Category: Real Estate

It is Not Mandatory, But Having Title Insurance Should be on Your To-Do List

Our Real Estate Lawyers Will Explain Why Title Insurance Plays a Critical Role in Real Estate Transactions in New Jersey

Reasons to Get Title Insurance in Your Real Estate Transaction in NJThere are so many costs associated with closing on a new home that many people want to shirk on ‘unnecessary add-ons’ like owner’s title insurance. Is it even worth it, or is it just another cost that doesn’t do much good? Well, if you bought a house, and then a few years later a relative of the prior owner showed up with a deed to the house, claiming it belonged to them, would you be protected? If you had owner’s title insurance, you would. Title insurance is a form of protection for both lenders and owners from any issues that may arise with the property’s title. It mainly protects against issues that are inherited from the previous owners. Read on to learn more about what title insurance is, and why it’s an important investment when you’re closing on a house.

Main Purpose of Title Insurance in New Jersey

Title insurance protects those who have invested in a home – both the lender and the buyer – from unforeseen defects to the title. It is important to know what types of problems it specifically covers that make title insurance unique. It generally covers but is not limited to mistakes made in public records, such as mistakes in the title owner’s name; claims to the property by others related to the previous owners; unknown outstanding liens; unresolved issues that affect the property and its value; and false or flawed documents recorded by the previous owners.

Not Mandatory but Highly Recommended

Title insurance is not mandatory by New Jersey law, but it is absolutely recommended. Many lenders require that a buyer purchase lender’s title insurance as part of the closing package in order to protect the lender’s investment in case one of the above unforeseen issues with the property’s title arises. Keep reading to learn more about why it is important to have both lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance as part of the deal when you close on your new home.

Popular Misunderstandings Surrounding Title Insurance in NJ

The main misconception about title insurance is that it’s not worth getting because of the added cost. In fact, most title insurance companies charge a relatively small amount for owner’s title insurance (as noted above, your lender will likely require you to buy lender’s title insurance), and the money you’ll save on lawyer’s fees and other expenses to protect your claim to your home if something happens makes the investment worth it.

Additionally, many think that title insurance companies unfairly pocket the majority of the cost, which you pay once, up-front at closing. In fact, reputable title insurance companies use the fee to do an extensive search of potential issues that may arise with your property’s title.

Title Insurance Calculation

Title insurance cost varies slightly among title insurance companies; additionally, it increases as the value of the home increases. One general method for calculating title insurance cost is multiplying the cost of the house by between 0.5% and 0.8% to determine a ballpark cost you can expect to pay for the owner’s title insurance.

Aspects Left Out in Title Insurance

Things To Consider When Getting Title Insurance in Monmouth, NJTitle insurance does not cover issues that arise with the property after closing. Examples of this could be the growth of mold, termites, or structural issues that were not found before the sale. However, homeowner’s insurance is the available protection for these issues and should also be purchased when you close on your home.

Who Pays for Title Insurance at a Closing in New Jersey?

The home buyer pays for both lender’s title insurance and the buyer’s title insurance.

Get the Experienced Advice of Our Real Estate Lawyers on How to Handle Your Title Insurance in Brick, NJ

A real estate lawyer is an invaluable resource for home buyers. Because of the complex requirements necessary to close on a house, it’s essential to have someone to walk you through all of the details of those requirements, as well as hidden issues that could arise, such as those covered by home buyer’s title insurance. They’ll also advise you on additional inspection and coverage they recommend based on their learning and experience with homes in the area.

When you find yourself headed for closing on a house and unsure about how to protect your investment, our attorneys can advise and assist you. At Bronzino Law Firm, we understand the importance of such a large investment as a new home and how much is at stake. We personally approach our clients’ needs as we represent those in Bay Head, Asbury Park, Lakewood, Holmdel, Brick, Freehold, and across Ocean and Monmouth Counties, ensuring that their home is fully covered for whatever comes their way in the future.

Contact our law offices at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation to discuss your home buying options.

Real Estate Attorneys Counseling on Property Purchase/Sale in the middle of COVID-19 in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ

It’s a Seller’s Market, COVID-19 Disrupts NJ Real Estate Landscape & Fuels Bidding WarsIf you’re house hunting or curious about purchasing a home in New Jersey, traditionally Fall is the second-busiest time after Spring to do so. Since the beginning of the pandemic, city dwellers eager for more space, have been migrating in droves to more suburban locales. Although shelter-in-place orders prevented some keen potential first-time homeowners from house hunting, it also served to discourage sellers from listing their properties. With some families choosing to invest in their current homes and renovate their existing space since stay-at-home orders meant they were working, learning, and entertaining from home, residential building permits in areas like Ocean County jumped 61% in 2020.

Across the state of New Jersey COVID-induced hybrid and remote working options have meant people who spent time traveling for business or commuting to work, now want more flexibility in their housing options, since where they live has become where they work, homeschool their children, and entertain.

This migration from urban areas and the eagerness for more space, has resulted in what has been termed a “COVID premium,” meaning that due to a “tightened inventory” homebuyers are willing to pay a premium as soon as available homes (regardless of their condition) hit the market. According to the New Jersey Association of Realtors, the average New Jersey buyer searched for 10 weeks primarily online and looked at 10 homes, three of which were solely online. Fierce competition and bidding wars confirm it’s a seller’s market, and that roughly 89% of NJ homebuyers began their home search process through detailed information and photos they found online; thus making their selection process easier.

