Thursday, May 17, 2018

Legal Protections for Escrow Deposits in Florida

After practicing real estate law in Boston for nearly 10 years, attorney Henrietta Feldman opened her own law office in Palm Beach, Florida. Henrietta Feldman provides legal counsel and services to clients involved in commercial and residential real estate transactions and disputes. 

During real estate transactions, buyers can demonstrate their interest in a property by putting down a small deposit. In Florida, this deposit is generally placed in an escrow account and managed by a third-party escrow agent. Only real estate agents licensed in the state of Florida can act as escrow agents. If the buyer closes the deal, the amount in escrow is applied to the final purchase price. 

However, if the sale doesn’t happen, the deposit must remain in escrow until approved for release by both parties. Though funds are usually returned to the buyer, there are certain situations where the seller is entitled to the escrow amount. This could include breaches of contract or a lapsed deadline. Deposit disputes can be resolved in several ways. Some common routes are arbitration, mediation, or civil actions.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Student Success at the Boston University School of Law

Real estate attorney Henrietta Feldman practices law at her own firm in Palm Beach, Florida. Before that, Henrietta “Hattie” Feldman practiced in Boston, where she earned her law degree.

Since 1872, the Boston University School of Law has been providing a top-tier education to its students in a range of different areas of law. U.S. News and World Report ranked BU Law at number 22 of the best law schools in the nation, and the faculty was ranked third in a 2017 Princeton Review report. 

BU Law was ranked at number 16 by a Law School Transparency report for its graduates’ ability to achieve work within the field of law. A full 91 percent of the school’s graduates passed the bar in New York or Massachusetts on the first attempt in 2015. 

BU Law offers its students 24 options for clinics and externships along with 21 opportunities to study internationally. Every year, students are invited to participate in the Spring Break Pro Bono Service Trip, in which they have an opportunity to apply their skills and gain real-world experience by helping people in need. 

Last year’s spring break trip sent students to Puerto Rico to help people with housing problems after the damage of Hurricane Maria. Students also visited Louisiana to provide legal support to the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Palm Beach County’s Luxury Real Estate Market

Henrietta Feldman has been practicing real estate law since 1999. After working for several years in Boston, Henrietta “Hattie” Feldman recently moved her practice to Palm Beach, Florida. 

Palm Beach is a picturesque town with great weather, beaches, and golf courses, making it a popular region for high-end real estate. The area is known for its luxurious homes, but the wider Palm Beach County real estate climate is heating up. 

In recent months, Palm Beach County has seen single-family homes and condos selling for $8 million to $70 million. The Bristol is a condo development on West Palm Beach that is known as the most expensive condo development ever constructed, with each unit valued at around $10 million. The complex will have 69 units with three to five bedrooms in each condo. 

Another new addition to the luxury condo boom in Palm Beach County is under construction on South Ocean Boulevard. This luxury complex will include a 24-hour concierge, private security, and a private jet airline provider for quick and convenient transportation.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Two Attractive Real Estate Markets in Florida for 2018

Henrietta Feldman is an experienced real estate attorney in Palm Beach, Florida. As the owner of her own law firm, Henrietta Feldman takes on clients dealing with matters of commercial and residential real estate law in both Florida and Massachusetts.

In 2017, Trulia listed the 10 most active real estate markets in the United States, with each of the top three positions going to Florida. In 2018, the real estate forecast calls for even more action throughout the state. Deltona and Lakeland are particularly interesting markets.

Residential properties in Deltona, Florida, have an average listing of $275,050, or about $159,000 within the city limits. However, industry insiders expect to see the market change with a 5.5 percent increase in sales and a price growth rate of 6 percent. Deltona’s location is a key selling point, as the city is just 30 minutes from both Orlando and Daytona Beach.

Lakeland also provides investors and homebuyers with a prime location. Located 40 minutes east of Tampa and about an hour’s drive from Orlando, Lakeland is an ideal location for commuters who are interested in cutting costs. Homes in the greater Lakeland area typically sell for about $225,000, though 2018 is expected to bring sales and price growth rates of 3 and 7 percent, respectively.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Importance of Loan Agreements

Henrietta Feldman finished her juris doctor at the Boston University Law School. Since 2015, Henrietta Feldman has been running a private practice in Palm Beach, Florida, where she focuses on commercial and residential real estate matters. She currently holds numerous responsibilities, including negotiating loan agreements.

A loan agreement is a legal contract made between a lender and a borrower that is meant to provide the details of the loan, including the offer and the date the borrower intends to pay it back. It usually exists to regulate the mutual promises pledged by both parties. 

Loan agreements are usually very complex documents and are deemed challenging to draft. Nonetheless, they are extremely important as they provide legal protection for both the lender and the borrower. It primarily serves as proof that the loan (which can either be in the form of goods, services, or money) is not a gift to the borrower. Apart from making sure that the borrower will not shirk the responsibility of repayment, loan agreements can also be used by lenders as a piece of evidence for the IRS if necessary.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Deed-Restricted Communities in Florida

Henrietta Feldman has practiced real estate law since 1999. Currently based in Palm Beach, Florida, Henrietta Feldman draws on an in-depth knowledge of deed-restricted communities and other regulations related to real estate.

Deed-restricted communities are common in the state of Florida. They operate under the oversight of a homeowners association, which receives regular fee payments from its members in exchange for enforcing pre-set community rules. These rules cover a variety of aspects of home maintenance and appearance, ranging from the color of exterior paint to the number of people who can live in a home at any given time.

Many people enjoy living in deed-restricted communities because they offer the certainty of a well-kept neighborhood and, often, esthetics that align with the homeowner's values. However, experts recommend that potential buyers carefully read all deed-restriction language of a homeowners association agreement, because signing such an agreement can place the homeowner at risk of fines for failing to abide by regulations. Furthermore, Florida state law allows a homeowners association to begin foreclosure proceedings on a member homeowner who fails to pay dues or fees for special assessments.

Monday, November 13, 2017

An Introduction to Property Liens

As a real estate attorney, Henrietta Feldman works with buyers and sellers in both Florida and Massachusetts. Henrietta Feldman comes to this role with a detailed knowledge of property liens and how they affect a sale.

A lien on a property can interfere with the smooth sale of that piece of real estate. The lien itself functions as a notice of an unpaid debt, which the property owner must pay off in order to clear the property title.

One common source of property lien is an unpaid county, state, or federal tax bill. These are most common among homeowners with sporadic income or other circumstances that make wage garnishment difficult. If the lien is large, the government may choose to force sale of the property to collect.

Homeowners who have lost a case in court may have what is known as a judgment lien, the payoff of which goes to the plaintiff in the case in question. Somewhat similar is the mechanic's lien, which a contractor or other service provider may place on a title if a bill goes unpaid. The service provider must record this within one to six months of the unpaid bill, and must then file a lawsuit within a year in order to collect.

Creditors may force the sale of the property to collect the lien. Such events are rare, however, as mortgages typically take precedence over any liens. This means that a foreclosing creditor would need to take on mortgage payments. The average creditor tends to find it more financially viable to wait for the homeowner to sell at will and use the purchase price to pay off the lien.