Splitting The House In A Divorce

The marital home is often the largest asset to get divided in a divorce, and family law attorneys need to balance other assets to create an equitable settlement. This process is much simpler with the help of Divorce Financials divorce financial software, which handles the calculations so attorneys can create multiple scenarios to find the one that satisfies both parties. The couple’s house can be treated in three ways.

Transfer Ownership

One spouse, usually the one with primary custody of the kids, keeps the house. In most cases the attorney will need to offset the house’s value with other assets to compensate the other spouse. This is easy to do in Divorce Financials as assets can be quickly assigned to one spouse or the other, or divided between the spouses at any percentage desired. The divorce legal software keeps track of the total value of the settlement to ensure that the settlement presented is equitable. Attorneys should be sure to require the title be change to be in the receiving spouse’s name only, and if possible refinance the mortgage in the recipient’s name only.

Sell House

Depending on the market and the couple’s respective needs, this might be the easiest solution. The house is sold and the proceeds are divided between the two parties. This is a popular option in so-called gray divorce, the divorce of couples over the age of 50. Once the kids have moved out, many older couples find they have nothing in common anymore and choose to go their separate ways. The residence may be too much house for a single, childless person so neither party wants it. It may also be necessary to sell the house if the person who wants it can qualify for a new mortgage, and the other spouse doesn’t want the credit risk if the mortgage becomes delinquent.

Sell House Later

If the couple has older children they might want to keep the house but sell it once the kids move out. Since the house will be sold in the near future, it may not be necessary to transfer the title. Both spouses could maintain ownership until the house can be sold. This can be a very good solution, especially if the divorce is amicable. Be sure to determine who will be responsible for mortgage payments, and for costs such as taxes and insurance.

Divorce Financials can handle any of these situations, or any other divorce and financial settlements you can come up with. This flexibility helps you find the best solution for your client.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Divorce Financials | Comments Off

The House Market Is Taking Off! Or Is It?

The National Association of REALTORS recently published two conflicting articles on how the housing market is doing. This is a good example of how difficult it is to predict how easily a house will sell, and how easily you can make a profit in the upcoming months. You need the flexibility of HUD 1 software like Easy HUD to be able to move quickly to take advantage of any real estate trends in your area.

The Market Is Great!

The article Boomers and Engineers a Good Sign for Housing Markets says that the real estate markets in twelve major metropolitan areas are showing no signs of slowing down as they usually do around this time of year. They attribute this trend to large concentrations of math and science professionals, and baby boomers. The former are in jobs that pay high salaries so are in a good position to buy homes as they move into these areas for new jobs. The latter are nearing retirement so are often selling large homes now that the kids are gone to move into smaller residences where they can live out their golden years. These are both very positive trends that bode well for many areas of the country.

The Market Is Lousy!

On the other hand, the NAR also points out that Credit and Inventory Throttle Housing Market’s Return. Mortgage rates have been dropping and yet applications for purchase have declined. They opine that this is due to the stricter credit requirements many lenders have implemented over the last few years. The other problem is that there may be buyers out there, but there aren’t many homes on the market. Inventory is low and dropping. These trends could be troubling if they continue into the traditionally slow fourth quarter of the year.

What does this mean to the average real estate professional? That’s hard to predict. Conditions in Seattle don’t mean much to you if you are practicing in Tallahassee. You need to be able to analyze and predict your own local trends, whether it’s by careful mathematical analysis or gut instinct that comes from years of experience. You also need to be prepared to put out a HUD 1 settlement statement quickly when an opportunity does come along.

The unpredictability of the real estate market is why you need Easy HUD. Being able to jump on a deal, complete your HUD settlement statement and close quickly is important when you aren’t sure how many sales are in your future.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in HUD Software | Comments Off

Easy HUD Simplifies The Refinance Process

The economy is back! Rates are low! Mortgage terms are the best they’ve been in years! And yet, according to an article in The Washington Post, millions of Americans are not choosing to refinance. Real estate professionals can use Easy HUD real estate title software to show potential clients how much refinancing will save them.

Too Good To Be True?

Part of the problem is that, after such a brutal economic downturn, homeowners are leery of risking their homes. Bad mortgages were so easy to get than consumers have become afraid of loan terms that are suspiciously good. As an example, look at HARP, the program that was supposed to rescue homeowners from onerous mortgages. In August of this year, FHFA Director Mel Watt had to assure Americans that the program was “not a scam” in an effort to convince more homeowners to try refinancing.

So how do you show a potential client that refinancing is the best choice? One way is to be able to produce hard numbers quickly showing how much they will save on the new mortgage, and how affordable the refinance will be.

Easy HUD – The Right Tool For Refinance Preparation

When you can sit down with a homeowner and use Easy HUD settlement statement software to illustrate in minutes the truth behind the refinance, you are more likely to pique a client’s interest in a new mortgage. Once you gather a little information from the client, you can print out a HUD-1a and GFE that shows in black and white exactly how much the refinance will cost. You can even play around with different loan terms and help the client understand how much each loan will cost up front, and how much it will cost each month.

Unfortunately, although most real estate agents, brokers and lenders are honest, there were enough snake oil salesmen around before the market crash to make the public gun shy. It’s not enough to make promises to a client. You have to be able to produce real data that demonstrates how beneficial the refinance will be, and Easy HUD lets you do that.

Put yourself in a position where you can show the benefits, and answer the hard questions homeowners will have about the refinance. With Easy Soft’s HUD preparation software on your side, you are prepared to offer homeowners the refinance help they need.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in HUD Software | Comments Off

Divorce Is Rare In NY – And That Is Not Good News

According to recent statistics, only New Jersey has a lower rate of divorce than New York. Rather than assuming New York couples are happier in their marriages than the rest of the country, the low divorce rate may have more to do with how long and expensive the divorce process is in the state. Family law attorneys can streamline the process with EzSupport-NY, Easy Soft’s NY matrimonial law software, and make divorce available to a larger number of couples.