The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC represents hundreds of buyers and sellers each year in the Monmouth and Ocean County area. We fully understand the significance of buying a home and its life-altering implications for your personal and financial situation, both now and for years to come. In uncertain times like these, you will understandably have reservations or concerns about an investment such as this. For this reason, we make sure that our experienced real estate attorneys and professional staff are always available to assist you with any questions you may have.

Contact us online to discuss your potential transaction and let us show you why the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC is trusted by individuals and real estate agents across the Jersey Shore when it comes to closing on a residential or commercial property. We have offices conveniently located in Sea Girt and Brick, and our staff is ready to take your call today (732) 812-3102.

NJ Housing Market Defies Pandemic Economy: Top Areas With Biggest Surge in Home Prices

NJ Housing Market Defies Pandemic Economy: Top Areas With Biggest Surge in Home PricesRegardless of whether it was a single-family home, located in a beach town or a luxury home, New Jersey’s median home price increased by 21.5% from $335,000 to $407,000. With prospective buyers eyeing more space for their money and seeking quaint and walkable towns with easy access to NJ Transit, the real estate momentum from last year is expected to continue.

As a result of shorter days on the market, multiple bids, and cash offers, many buyers are waiving home inspections. According to Zillow towns in Ocean County account for nine of the 20 municipalities statewide with the biggest price increases from June 2020 to June 2021.

Median percentage increase of housing prices from June 2020 to June 2021:

  • Toms River +34%
  • Barnegat Light +32%
  • Beachwood +31%
  • Long Beach Township +31%
  • Ocean Gate +30%
  • Brick +30%

Other top North Jersey counties where median housing prices increased since the pandemic are:

  • Bergen County +14%
  • Essex County +22%
  • Morris County +7%
  • Passaic County +13%
  • Sussex County +15%

In the past year the luxury home market, where homes are often on the market for years, has even seen a shift in momentum with sellers getting about 96% of their listing price. Homes with history, space, and large enough outdoor areas to entertain close generate a lot of interest from potential buyers. According to the Monmouth Ocean Regional Realtors, between June 2020 to July 2021, Monmouth and Ocean counties had 1,622 valued at $1 million or more for sale, double the previous year and nearly triple as many as 2015.

Why You Should Hire An Experienced Ocean County, NJ Residential & Commercial Property Lawyer

For many owning a property for residential or even a commercial purpose is a dream come true. With any investment or long-time financial commitment, especially when buying a piece of real estate, it is advisable that you consult with an experienced real estate lawyer with the skill to effectively represent your interests and accompany you through every step of the transaction process, such as the:

  • Attorney Review – 3 day period to review contract terms, make changes, or it
  • Home Inspection
  • Mortgage Contingency or a Mortgage Commitment from your lender
    • Transfer of Funds
  • Closing

Home Inspection is definitely one of, if not the, most important components of the residential real estate process. Without the proper guidance and protection under the law, in addition to due diligence, your dream can quickly turn into a very stressful situation. And although many buyers in the current market are eager to purchase real estate are choosing not to have an inspection, the pressure to close quickly before being outbid could cloud one’s judgment. Experienced counsel can help you find the peace of mind in the strategic and possible financial advantage of learning more about any existing conditions that were possibly overlooked or not properly specified by the seller, real estate agent, or identified by the inspector.

Why You Should Hire An Experienced Ocean County, NJ Residential & Commercial Property LawyerWe are a full-service law firm. With all the intricacies and significant financial implications, real estate purchases can have, our attorneys will skillfully review, amend and negotiate the terms of the contract, help you understand the various terms and implications of your purchase agreement, order and examine the property title and survey, review inspection reports and negotiate any possible repairs, reports, and every mortgage documents and financial statement, in addition to coordinating the closing with all involved parties and making sure your deed and mortgage are properly recorded with the county clerk.

At the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC our clients are treated like our family by taking the appropriate action which best protects their financial rights and interests. We want to be your guide, advocate, and to make sure that this new step is a proud and memorable moment for you in years to come.

Call a Skilled NJ Real Estate Attorney to Discuss Your Options

A great deal goes into the purchase or sale of a property. Are you or someone you know ready to take that step and purchase a home or sell one they have in Ocean or Monmouth County? Don’t let the current pandemic real estate bidding wars push you to pay more or underselling your dream home. Having an experienced real estate attorney to protect your interests during the entire process can be of enormous value.

At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC we understand that real estate transactions can be expensive, and we are sensitive to the financial needs of our clients. We are a small, highly efficient law firm, which allows us to offer an exceptional level of personal service at a reasonable rate.

Contact us online or call our office at (732) 812-3102 today for a free confidential consultation, and to learn how we can help you successfully purchase or sell your residential or commercial property.

Real Estate Disclosure Attorneys in Brick and Sea Girt, NJ

The term “as-is” in New Jersey residential property transactions generally refers to the existing condition of the property being accounted for in the final purchase price and the seller will not make any repairs or offer any credit.

