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Apartments for rent: Americans don't want yearlong leases amid the pandemic, neither do landlords

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Deborah Pusatere to convert all her tenants' one-year leases into rolling month-to-month agreements. 
The landlord in upstate New York oversees 80 apartment units. When a tenant's lease is set to expire, she offers them a more flexible contract to move out at any time with a 30-day notice. 
"A lot of people are still losing their jobs," Pusatere says. "They don't know if their jobs are coming back.

New national eviction moratorium for the rest of 2020: What you need to know

The CDC issued a nationwide ban on evictions through Dec. 31, but tenants who are behind on rent must advocate for themselves. We explain.A national eviction moratorium is back in effect, this time with far broader protections than the now-defunct eviction ban established by the CARES Act. While the previous law only covered certain types of properties, the new moratorium effectively protects everyone living in one of the nation's 43 million rental households, regardless of where they reside.

Eviction Wave Still at Sea: Will It Make Land?

The eviction moratorium announced this week by the Trump administration ended fears of an immediate wave of evictions. But the eviction ban, in effect through the end of the year, merely postpones the inevitable problem if double-digit unemployment rates persist and federal aid remains stalled in the U.S. Senate.
Tenants with diminished income will miss rent payments, which has led to dire predictions that a wave of evictions is on the horizon. For example, public policy think tank The Aspen Institute and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project generated headlines last month with a publication warning that 

How Long Will Bankruptcy Affect Your Foreclosure?

It is no secret that filing bankruptcy is a tool in a borrower’s arsenal that they will not hesitate to use to temporarily drag out or halt a foreclosure sale. A bankruptcy case has become an inevitable headache that nonconventional lenders will face between filing a Notice of Default and recording the Trustee’s Deed Upon Sale.

While borrowers have a range of bankruptcy chapters to choose from, this year has seen an unprecedented increase in Chapter 11 filings, which require a more complex set of procedures for borrowers and creditors alike. As a result, secured lenders have dealt with a longer and more expensive time period before they are paid in full.So how long can a secured lender expect a bankruptcy case to delay their foreclosure sale? While the specific timeframe for each individual borrower varies from case to case, we generally see the following types of cases:The Incomplete Filing. Debtors are required to file several documents with their initial bankruptcy petition. Often times, Debtors do not comply with this requirement because they file the bankruptcy case at the last minute with the sole goal of postponing the foreclosure sale. If a Debtor fails to file all of the necessary documents with the court, they then have two weeks from the date of the bankruptcy filing or the court will automatically dismiss the case. This is the best-case scenario for most lenders as it provides the fastest and most cost-effective way for the bankruptcy case to be dismissed to allow the foreclosure sale to move forward. A surprisingly large number of cases are dismissed this way and lenders can foreclose within three weeks of the bankruptcy petition being filed.The Immediate Motion for Relief from Stay. In some cases, circumstances exist at the time the bankruptcy was filed that allow the lender to immediately prepare and file a motion for relief from stay. These circumstances include multiple prior bankruptcy cases affecting the property, complete lack of equity in the real property collateral, and other bad faith acts by the debtor. Depending on the judge’s schedule and local rules, the motion for relief from stay can be filed and heard as quickly as two weeks after the bankruptcy filing. Often times, lenders can receive relief from stay to proceed with the foreclosure within one to two months of the bankruptcy filing.The Wait and See. When circumstances to obtain relief from stay do not exist at the time of bankruptcy filing, lenders must wait for the debtor to miss monthly payments on the loan or to sell the property and pay them in full. Most judges require at least two, if not three, missed payments before they consider taking action to grant relief from stay or they may order the debtor to make adequate protection payments to the lender in lieu of allowing the lender to foreclose. If a secured creditor finds themselves in this situation, they can expect approximately four to eight months before receiving relief from stay to foreclose or be paid in full by the sale of the collateral.The Lengthy, But Ultimately Ineffective Case. When the debtor is continuing to make monthly payments to a lender through the bankruptcy case and/or there is plenty of equity in the property, most judges will not grant a lender relief from stay. For example, in a Chapter 13 case, a debtor is allowed to repay all pre-petition debt over the course of five years. Unsurprisingly, many debtors fall behind on payments to the Chapter 13 Trustee and/or to the lenders after the first year or so. If a debtor fails to make plan payments or lacks income to continue making the payments, the Trustee often will file a motion to dismiss the case. Many debtors slip up after the first year or two, which results in the case being dismissed.The Long-haul. In extremely rare cases, the debtor will be able to drag out a bankruptcy case for three or more years. As stated above, a debtor in a Chapter 13 case who is consistently making its monthly payments to secured creditors and the Trustee can repay its debt over the course of five years and then receive a discharge at the end of the case. While this delay can last up to five years, the lender will be receiving payments during this time and should not need to proceed with the foreclosure as such.As always, there will be cases that do not fit into these categories, or the case could change from one category to another depending on various factors. A good attorney can work with you to create a strategy specifically suited to your borrower to ensure you’re paid in full in the fastest and least expensive way possible. If you have questions about the best strategy for your borrower and to ensure you are paid in full on your loan, contact the Geraci Law Firm to work out a strategy now.

