What will they ask me at the Meeting of the Creditors

I love doing podcasts because my voice somehow sounds semi-sexy (very different in real life).  In any case, my most recent podcast surrounds the Meeting of the Creditors, also known as the “341 Meeting.”  This is where the Chapter 7 Trustee will ask a number of questions surrounding your Bankruptcy petition.  “Do you own a car?”  ” Do you own a home?”  The problem is many people that have filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York City don’t know the questions that are coming their way.  Their attorney doesn’t prepare them or maybe they’re nervous, but it turns into a … Read more

Keeping your car and filing Bankruptcy in New York City

  You’re filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in New York City and you want to keep your car, but can you?       Yes, under certain circumstances.   1.  If you’re using the Federal Exemptions (typically when you don’t own a home in New York, or, if you do own a home in New York and it has less than $150,000 in equity) you have $3,425 as an equity exemption to protect it.   How do you determine equity of a vehicle in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? You take the amount you have left to pay on your note for the … Read more

NYC Chapter 7 Trustees and Abuse

  The New York Law Journal recently posted a story where two per diem attorneys in New York City filed complaints against Chapter 7 Trustees for abuse of debtors.  One of the debtors, the story alleges, is Spanish and was essentially verbally harassed and abused because he needed to use a translation service when he testified at the Meeting of the Creditors.  Before I go further, let me make a few disclosures:   One of the Trustees named in this story is Robert Geltzer.  I previously worked as an Of Counsel to Mr. Geltzer in several cases, wherein we attempted … Read more

NYC Real Estate is Ready for an innovator

The New York Observer has an amazing post pointing out that the housing bubble we are currently experiencing in New York City simply doesn’t account for the housing needs of most New Yorkers.  It’s not hyperbole to describe this as a watershed moment for New York real estate and an absolutely critical moment to “disrupt” the typical way of renting/selling real estate here.  Huge change are afoot, and the market is all but begging for it.   Let’s begin with the current housing stats.  Residential construction in New York City soared by 50% in 2013.  On the face of it, that’s … Read more

Do not ever discount your legal fees. Ever.

This is more of a practice management post:   Never discount your legal fees.  Ever.  I don’t care who the client is.   People have told me this for years and for years I would nod and for years I would discount fees, and it is a horrific, horrific mistake (that I’ve made previously). Why do most people do it?   The promise of future business. Potential client says “If we do this one at ‘x’, I will have no problem paying ‘y’ on the next. Potential client says “I will refer all of my friends to you” Potential client … Read more

Should I get Title Insurance in New York City

  We’re going to have a conversation about Title Insurance in New York City.  Grab a cup of coffee and hang on to the edge of your seat.   First, the fundamentals- What does title insurance even do? Title insurance is a one-time paid premium at a New York real estate closing that basically protects you from any issues that may be hidden within the history of your property previous to your ownership. Any unclear transfers of property can void the entire line of ownership all together. Without title insurance, you could potentially lose a lot of money protecting your … Read more

NYC Real Estate Market Q and A with Daniel Gershburg & Marc Schaeffer

As Real Estate attorneys in New York, we of course think we know all the answers.  We do not.  That’s what I brought in some help for the latest podcast.   Many people want to know where the NYC real estate market is going.   Others want to know the difference between a co-op and a condo.  I asked my friend Marc Schaeffer, an agent with Kleier Residential for his opinion on this, and also to tell us about the pockets of value that can still be found in and around NYC.

What can I do if I am in pre-foreclosure in New York City

There are just a ton of foreclosures in New York.  Yes, still.  But you can’t just look at the foreclosure numbers on their own.  The important figures are the pre-foreclosures ones.  The pre-foreclosures measure missed payments, notices from the banks, etc.  According to RealtyTrac.com, the pre-foreclosures numbers surged in 2014 in New York City, with Ulster and Nassau County, holding 2 of the top 5 counties in New York in terms of foreclosures.       I’ve previously touched upon the absurdity of the foreclosure process in New York and what happens when you get served with papers by the bank, … Read more

NYC Co-Op Closing Costs-How much will I Pay?

New York Co-Op Closing Costs-How much will I Pay?   While we previously addressed how much a purchaser will pay in closing costs when buying a condo in New York City, I wanted to touch upon the closing costs when purchasing a Co-Op in New York. Let’s talk about: 1.  The difference between co-ops and condos and how that affects closing costs. 2.  The difference in closing costs between a co-op and condo in New York City. 3.  The amount you’ll pay for a typical co-op closing in New York City. 4.  A short history of why I love the New York … Read more

How much will I pay in closing costs for my NYC condo

Closings Costs when Purchasing a Condo in New York   One of the top questions our office get’s asked is to explain the way closing costs work when you buy a co-op or condominium in New York City.  Co-Ops and Condo’s are different animals, so I’m going to explain them separately.  What you need to know at least initially is the following (1) If you’re buying a co-op in New York City, it’s going to costs a hell of a lot less in closing costs than if you are buying a condo in New York.  (2) In either situation, you … Read more