What are my Disclosure Obligations or Duty When Selling a Home As-is in New Jersey?Even if a home inspection is conducted, the potential home buyer keeps the right to either take the property the way it is or walk away after the inspection, if the seller does not address hidden items that could be uncovered during an inspection.

In accordance with New Jersey law, it is required for a seller of residential real estate to disclose all known defects that are not visible to a buyer. Whether you are the buyer or the seller in a For-Sale-By-Owner property transaction or you are working with a real estate agent, it is highly recommended that you work with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate attorney in order to protect your financial and legal rights, and interests.

When selling or making a purchase in a real estate transaction, our firm will help you. Contact us online or through our Brick or Sea Girt, NJ offices today by calling (732) 812-3102.

What Things do Sellers Need to Tell Residential Property Buyers in Toms River, NJ?

Although New Jersey doesn’t offer a mandatory seller disclosure form there is a six (6) page document known as “material facts” or the Seller’s Property Condition Disclosure Statement which identifies any known or latent (concealed) material defects that would affect the buyer’s decision if they knew about it. This document informs the potential buyer that the home is being sold “as-is” and that a buyer has the right to conduct inspections of the property to ascertain its true condition. After the inspections, the buyer can request repairs or accept the property “as-is.” If the buyer decides to accept these conditions, the seller cannot be held responsible for any issues after the closing of the property transaction.

To meet New Jersey disclosure obligations, home sellers must:

  • promise that the home is fit for habitation or to live in
  • disclose known, latent, and material defects
  • discuss representations and disclosures included in the sales contract
  • discuss about “intangible problems” if asked.

Furthermore, if the house was built before 1978, a seller must comply with Federal Title X regarding lead-based paint and other hazards.

What are the Consequences for Failing to Disclose a Material Defect in Brick, New Jersey?

If a New Jersey home seller knows of a material defect and failed to disclose it, they can be held liable. It is the seller’s responsibility to report on issues they discovered over the course of their ownership of the property, not to actively look for defects prior to selling a house. The challenge for the buyer will be proving that the seller was actually aware of the defect and beginning the process of learning about the issue, how long the issue may have existed, and visually documenting (pictures or videos) fixit the issue with the person tasked with conducting the repairs.

That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced NJ real estate attorney who will review the purchase contract and outline clear contingencies (i.e., repairs the seller must complete, the sale of the buyer’s current home, etc.,) designed to protect both the buyer and the seller and which must be met for the contract to stand.

Any false statements or material omissions that are made orally or in writing, can provide the legal bases for fraud and misrepresentation and possibly render the residence uninhabitable.

Typical Latent Material Defects in NJ Which May Not Present Themselves Under Normal Conditions

Latent materials defects are potentially significant issues related to a system or component of a residential property, and may adversely impact property value or pose a risk to inhabitants. These can be:

  • a leaky or damaged roof
  • mold
  • plumbing leaks
  • defective drywall
  • foundation issues
  • known flood risks
  • rodent infestations
  • What do I disclose about a house in NJ?wood-destroying organisms (active infestation and/or previous damage)
  • environmental issues (air, water, soil, underground storage tanks, toxic substances, etc.)
  • municipal code violations
  • boundary disputes
  • additions or remodels
  • heating and air conditioning issues
  • boundary line disputes
  • radon gas

Do I Disclose if the House is Haunted, There was a Death, or is Otherwise Stigmatized?

Paranormal activity, deaths, or a stigmatized history are considered “intangible problems” connected with a property that buyers cannot discover through a general home inspection. This information does not need to be included but should be disclosed if the buyer inquires. A property with a tragic history could affect its desirability and impact the psychological wellbeing of a buyer if they are unaware.

If you or someone you know is considering selling a home that you believe has “intangible problems” consult a skilled Ocean County residential property attorney to learn more about your legal disclosure obligations.

Considering a Property Purchase or Sale in Ocean or Monmouth County? Contact our Real Estate Attorneys Today

Real estate attorney Peter J. Bronzino has extensive experience helping buyers and sellers to customize, understand, and negotiate for fair and legal real estate contracts in towns across Ocean and Monmouth County towns such as Hazlet Township, Colts Neck, Keansburg, Wall, Little Silver, Jackson, and across Southern New Jersey.

Our firm was founded to provide personal and focused legal service to local families looking for a small firm experience. Whether it be a family law matter or any kind of real estate transaction, both of these issues have the potential to greatly impact the lives and futures of our clients, and as such requires honest and regular communication, and of course experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel.

Contact us online or through our Brick or Sea Girt, NJ offices today by calling (732) 812-3102, to discuss your specific real estate transaction needs and concerns in a free and confidential consultation.

Divorce and Asset Distribution Attorneys in Ocean and Monmouth County

Serving Brick, Sea Girt, Toms River, and Wall Township and across the Monmouth and Ocean County area.

Securing a Fair Distribution vs Equitable DistributionThe cost of a divorce process is a common concern expressed by people who want to file for divorce and want to know the financial benefits and consequences of the process itself. Aside from financial assets, both parties also wish to know beforehand what they are to claim as their own or what might need to be split with their spouse or become entirely their spouse’s. Finding out the answer to those concerns is not necessarily an exact calculation though, multiple factors and events can change the outcome.

