Legal/Advocacy

State Lawmakers to Convene Hearing on Indian Point Closure

February 2017

ALBANY—A joint meeting of state lawmakers from the Assembly and Senate will convene a hearing here Tuesday, February 28th at 10 a.m. to discuss and seek answers surrounding the planned shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear reactors in Buchanan by 2021. In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement with Indian Point operator Entergy Corp.…

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LEGAL CORNER: The CFPB: Knocked Down But Not Out

February 2017

On Jan. 31, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed major consent orders against Prospect Mortgage, LLC, a major U.S. lender, and three other parties, including two real estate brokerage firms in California (i.e., RGC Services, Inc. d/b/a ReMax Gold Coast and Willamette Legacy, LLC d/b/a Keller Williams Mid-Willamette) and a mortgage servicer in Connecticut…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: New Department of State Regulatory Changes Affecting Licensees

February 2017

The New York Department of State, which promulgates regulations affecting real estate licensees, recently issued several amendments to existing regulations on Jan. 4, 2017. This article will call attention to those recent amendments and the implications on licensees. To start, there has been a regulatory change to 19 NYCRR §175.1.  That particular amendment is italicized…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Redefining Compulsory Arbitration Will Provide Mandate Relief

February 2017

The New York State Association of Realtors has a “Common Agenda for the Common Good” blueprint that calls for mandate relief for local communities. One of those measures that would provide relief would be redefining compulsory arbitration. Currently, the statute does not address ability to pay. It should be amended to require that an arbitration…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: How Debts and Deficits Could Impact Real Estate

January 2017

Debts and deficits run by the federal government, despite experiencing declines over the past seven years, have been at record levels for several reasons. The lack of revenue to the government, coupled with high federal spending, has contributed to the problem. We also experienced a financial crisis that crippled our economy for many years. We…

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Poll: NY First Home Proposal Overwhelmingly Supported by New Yorkers

January 2017

ALBANY—According to results from a Homeownership Poll conducted by the Siena Research Institute, 84% of New York voters support the NY First Home proposal that would create a tax-free savings account to help New Yorkers save for a first home. Support for the program was bi-partisan and spread across the entire state. Specifically, the NY…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: New Year Brings New Challenges, Opportunities

January 2017

The 115th Congress has been gaveled into session and the real estate industry has a lot on the line. One of the major sections of the tax code that could be modified or abolished provides for the deduction of state and local property taxes. In New York State, which has experienced an outflow of population…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Overview of New York’s Eminent Domain Procedure Law

January 2017

Both the New York State Constitution (Art. IX, Sec.1(e)) and the United States Constitution (Amend. V) permit governmental entities to take private real property for public use under eminent domain. The acquisition of real property, also known as condemnation, must give the private real property owner fair compensation, lest the governmental entity opens itself up…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: Key Takeaway From Standard of Practice 3-6

January 2017

In the Realtor Code of Ethics, Standard of Practice (S.O.P.) 3-6 states: “Realtors shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation.” This particular Standard of Practice is illustrative of the overarching requirement of Realtors under Article 3: “Realtors shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation…

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State, City Crack Down on Building Owners For Non-Compliance With 421-A Regulations

December 2016

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued letters notifying owners of 178 residential buildings—with a total of 1,400 rental apartments—that their 421-a tax benefits will be revoked retroactively if they…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: 2017 Will Bring New FHA Loan Limits

December 2016

On December 1, 2016 the Federal Housing Administration announced their new schedule of loan limits for 2017. The newly increased limits apply to most areas of the nation as a result of an increase in housing prices over the past calendar year. In those areas deemed by FHA to be “high-cost areas,” the FHA national…

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Hudson River Waterfront Alliance Releases Key Findings in Barge Anchorage Study

December 2016

YONKERS—Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano reconvened the Hudson River Waterfront Alliance at the Yonkers Waterfront Esplanade on Dec. 1 to announce the alliance’s maritime counsel and expert findings regarding the proposal by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey Tug and Barge Committee for 43 additional barge anchorages along the Hudson River from…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors Support Renewal of Tax Provisions

November 2016

With the presidential election over we can now, hopefully, move on to the business of governing. The election brings a new administration and new priorities. For the housing industry it is important that we pass several pieces of legislation and be watchful of others. It is particularly imperative that we extend two critical housing tax…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: HUD Proposes ‘Resilience Standard’ To Protect Communities From Flooding

November 2016

On Oct. 27 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed new elevation standards to be known as a “resilience standard” for all HUD-supported properties. These higher elevation standards specifically pertain to properties seeking HUD assistance or Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. The proposed rule from HUD would mandate that properties considered to…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: NY First Home Program Will Help First-Time Buyers

November 2016

The first time home buyer program, also known as the first time home buyer savings account program, is one of the keys to housing affordability in New York. Home ownership in the State of New York is currently at 52%, which is among the lowest in the nation. For most middle-income homeowners and lower income…

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NYS Fines PHH Home Loans $28 Million

November 2016

ALBANY—New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Nov. 9th that PHH Mortgage Corp. and its affiliate, PHH Home Loans LLC, will pay a $28-million fine and engage a third-party auditor as part of a consent order for violations of state and federal laws designed to protect homeowners. "New Yorkers deserve peace of mind when…

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