By Richard D. Vetstein, ESQ
It's that time again for our annual review of hot topics and top posts for the last year, 2010.
#5. The Great Flood of 2010. Ah, who can forget the
flooding in the spring of 2010. I sure remember bailing out my flooded
basement every 30 minutes through the night, into exhaustion. Good
times... FEMA declared a "major disaster" and the IRS granted taxpayers
in 7 counties an extension to file their taxes.
Read More: Federal Aid And Tax Extension To May 11 Available To Massachusetts Homeowners Affected By Flooding
#4. The Obama HAFA Short Sale Program. The Obama short sale program, announced at the end of 2009, was aimed to speed up short sales of homes and other loan modification alternatives to stem the rising tide of foreclosures. The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program
(HAFA) provides financial incentives and simplifies the procedures for
completing short sales, a growing practice in which a lender agrees to
accept the sale price of a home to pay off a mortgage even if the
price falls short of the amount owed. By all accounts, however, the HAFA program has been a dismal failure.
#3. On Jan. 1, new RESPA rules went into effect,
significantly changing the way lenders disclose settlement services,
in particular closing attorneys' fees, and title insurance. Read more: New RESPA Rules 2010: Disclosure of Settlement Services, Closing Attorneys' Fees, And Title Insurance .
#2. Our popular primers on the Massachusetts Offer to Purchase and the standard form Purchase and Sale Agreement, checked in with over 16,000 reads. Great to see posts about buying a new home ranking so highly. An indicator of the recovery of the Massachusetts real estate market perhaps?
#1-Fannie Mae & FHA Condominium Regulations:
Our series on the Fannie Mae and FHA strict new condominium lending
rules were incredibly popular, combining for over 25,000 reads during
2010. The new guidelines had condominium developers and associations,
buyers and sellers in a tizzy, as Fannie and FHA imposed much tougher
pre-sale requirements, condominium financial guidelines and the
imposition of unit owner HO-6 insurance policies, among other
Honorable Mention: With Old Man Winter upon us, our post on the changes in Massachusetts snow removal law is very popular: Massachusetts Property Owners Now Have Legal Responsibility To Shovel Snow & Ice.
Final Ruling In the Ibanez Foreclosure Case
Early 2011 should bring the final word from the Mass. Supreme
Judicial Court on the very controversial foreclosure case of U.S. Bank
v. Ibanez which invalidated foreclosures across the state for sloppy
paperwork. Thousands of property owners and their ownership rights to
their homes hang in the balance. Click Here For Our Entire Series Of Post On the Ibanez Case.
Fate Of Real Estate Attorneys
Year 2011 should also bring the final word in the The Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, Inc. (REBA) v. National Real Estate Information Services, Inc. (NREIS) case.
This case pits Massachusetts real estate closing attorneys versus out
of state non-attorney settlement service providers which are attempting
to perform "witness or notary" closings here in Massachusetts. At stake is merely the billion dollar Massachusetts real estate closing industry.
What are your predictions for 2011?
View more from The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog
Mr. Vetstein has represented clients in hundreds of lawsuits and disputes involving business, real estate, construction, condominium, zoning, environmental, banking and financial services, employment, and personal injury law.
In real estate matters, Mr. Vetstein handles residential and commercial transactions and closings. In land use, zoning, and licensing matters, Mr. Vetstein offers his clients an inside perspective as a former board member of the Sudbury Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Vetstein has an active real estate litigation practice, and was a former outside claims counsel for a national title company.
Drawing on his own business degree and experience, Mr. Vetstein assists his business clients with new business start ups, acquisitions, sales, contract, employment issues, trademarks, and succession planning. Mr. Vetstein also litigates, arbitrates and mediates a wide variety of commercial disputes.