 

What Does Equitable Distribution Refer To?

Although attorneys often use the legal concept of Equitable Distribution during divorce proceedings, many people do not actually comprehend the proper meaning. The literal reading suggests a balanced or half-and-half division of assets, financial debt, and any existing joint resources. Nevertheless, the actual term of equitable distribution means having a fair or comparable distribution.

Misunderstanding also arises when building a checklist of eligible resources to distribute, leaving any assets, properties, or capital acquired before the actual marriage start date. This, in fact, is inaccurate. Equitable distribution means the distribution of marital assets (properties, income, funds, estate) by a court in a divorce process or trial, following the applicable statutory guidelines designed to produce a fair, although not necessarily equal or objective, division of the property in question.

How To Determine Fairness?

Fair distribution is determined by several aspects, including but not limited to each spouse’s financial status as well as the type of capital, assets, estate, and financial debts they need to honor. A parallel process to select, value, divide and list all assets potentially subject to equitable distribution also needs to be carried out as part of the overall divorce process.

If there are any retirement or investment accounts such as brokerage accounts, pension funds, or IRA, those accounts’ opening dates need to be clarified, as happening either before the marriage start date or while the marriage was still in effect. If the account holder did acquire the account before the marriage, what matters is whether or not any marital funds (joint or individual income earned while still married) were contributed to an account initiated before the marriage itself.

An account of this nature can also have an active variable if the account holder is still contributing funds to the account, changing the typical status of passive assets with changing value without any account holder’s participation. If, on the other hand, the account holder does continue adding capital value to an investment account after getting married, then part of the assets do qualify as a marital estate.

How To Determine Fairness?As far as real property or dwellings, people often assume that if they became homeowners or owners of a piece of property while still single, it is then considered premarital and will not be included in the equitable distribution. Once again, this is not necessarily always true. Many questions arise in this regard. Was the house in question the dwelling where the parties resided? Did the other party look after the house? Were any home improvements or renovations paid with marital funds, and was the work supervised and ordered by one of the spouses? Was any combined marital income used to reduce the amount owed on the mortgage? The aforementioned variables must be considered once a property becomes subject, either partially or fully, to equitable distribution, even though it had been previously considered exempt.

Each equity distribution case must be assessed individually and considering the particular elements which render it unique. An equity distribution process becomes more complicated the more debts or assets are involved. How easy or complicated and detailed a case might become cannot be predicted at first glance.

Contact our Divorce Lawyers for a Free Consultation at our Linden Office

If you participate in a divorce process and need to ensure a fair equity distribution process involving any assets, property, or joint funds, you are entitled to attorney representation to protect your rights and secure justice.

At Peter J. Bronzino,  we successfully represent clients Lavallette, Manasquan, Mantoloking, Normandy Beach, Ocean Gate, and Pine Beach. Whether you are currently involved in a divorce process or are considering initiating one, do not let a faulty equitable distribution affect your life; please contact us online or through our Brick or Sea Girt offices by calling (732) 812-3102 today for a free and confidential consultation.

Divorce and Marital Property Law Attorneys Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

Most couples who begin a divorce are unprepared and not even on the same page when they begin.

Divorce and Marital Propery Law Attorneys Monmouth and Ocean County NJThis lack of preparedness and readiness for divorce causes divorces to deteriorate into competitive contests, especially when it comes to dividing assets.

Also known as equitable distribution, property division divides property rights and obligations between spouses during a divorce. Property division may be agreed upon between the spouses through a property settlement or decided in court during the judicial process of divorce. The property division process is affected by state laws such as community property laws, definitions of marital contributions, etc.

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, and only property acquired during the course of the marriage is subject to division following divorce. Some factors considered by New Jersey courts in a property division case include non-monetary contributions, contributions to a partner’s education, economic misconduct, and a list of other factors defined in New Jersey law.

Is there a set list of statutory factors for determining property division in the state of New Jersey?

New Jersey has a list of factors set by statute that specify what the court will use to determine a fair property division. Examples of factors that are often taken into consideration during property division cases include:

  • Marital Fault – In states that allow at-fault divorces, the fault of one spouse may be used by the judge to justify a higher percentage to the injured spouse.
  • Economic Misconduct – In New Jersey, spouses who wastefully or fraudulently spent marital assets may receive a lower percentage of the marital property.
  • Income and Earning Capacity – The court may consider each spouse’s relative gains and earning capacity, which may be affected by factors such as age, education, and health. The spouse with lower economic prospects may receive a larger percentage of the estate.
  • Educational Contributions – In New Jersey, spouses who contributed significantly to their partner’s education or earning capacity may receive a percentage of the marital property.
  • Custody of Children – If one spouse has full custody of the couple’s children following the breakup, this may result in a higher likelihood of receiving a higher percentage of the estate or certain marital property pieces (like the family house).

What do the courts in the state of New Jersey consider in the decision of equitable distribution?

