Legal/Advocacy

Websites, Social Media and the DOS Enforcing Advertising Regulations

May 2018

Posting on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, has become commonplace for real estate professionals. Every day agents post new listings, photos, open houses and much more on their social media sites, and may not even realize they are engaging in advertising. It is important to be aware that any advertisement, in…

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LEGAL CORNER: Update on Privacy Issues, the Fair Housing Act and Facebook Lawsuit

April 2018

On March 27, 2018, the National Fair Housing Alliance, the Fair Housing Justice Center Inc., Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, Inc. and the Fair Housing Council of Greater San Antonio filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (see https://bit.ly/2HprYkb), alleging that Facebook’s advertising platform violates…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: New Regulation Impacts Title Insurance Sector’s Marketing Tools

April 2018

Insurance Regulation 208, which can be found at 11 NYCRR 228, was made effective on Dec. 18, 2017. This regulation, passed by the New York Department of Financial Services was finalized pursuant to certain consumer complaints regarding the title insurance industry. Since the regulation became effective, customary marketing and business prospecting tools that many title…

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LEGAL CORNER: Broker Commission Disputes: You Win Some, You Lose Some

March 2018

Recent decisions from the New York State Appellate Division serve as reminders to brokers, associate brokers and licensed salespersons of the importance of entering into written agreements and the strict fulfillment of fiduciary duties, such as dual agency disclosure, in order to preserve rights to commissions. The failure to do so will likely place commissions…

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HGAR to Lobby State Lawmakers On Key Consumer, Industry Bills

March 2018

ALBANY—A contingent of more than 40 members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors are expected to travel to the state capital later this month to meet with state lawmakers and advocate for consumer and real estate industry reform legislation. The contingent will be led by Leah Caro and John Olivero, co-chairs of the HGAR…

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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Tax Reform Victories for Commercial Realtors

March 2018

Commercial brokers fared well in the recently passed “tax reform bill”. Specifically, 1031 like kind exchanges were kept intact and middle-income housing tax credits were kept that encourages developers to build affordable housing in expensive housing markets. Still on the drawing board is the ADA Education and Reform Act (2018). The original Americans with Disabilities…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFINGS: ‘Buyer Love Letters’

February 2018

It’s February and love is in the air. For buyers interested in the right home, it may mean that they put quill to paper and craft the perfect “love letter.” Typically, these letters are addressed to the seller, and sometimes the listing agent is also included. Realtors, and all real estate licensees, must be particularly…

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Rockland Legislature Passes Co-Op Purchase Reform Bill

February 2018

NEW CITY—Realtors who have pressed state and local lawmakers for years for cooperative purchase transaction reform scored a major victory on Tuesday night when the Rockland County Legislature passed unanimously a bill that requires co-op boards to make a timely decision on applications by prospective buyers. The bill, sponsored by Legislator Alden H. Wolfe, requires…

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BARRISTER'S BRIEFINGS: Closing Disclosure Update

January 2018

Since the implementation of the “The Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Oct. 3, 2015, there have been issues with providing real estate licensees copies of the Closing Disclosure (CD) at the closing table. On Oct. 18, 2016, Tom Salomone, then-President of NAR, sent a letter to…

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Mental Capacity and Fraud Issues Involving the Elderly

December 2017

The elderly population is particularly vulnerable to fraud and exploitation, especially in these times. The elderly are targeted because they are frail, suffer from ailments or live alone. They are susceptible to duress and undue influence from family, friends or advisors (i.e., real estate agents, attorneys, mortgage bankers, etc.). Real estate licensees are in a…

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