Seventh Circuit Sends a Warning to Serial Bankruptcy Filers

Often, the homeowner would file a bankruptcy to stay the foreclosure, and then go through the process again and again in an attempt to delay the foreclosure as long as possible. These actions tied up the federal bankruptcy courts and negatively affected creditors who may have been caught up in the bankruptcy. 
A 20-year study performed by the American Bankruptcy Institute investigated bankruptcy filings in Utah, finding that 10.7 percent of debtors studied had filed multiple Chapter 7 bankruptcies and 20.

Declining foreclosures point to normal market


Declining foreclosures point to normal market

Home foreclosures continued to decline in the third quarter to levels not seen for more than a decade. That’s nothing new. Over the past two years, numerous studies have pointed to a declining number of distressed properties. 

What is new is that the time to complete a foreclosure is now also going down, Attom Data Solutions says. That’s an indicator that states have pushed their backlogs of distressed properties through the foreclosure pipeline. It also is a sign that the housing market is returning to normal, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with Attom Data Solutions.

How to Spot the Top Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide

Whether you’re a seasoned house hunter or a first-time buyer, the process of purchasing a home has plenty of pitfalls. And while you may assume that sellers are being upfront, it’s not uncommon for them to gloss over some of their home’s shortcomings.
“All homeowners sign a disclosure document about their property so buyers know what they’re getting into; however, it can be very tempting for some to tell white lies or conveniently forget facts,” says Wendy Flynn, owner of Wendy Flynn Realty in College Station, TX.

3 Steps for Calming Your Clients' Fears

Buying, selling, or making renovations to a home is about as emotionally stressful as illness, death, car repairs, marriage, or birth, according to a Texas A&M University study that ranks "high-emotion events" in a person's life.
To help reduce your clients' anxiety, BUILDER recently highlighted the following tips to increase their comfort:
  1. Assume your client is anxious about the transaction. Even if they appear calm about the buying or selling process, operate as though they're not.

How to Buy When You're in Debt

With mortgage rates remaining near historic lows, many financial experts are making the case that student-loan debt doesn't have to hold back millennials from buying a home. But the message isn't getting across: Nearly 70 percent of millennials say they are delaying a real estate purchase because of their student debt load, according to a new survey by CommonBond.
Forbes.com recently highlighted whether a person with student-loan debt was ready to become a home owner with the following assessment:

Passage of Tax Extenders Package


WASHINGTON (December 18, 2015) – A significant piece of tax legislation is now on its way to the President’s desk, and the bill includes the extension of a number of expired tax provisions important to supporting homeowners and real estate investment.Tom Salomone, National Association of Realtors® president and broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, praised Congressional leaders today after the House and Senate passed a tax extenders package that includes many provisions supported by NAR.