The standard of living established during the equitable distribution law in New Jersey is similar to most equitable distribution states. New Jersey law directs the Court to consider fourteen factors in determining an equitable, fair, and just division of assets. They are:

  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
  • The income or property brought to the marriage by each party.
  • The standard of living is established during the marriage.
  • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning an arrangement of property distribution.
  • The economic circumstances of each party at the time the division of property become effective.
  • The income and earning capacity of each party including education background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from the job market, custodial responsibilities for children, and the time and expense necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.
  • The contribution by each party to the education, training, or earning power of the other.
  • The contribution of each party to the acquisition, dissipation, preservation, depreciation, or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property and the contribution of a party as a homemaker.
  • The tax consequences of the proposed distribution to each party.
  • The present value of the property.
  • The need of a parent who has physical custody of a child to own or occupy the marital residence and to use or own the household effects.
  • The debts and liabilities of the parties.
  • The need for the creation, now or in the future, of a trust fund to secure reasonably foreseeable medical or educational costs for a spouse or children.

Does New Jersey consider a spouse’s economic misconduct in property division?

New Jersey law allows courts to consider the economic misconduct of a spouse as a factor in determining equitable property division. Economic misconduct generally means dissipation of assets, which is the legal term for the wasting or losing marital funds or assets by a spouse through means like excessive spending, gambling, fraud, etc.

If a spouse is found to have dissipated marital funds in a way that injured the other spouse, the court may take punitive or restorative action by awarding a higher percentage of the divided property to the injured spouse.

Can a pre-nuptial agreement affect property division in New Jersey?

prenuptial agreement, or prenup, is a binding, legal contract signed by both spouses before getting married in New Jersey. A prenup containing a property division agreement can take precedence over New Jersey’s property division laws by establishing what is considered separate vs. marital property and agreeing on how finances will be structured during the marriage and divided in the event of a divorce.

The existence of a valid prenuptial agreement can prevent a New Jersey court from having full reign to determine how assets are divided between the spouses and instead allow them to be divided in a way agreed to by both spouses before the event.

CONTACT AN OCEAN COUNTY, NJ EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION ATTORNEY TODAY

Divorce is tough and determining who gets what does not make it any easier. At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our job is to make the process as smooth as possible.  Our goal is to help couples and families restructure, rather than destroy, their relationships through our legal and collaborative divorce services. We guide our clients to the best possible outcomes, both emotionally and financially, in the face of life’s most stressful experience. Contact us by calling (732) 812-3102.

Short Sales vs Foreclosures Monmouth and Ocean County Real Estate Attorneys

Throughout the ups and downs of the economic and real estate markets in the United States, many people have had to sell their homes due to financial distress.

Short Sales vs Foreclosures Monmouth and Ocean County Real Estate AttorneysOne big burst of such sales happened between 2007-2009 during the Great Recession, and a resurgence of home sales for financial loss has occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects.

When a homeowner is under financial duress and must sell their property for less than the amount due on their mortgage, this is called a “short sale.” During a short sale, the homeowner sells their property straight to a third party – not the bank – and all profits from the sale go to the mortgage holder. The mortgage holder then forgives the difference.

Short Sales During the Great Recession

Short sales were especially prevalent during the Great Recession, as home values plummeted. For example, a homeowner who bought their property in 2006 for $500,000 might have been faced with the need to sell when the stock market crashed in 2008, as they couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments because, say, they lost their job; but due to the economic downturn, the home value had dropped to $450,000, and now they owed the mortgage lender more than the sale of the property would recover. Such a scenario is experienced by many during times of economic hardship, and the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is no different.

Why would a mortgage holder or lender agree to a short sale?

During a short sale, the mortgage holder or lender agrees to reduce the amount owed by the property owner, so that the owner’s debt is forgiven upon the sale of the house at the lower value. Why would a mortgage holder agree to wave thousands of dollars of debt instead of foreclosing on the house? Well, the process of foreclosure is both an extensive and time-consuming affair for a lending institution to undergo, and after completing the process of foreclosure, they must sell the house. Often the mortgage holder will cut their losses in finances under the “time is money” principle.

Whether or not a mortgage holder or bank allows you to complete a short sale and forgive the difference is entirely up to the bank. Again, because of the hassle involved with foreclosing, you may have some luck getting approval to make a short sale if the difference between the amount owed on your mortgage and what the house is valued at are not hugely different. During this time of pandemic especially, you may find that lenders are more willing to allow short sales.

How long will a short sale take?

What about taxes on short sales?Once the bank has allowed a short sale, however, there is a lengthy process to the actual completion of the house sale. “Short sale” is a misleading term. It means that the property owner has come up financially short – not that closing the sale of the house will take a short time. In fact, because the buyer must get approval from the mortgage holder of the buying price before negotiations can proceed, the process can take between four and nine months. All typical back-and-forth between a buyer and seller now includes the bank or mortgage holder as well. For this reason and the fact that there are many details that are unique to a short sale, it is important to have a real estate agent who is experienced in short sales, as well as a real estate attorney, if you are selling your house as a short sale. This guidance and legal support can be invaluable during a financially testy and complex time such as this one.

What about taxes on short sales?

So you’ve faced economic hardship and had to sell your house. Fortunately, the mortgage holder has agreed to allow you to short sell your house, and you’ve found a buyer. The $40,000 difference has been forgiven by the lender. All things considered, you’re really fortunate, right?

