The information contained on this blog is provided as a public service for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law. The reader is advised to check for changes to current law and to consult with a qualified attorney on any legal issue before taking action of any kind. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or to create or imply the formation of a lawyer-client relationship between the reader and this firm.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Home Equity Theft Prevention Act

Have you ever heard of the term “short sale”? If you are a lawyer, did you ever represent a buyer purchasing from a seller who was either in default on his mortgage or against whom a foreclosure action had already been commenced?
If you are buying from a homeowner whose property is in foreclosure or has defaulted on her loan, or as a lawyer you represent such a buyer, then you need to be aware that New York has passed a strict and somewhat draconian notice requirement to effectuate a sale.
This law can be found in the Real Property Law 265-a, and is known as the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act. It governs sales of homes that are in foreclosure or default. If the sale is protected by the Act, and the buyer fails to fulfill any of the requirements listed below including attaching a notice of rescission, a seller may be able to legally cancel the contract; even years after the house was sold. A seller may also be able to sue the buyer for triple damages.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Dangers of Lending Money to Your Business

Owners of small businesses continually fail to realize that their corporation or LLC is a separate legal entity that owes certain duties to its creditors. While it is tempting to lend money to your company in times of hardship and to pay yourself back once some money comes in, there is a very good chance you will have to eventually turn the money over to the company’s judgment creditors.

Both New York and New Jersey have Debtor and Creditor Laws, which protects creditors from fraudulent actions of their debtors. The laws have their own definitions that are different from what might be commonly believed. If a judgment creditor sues an owner of a company for taking money out of a failing business in fraud of creditors, the usual defense is that it was just a repayment of an existing loan and so there was fair consideration for the payment. In New York that defense will usually fail. First, most owners will fail to document the loan by a promissory note or by some other document. Failure to provide documentary evidence of the loan is fatal to the defense in both New York and New Jersey.

Monday, January 1, 2018


Obtaining discovery in a Beth Din is quite a lot different than in court or in the more national, secular, arbitration tribunals. The Federal and State judiciary forums have developed extensive and comprehensive rules of exchanging documents in discovery and obtaining pretrial depositions in order to avoid trial by ambush before jury or the bench. This discovery process is subject to abuse and adds many months, if not years, onto a process before there can be a final resolution of the dispute.

Arbitration is often chosen to avoid the rigors of discovery in an effort to obtain some rough justice in a relatively short period of time. To that means, many arbitration tribunals like AAA, JAMS and FINRA discourage or outright prohibit pretrial depositions, yet at the same time they are open to a more broad scope exchange of documents. This is not to say that one cannot get pretrial depositions at the AAA, but it is more uncommon.


This past year has shown that many famous men had covered up their predatory sexual abuse of women (and sometimes other men) by non-disclosure agreements. $45 million dollars were paid by or on behalf of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly to settle sexual harassment claims, almost none of which was publicly revealed due to confidentiality agreements.

Congress has sought to do something about this in the new tax law but, in most cases, it will have little or no effect on big businesses, religious organizations or Congressmen who abuse. It will harm little businessmen who care about their reputations and it will even harm victims of abuse. The Internal Revenue Code was amended to read that no tax deduction will be allowed for any settlement or payment made related to sexual harassment or abuse if such settlement is subject to a non-disclosure agreement. It also forbids anyone from deducting attorney’s fees arising from such a settlement.