Cost Of Divorce

Divorce is expensive in New York, which imposes a filing fee of $335. Only four other states — Illinois, California, Minnesota and Florida — impose higher fees. At the other end of the spectrum, five states have filing fees below $100, the lowest being Mississippi with a paltry $52 cost. When you add the cost of attorney fees, divorce in New York is one of the costliest decisions a couple can make.

The net result is that people stuck in bad marriages simply can’t afford to split up. They might live separately and no longer communicate, but in the eyes of the law they are still married. What’s worse is people trapped in abusive marriages may be unable to find the financial help they need to leave and start new lives.

What Can Attorneys Do To Help?

Often divorce is the best decision for all concerned, spouses and children alike, and it is tragic that economic reality may force people to stay in unhealthy relationships. As a family law attorney, you can make divorce more affordable and available to anyone regardless of social background. You may not be able to reduce the state’s filling fee but they can reduce their own legal fees — without impacting your practice’s profitability.

Attorney fee boils down to a charge for the time spend on a matter. Although many divorce attorneys charge flat fees for simple divorce, those fees are based on the approximate time they expect to spend. If you can provide the same service and use less of your time, you can charge clients less and yet handle more cases per month to keep your cash flow healthy. That is where using specialized NY divorce software makes a difference. You can complete the information gathering, financial analysis and final paperwork in a fraction of the time it used to take when doing it by hand.

If you are still filling out the NY Statement of Net Worth by hand then you are wasting time and money. Start using EzSupport-NY, process cases more quickly, and provide better and more affordable services to your clients.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Divorce Financials | Comments Off

Easy HUD Evolves As the Law Changes

Last year the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created the new “Know Before You Owe” forms that are due to take effect in August 2015. Easy HUD, Easy Soft’s real estate closing program, will undergo significant changes to accommodate the new law.

New Forms To Protect Consumers

Much as the Good Faith Estimate form was created to allow consumers to be able to compare loans easily, the new CFPB forms are meant to give borrowers the information needed to make informed decisions when shopping for real estate loans. There will be two new forms:

  • The Loan Estimate will replace the Good Faith Estimate and provide a summary of the loan conditions, closing costs and other information consumers need. As with the GFE, this form will make it easy to shop loans so consumers can find the best deal.
  • The Closing Disclosure will replace the HUD 1 settlement sheet and will serve the same function, giving a detailed listing of all closing costs associated with a specific loan closing. This form will be provided shortly before closing to give borrowers time to look over the final costs, make sure they are getting the deal expected, and ask any questions about the figures involved.

The CFPB hopes the new forms will help consumers better understand short-term and long-term costs, risk factors, and the true impact of monthly payments over the course of the loan.

Free Easy HUD Update

Next year Easy Soft will update Easy HUD, our GFE and HUD-1 software, to reflect the new forms. Active Easy HUD subscribers will receive the update for free as part of our ongoing support commitment.

Watch the Easy Soft blog over the next few months as we explore some of the changes that the new forms will bring to the real estate industry. We’ll look at how the new forms protect consumers, and how they will affect closing.

The Easy HUD update is an example of how we stay abreast of changes in the law so that our software always reflects the latest regulations, requirements and government forms needed for your real estate practice.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in HUD Software | Comments Off

CIS Helps New Jersey Attorneys Comply With New Alimony Law

After many years of negotiation, Governor Chris Christie has signed a new alimony law for New Jersey. Family law attorneys in the state may find a surge of business as alimony payers look for relief under the new law, and law firms can use Easy Soft’s CIS software to recalculate fresh alimony agreements. Here are three key areas of the new bill.

Alimony Ends At Retirement

The most touted feature of the new law is the end of permanent alimony. Alimony payers can ask for alimony to end once they reach the federal retirement age of 67. This removes a significant burden to payers that prevented many of them from retiring.

This is one provision of the law that applies to all alimony in New Jersey, not just new divorce settlements. A payer currently under a permanent alimony agreement can petition the court upon reaching retirement age and ask that the alimony payments end. Attorneys calculating new agreements can use the payor’s age as a cutoff when calculating alimony buyout amounts.

Alimony Agreements No Longer Than The Marriage

Under the law, new alimony agreements cannot be longer than the marriage itself, unless the marriage lasted twenty years or more. So if a couple was married for five years, then the alimony agreement can’t be longer than five years. As with any aspects of the divorces settlement, this limit can be waived by the court in the event of special circumstances, but it will apply to most divorces.

This will not only relieve the burden on the payor but will also simplify aspects of divorce settlement such as alimony buyout. CIS case information statement software includes a calculator to determine how much an alimony agreement is worth if paid as a lump sum, but these calculations were tricky for permanent alimony. With a definite limit, such as five years, it will be easier for the software to determine a fair alimony buyout amount.

Alimony And Unemployment

There has been an unwritten rule in New Jersey that judges will reduce, suspend or eliminate alimony payments if the payor has been out of work for a year or longer. One objection is that a year is too long for someone to have to pay alimony when there is no money coming in. Another is that, as an unwritten rule, there was no guarantee a judge would consider unemployment to be a valid reason to lower payments.

The new law specifies anyone out of work for three months or longer can ask the court to adjust the payments. This can be a great relief to someone paying alimony who is obligated to make payments even at the risk of losing the house or being unable to buy food. New alimony agreements can be created in CIS for presentation to the court.

As more changes come, Easy Soft will stay in front of new laws and update CIS accordingly.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in NJ Family Law Software | Comments Off