Yes…and…

According to New Jersey law, the debt forgiven by the mortgage holder is considered taxable income to you. You must pay state and federal income taxes on this difference. You will have to fill out a 1099-C for your federal tax returns. The “C” in 1099-C stands for the cancellation of debt; federal law states that canceled debt is, for the most part, considered taxable income.

Consult with our skilled Domestic Violence Attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, our real estate attorneys are experienced in facilitating short sales for our clients across Ocean County, NJ including Brick, Jackson, Toms River, and Point Pleasant

To meet with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your home sale. To schedule a consultation with a member of our team today to discuss your case, 7328123102 today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

Should I hire a Real Estate Attorney when buying or selling a property?

Having a real estate attorney involved in the negotiation process before the New Jersey State Contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer is essential.

Should I hire a Real Estate Attorney when buyng or selling a property?According to New Jersey law, a home buyer must have an attorney. This is because the state requires that all residential transactions utilize the New Jersey State Contract for a home sale, and to enter into a contract, you must have the support of a lawyer. Home sales refer to residential properties, defined as single-family homes, condos, land on which a single-family home will be built, or small group homes (one to four houses).

The New Jersey State Contract is the official means through which the buyer makes an offer. It includes much essential information about the sale of the property. It requires that some back work like having an inspector look at the house to determine whether any outstanding repairs need to be completed or any other contingencies to the contract’s completion need to be met for sale to be finalized.

After negotiations, the seller signed this finalized form, and it becomes a binding contract the two parties will use to complete the residential transaction. A copy of this contract is reviewed by both the seller’s attorney and the buyer’s attorney in an Attorney Review process. This contract includes a lot of essential information for the sale, which each party’s attorney must review. It includes how much money will be put down as a cash down payment to close the purchase deal, also called ‘earnest money.’ The purchase contract also includes an outline of contingencies that both parties must meet for the contract to stand. Such contingencies could be house repairs that the seller must complete, the buyer’s current home’s sale before the sale is finalized, and other contingencies. These contingencies protect both the buyer and the seller and ensure that the transaction can be clear and final without catch-ups. Additionally, the legal purchase contract the attorney’s review includes the official closing date of sale, which is the point at which the new owner may move in.

Having a real estate attorney involved in the negotiation process before the New Jersey State Contract is signed by both the seller and the buyer is essential because as elements of the home sale and contingencies surface, such as the findings of a home inspector, a buyer’s attorney can ensure that such specifics agreed upon by the buyer and seller make it into the official contract, where it becomes a legally binding agreement.

The attorney review of the New Jersey state purchase contract signals the beginning of the property sale’s home stretch.

Obtaining Title Insurance and Filing With the County

Obtaining Title Insurance and Filing With the CountyIf you have taken out a mortgage with a lending institution to purchase the house, the institution will require that you purchase title insurance for the property. The institution will also require that you do your research, ensuring that no other outstanding titles exist for the property, as would be the case if there were multiple owners or outstanding debts tied to the house. Title insurance protects if any outstanding debts on the house surface you weren’t aware of when you made the purchase.

The obtaining of title insurance and receipt of the actual funds to purchase the house from your mortgage lender are processes that the real estate attorney must attend, as there is several legal jargons that must be sifted through to ensure that the entirety of the settlement with your mortgage lender and the closing of the home sale is up to legal New Jersey real estate law standards.

Assuming that all goes well in the final processes, you’ll receive the clean deed to your new home, which signifies that you are now the legal owner of the property. Congratulations! Some final steps that your real estate attorney can facilitate are submitting appropriate documents to the New Jersey county of your new residence. With these final documents’ submission to the county, you will be set to pay property taxes and consider yourself a law-abiding and contributing citizen of your new residence. Welcome home!

Contact our Seasoned Real Estate Attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County Today

Our experienced real estate attorneys serve clients across New Jersey at Bronzino Law Firm, including Ocean and Monmouth counties, throughout the home-buying process.

To meet with a member of our team today regarding closing on your dream home, please call 7328123102 today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

Despite Impact of COVID-19 & Social Distancing Limitations, NJ Judicial Staff Work Diligently to Ensure Justice is Served Securely & Safely

With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.

Despite Impact of COVID-19 & Social Distancing Limitations, NJ Judicial Staff Work Diligently to Ensure Justice is Served Securely & SafelyCOVID-19’s significant impact on the New Jersey Judicial system can easily be seen in the volume of curtailed court proceedings and backlogged trial court cases. Although all federal civil and criminal jury selections and jury trials have been postponed until January 4, 2021, the courts are working diligently to ensure that justice and other court services can be served and transacted remotely as well as securely.

According to recent NJ state guidelines and information, both Superior and Municipal Courts have resumed some in-person court services. A limited number of judges and judicial staff work on-site each day to accommodate attorneys, litigants, and public members with scheduled appointments or legal proceedings.

With court hours based on a county-by-county decision, these measures and options to operate remotely to a certain extent ensure that both the staff and the public everyone can stay healthy and safe.

If you have received a Municipal court summons or have a scheduled hearing, now more than ever is the time not to ignore these appointments or delay seeking experienced legal guidance. Being convicted of a crime in a NJ municipal court can result in jail time, heavy fines, loss of driving privileges and seriously impact your employment, educational, and housing opportunities, and result in a permanent criminal record.

