicly denounced the order to unlock the phones, and filed a brief in opposition to the court’s demand. Namely, the company asserts that it would have to code new software to essentially “hack in” to the phones, and so doing would create a dangerous precedent upon which law enforcement across the nation could rely to compel evidence from suspects' Apple products.

In response, the Department of Justice most recently filed its brief in opposition to Apple’s motion to vacate the order, making the following arguments:

  • The burden placed on Apple to unlock the phones is not unreasonable
  • The request complies with the All Writs Act, as well as several other applicable communication acts
  • Apple should not be able to market its phones as “search warrant proof”
  • Requiring a company to add functional source code to its products does not violate users’ First Amendment Rights

In response, a spokesperson for Apple stated that the brief reads "like an indictment," and was "an unsupported, unsubstantiated effort to vilify Apple."

Under the Constitution, law enforcement must secure a warrant – based on probable cause – prior to seizing property belonging to a private citizen. Any information unlawfully obtained without probable cause is subject to suppression and exclusion prior to trial.

If you are facing recent criminal charges and would like to discuss your rights under the law, please don't hesitate to consult with one of our knowledgeable attorneys at Ianniello Anderson at 518.350.7755 where we serve clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy and the entire Northeastern NY area with skill and dedication.

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