This means protecting your rights by keeping on top of any scheduled hearing, motion, conference, or other legal matter and having a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to answer questions about application deadline filings, family law matters, or exploring your legal options. Also, courts aren’t eager to create an additional backlog of divorce and family law cases either. Sometimes, alternative methods of resolving disputes such as mediation or arbitration may be more effective and economically sound alternatives to facilitate settlements agreeable to all parties.

Have You Missed a Court Date? Are You Wondering What To Do?No matter the kind of family law issue, criminal case, real estate transaction, or municipal court summons, Bronzino Law Firm, LLC is ready to begin helping you today. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have provided our clients with the same level of quality legal services and representation as always, targeted to their needs. Conveniently located in Brick and Sea Girt, New Jersey, we know how stressful these situations can be and are dedicated to providing highly attentive, effective, and knowledgeable legal counsel to each of our clients. With our honest, communicative, and dedicated approach to handling any legal issue, we can find solutions to and overcome even the most difficult issues.

Schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case today by contacting us online or calling our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.

Have You Missed a Court Date? Are You Wondering What To Do?

Unexpected events happen, which may prevent someone from being able to make their court appearance. In one of our recent articles, Consequences of Failing to Appear in Court or Respond to a Court Summons,” we discussed how if you or someone you love in New Jersey missed a court date for a traffic violation or a criminal offense or needs guidance on resolving a license suspension, arrest warrant, or an outstanding case, you must consult an experienced attorney who can best present your unique circumstances and explains your missed court appearance. Thus, possibly minimizing or avoiding any resulting penalties.

Open and honest communication with one´s legal counsel can provide context, prevent misunderstandings, arrest warrants, or time spent away from loved ones. Besides, a strong defense of the underlying charges can increase the chances of an acquittal or reduction to a lesser charge.

How Does Your Office Communicate With Clients During the Pandemic?

Since before the pandemic, The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, has been committed to safely and securely serving and communicating with clients. We understand and believe that each client is different, with unique needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case to settle them for our clients favorably.

We want to keep our employees, as well as our clients and potential clients, safe, so our new integrative approach of email, phone, video chat apps, and video conferencing options gives our clients the personal connection and quality service they have come to expect from us, combined with the comfort that modern technology and the internet provides.

Does Your Office Support Client In Remote or Virtual Court Proceedings?

As the digital transformation of virtual court proceedings has tried to meet the challenges the pandemic has placed on the judicial system, it has also exposed numerous social challenges and discrepancies between internet access and connectivity.

Does Your Office Support Client In Remote or Virtual Court Proceedings?As lawyers, we are committed to eliminating any disparities, in the same way, we would in a physical court, by ensuring that if our clients are using technology remotely (i.e., via our office), they can still get justice. Just imagine how not having access to more modern means of internet connectivity (i.e., somewhat modern laptop or computer, high-speed internet) and the connection is lost or dropped or how lacking an environment conducive to properly hearing the proceedings or sufficient privacy to give testimony, could affect a client’s remote hearing case.

We work with our clients to ensure they can focus on protecting their rights and seeking justice by supportively guiding them through this “new normal” of a remote judicial process.

Contact Our Monmouth County Family Law Firm Today

At the Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys provide our clients with the necessary support to negotiate with local courts, protect their rights, and ensure their and their family’s future so that they can move on to a place of calm and stability.

If you would like to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a member of our team today regarding a municipal court summons or any family law issue you may be facing, please fill out the online form or call our Brick or Sea Girt office at (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your legal options.

Brick and Sea Girt Attorneys Offer Virtual Consultations to Serve Clients

We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters

How Can I Reach A Lawyer in New Jersey if I Can’t Leave the House?As the world comes to terms with the spread of the coronavirus, countless New Jersey citizens asked to practice “social-distancing” and “shelter in place” are in dire need of legal services, and are finding it challenging to find experienced and flexible legal counsel able to meet their unique needs amid the growing pandemic. Attorneys prepared for what is in many ways a new legal landscape know that in this digital age, it’s possible to provide legal services in a safe and convenient way without compromising on quality.

At The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, located in Brick, New Jersey, we believe legal services should be accessible at everyone’s fingertips and clients should be able to get the services of an attorney even without an initial physical meeting. We leverage technology to meet the needs of our clients, by providing dynamic, client-focused representation in Family Law matters (i.e., Alimony and Spousal Support, Child Support, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Criminal Charges, and Municipal Court summons, Real-Estate ventures, and Wills, Trusts & Estates). We understand and believe that each client is different, with distinctive needs and goals, and as such, unique strategies must be crafted for each case in order to favorably settle them for our clients.

Our lawyers are prepared to protect your rights and are ready to arrange convenient, virtual meetings via Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangout, Clio Connect or Legaler to discuss how we can best support you and meet your legal needs.

How Do I Schedule a Virtual Legal Consultation with a Bronzino Law Firm Attorney?

From the comfort of your home or office and with the convenience of your smartphone, laptop or tablet, you can arrange to speak with a lawyer from The Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, to answer your legal questions or issues. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your case in a free and confidential consultation today, you can:

How Do I Schedule a Virtual Legal Consultation with a Bronzino Law Firm, LLC Attorney?1) Contact us online or

2) Call our Brick or Sea Girt offices at (732) 812-3102 or

3) Direct Message (DM) us over Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin

To schedule a call and free 20-minute virtual consultation/meet up to discuss your family law needs. During the consultation feel free to ask questions, as we will discuss the best plan to protect your rights and future going forward.

We believe in keeping our clients informed and involved in the legal process and are prepared to use various technologies in order to do so. By having up-to-date and detailed information about your case, you can make the best possible decisions for your family’s future.

CONTACT A BRICK, NJ FAMILY LAW LAWYER

Serving Families across Monmouth County and Ocean County towns including Neptune, Manasquan, Point Pleasant, Toms River, Brick, Asbury Park, Wall, and more

Across all areas of Family Law, our lawyers can answer your questions today. Our attention to detail and priority to the attorney-client relationship often leads to outcomes that are both beneficial and personalized to the individual needs and concerns of our clients and their families. Our experienced attorneys work to resolve legal conflicts outside of the courtroom when possible, but will never hesitate to aggressively litigate and defend our clients’ legal rights when necessary.

Call our Brick or Sea Girt Bronzino Law, LLC office at (732) 812-3102  for a free and confidential virtual consultation today to discuss your unique needs, concerns, or situation when it comes to any kind of family law matter.

Challenging an Executor or Administrator of Estate Attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County NJ

After the owner of the estate has died, the executor is responsible for probating the owner’s last will and testament.

Challenging an Executor or Administrator of Estate Attorney in Monmouth and Ocean County NJThe process of finalizing payments and distributing a decedent’s assets after their death can be a long and drawn-out process. It involves many moving pieces that increase the potential of an error on the part of the estate’s executor. Is it possible to challenge the actions of an executor if you believe there to be an accidental or purposeful mistake that affects the decedent’s desired distribution of assets? Read on to learn more.

The executive’s role in the probation process

The executor, or administrator, of an estate in New Jersey, has a very specific role. After the owner of the estate has died, the executor is responsible for probating the owner’s last will and testament. Probation of a will is a court-supervised process in which the will is authenticated, the appointed executor posts a bond to serve as insurance in case they commit a grievous error, assets are inventoried, all debts owed are paid, taxes are filed and paid, and, finally, the estate’s assets are distributed.

What happens if an estate executive does not perform the duties for which they are legally responsible?

An executive is legally responsible for overseeing the probation process from start to finish. They have a fiduciary duty to all beneficiaries and involved third parties of the estate, meaning that it is their legal responsibility to ensure that the written desires of the decedent and the best interest of those involved are met. Any backroom dealing that advances their own best interests at the expense of the wishes of the decedent during the long course of the probation process is illegal. If an executor abuses their role or withholds information that affects proper distribution and settling of the estate, they are in breach of their fiduciary duty and can be legally removed from their position, and even face a lawsuit brought forth by the heirs.

According to New Jersey Revised Statutes Title 3B, an executor can be removed from their legal duties for the following reasons:

  • Neglect or refusal to file an inventory, render an account, or properly secure estate assets
  • Neglect or refusal to obey a court order or judgment within the specified time frame
  • Embezzlement or illegal misapplication of estate finances, or any other action that betrays the trust underlying their fiduciary duty
  • Inability to conduct the required business of estate probation
  • Neglect or refusal to collaborate with another legally appointed fiduciary in resolving estate matters

What happens if an estate executive does not perform the duties for which they are legally responsible?If an executor has been accused of one of the above actions, a judge will most certainly consider whether the continuation of that executor will mean a detriment to the proper settlement and interests of an estate. If the answer is yes, the judge will have grounds for removal. If a beneficiary or another involved party take personal issue with the manner in which the executor is handling the probation process, but the executor has not committed any illegal or detrimental act, the judge will not find grounds for removal. There must be clear evidence that one of the above breaches of fiduciary duty has occurred.

New Jersey is a probate friendly state

This means that, for most actions, the executor need not receive permission from the court to handle most settlement aspects of an estate. The court will only get involved if there is an alleged breach of the fiduciary duties laid out in the last will and testament and New Jersey law.

One of the most common examples of a breach of fiduciary duty is the improper accounting of the assets and finances settled. In order for beneficiaries to receive their inheritances, the court must receive proper accounting of all settlements. The required frequency of disclosures regarding the settlement, as well as the detail with which accounting must be disclosed, depending on the complexity and value of the estate assets, the estate’s tax liability, as well as the number of beneficiaries.

If the court finds that the executor or other appointed administrator has not satisfactorily completed accounting, beneficiaries can be kept in limbo. As such, beneficiaries can file a petition that requests a court order for accounting. If the executive is not able to provide proper accounting under the court order, they will be removed as executive.

Consult a Wall Township Estate Planning and Administration Lawyer Today

At Bronzino Law Firm, our estate attorneys are experienced in guiding the settlement needs of our clients across Point Pleasant, Brick, Wall, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, and the greater Ocean and Monmouth County Areas.

To connect with an experienced member of our firm today regarding your loved one’s last will and testament, please visit our online form or call us at  (732) 812-3102 to learn more about your options.