February 2011

Your Little 1099-S Problem

It’s nearing the end of February. Recession aside, it was a solid year for real estate closings. Thanks to Easy Soft’s Easy HUD software, you generated your HUD settlement statement without a hitch. Your billing is up to date, your trust accounts are flawless, your revenues are strong, and you’re feeling organized and happy as a lawyer can be.

There’s only one thing left to do. Your 1099-S filings. There’s a stack of them lurking—like miniature panic buttons. The longer you wait, the more painful it seems.

Don’t everyone groan at once.

For most real estate lawyers, the 1099-S is an annual bureaucratic task that can wait. And it does. Until, that is, it can’t.

The good news? Easy Soft USA has an electronic filing service. It’s painless to implement. You just generate your forms as your clients close. And it’s part of Easy Soft’s Easy HUD software package.

And with that, your little 1099-S problem is gone.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off
Technorati Tagged :
, , , , , , , ,

Maryland Lawyers Member Benefit Provider News

February 21, 2011—Easy Soft is now an official Maryland State Bar Member Association (MSBA). Easy Soft now offers a 10% discount on legal software for active members of the Maryland Bar.

Since 1986, Easy Soft has been one of the nation’s leading providers of law office software.

Easy Soft Products

The company’s offerings include seamless and integrated legal billing and account software, such as Easy Time Bill (ETB), time billing software which has received rave reviews from lawyers and technology publications, and Easy Trust, our easy-to-use trust fund accounting software.

For real estate lawyers and settlement agents, Easy Soft provides the country’s no. 1 choice for software that helps them navigate and generate the tricky HUD settlement statement (or HUD-1 form)—especially in light of the new RESPA rules. It’s called Easy HUD, and it automates most HUD form calculations—simplifying the financial portion of the transaction, enabling pain-free adjustments and errors, and more—while leaving the legal work to you.

For divorce lawyers, Easy Soft produces Divorce Financials, family law software which simplifies financial modeling for divorces. The divorce software has a vast array of capabilities, but one of its best is the ability to show you and your client—precisely and powerfully—the real-world financial impact of a given divorce settlements, including analyses for present value, and income taxes for both parties.

The “Easy” in Easy Soft

The philosophy behind all of Easy Soft’s law office management software is simple: you shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you work on a case. At the outset, every piece of Easy Soft software captures case data—one time only. For law office management purposes, that data is inserted into your invoices, your ledgers and balance sheets, and your trust fund accounting.

For your clients’ cases, that data gets inserted into every piece of documentation the case requires: be it a legal form, financial statement (such as the HUD settlement statement, or HUD-1 form), and correspondence with your client, or opposing lawyers. In some cases, the software generates comparative analyses—and provides

In most cases, our law office software performs any necessary calculations on your behalf. If you’ve slaved over a calculator or an Excel spreadsheet, or tried to get generic small business accounting software to deliver needs specific to the management of a law office. This prevents simple yet costly numerical mistakes—such as one that would be paid out over the course of years (in divorce settlements), one that would affect your title (in a HUD 1 situation), or one that would jeopardize your good standing with your state’s attorney ethics department (in terms of your trust fund accounting).

What’s Included

Typically, law firm software costs upwards of $400 for procurement, and hundreds of dollars more for training and support.

For most of our software packages, our annual fees are just $300. All Easy Soft software includes training, technical support, ongoing educational support, frequent software updates and improvements, certain practice customizations, and personalized (read: actual receptionists versus phone menus) service.

With no limitations.

That is our level of commitment to our customers.

Click here to shop.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off

What Kind of Errors Can My HUD-1 Software Prevent?

Oh, human errors. They’re so natural—and so unfortunately inevitable. If you don’t think it can happen to you, think again. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, or how many times you go over your data, your numbers, and your deals. But the human eye can’t catch everything—and everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, the error isn’t yours: it’s the mortgage company’s, or the title company’s. So let us count a few wrongs!

Common Scenario #1. Let’s say you are creating a new HUD closing statement. Your modus operandi is to take an old HUD settlement statement, and pop your new numbers into the various fields. But have you ever done something like this, and found the old numbers hanging around? Perhaps they’re in fields that you thought you changed, but didn’t. Perhaps they’re in fields that were inapplicable to the new deal—but haven’t been deleted. Needless to say, this kind of approach is ripe for error—and can ripple throughout a deal.

Easy Solution 1: Easy Soft’s Easy HUD Software captures all case information at the outset—using a fresh set of HUD forms and other documents. You never have to worry about the embarrassment—and inaccuracy—of stale info again.

Common Scenario #2. You’re representing the buyer for the sale of a home. Your client remits $300,000 to pay off the seller’s mortgage. Three years later, the buyer is now the seller. The title company found that the lender never recorded a mortgage release for that $300,000—and technically, the lender still has a lien.

Easy Solution 2: If you have Easy Soft’s Easy HUD Software, you’ve got the information for the fix right in your current software. There’s no need to send a paralegal to a cold dark storage facility, or spend a late night going through one dinosaur hard drive after another.

Common Scenario #3. The lender overcharged his mortgagee by something small and undetectable: say $50. This mistake is discovered at the closing. With the new RESPA rules, you can’t just write a check for $50 to fix it—you’ve got to file an amended HUD settlement statement.

Easy Solution 3: If you have Easy Soft’s Easy HUD Software, you can generate a new HUD closing statement faster than you can say “fifty bucks.”  You shred the old and voila! Problem solved.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off

How Our HUD-1 Software Increases the Accuracy Of Your HUD 1 Closings

Here at Easy Soft, we figure: why reinvent the wheel?

That’s why all of our software is geared toward capturing your client’s case data at the outset, and integrating it into all of the ensuing legal forms, correspondence, and financial statements including—most crucially for real estate deals—your HUD forms.

Once the data’s been captured, Easy Soft’s Easy HUD Software performs automatic calculations – resulting in pitch-perfect HUD closing statement (and other forms and statements) every time.

‘Wouldn’t all software increase my accuracy, though?’ you wonder. Getting a machine to do something better—in less time—is always the goal of technology, right?

This is partly right—but it’s also partly wrong. It’s true that all real estate closing software seeks to automate some portion of a real estate closing. But some HUD software packages may segregate legal forms from financial statements, requiring you to entirely re-enter some of the case data.

Not with Easy Soft. Our HUD software is fully integrated. What this means? It’s a low-touch system: the minimization of entries minimizes human error. You need only enter any piece of data one time—not multiple times, in multiple programs. You need only make sure that one entry is accurate, and after that, you can wash your hands of it: you’ve done your job. Our HUD-1 software will use that data in all calculations, forms, and statements that call upon it—including the monstrously complex, comprehensive HUD settlement statement (also known as a HUD closing statement, or HUD-1).

We at Easy Soft feel like making your practice more accurate isn’t too much to ask of technology. Just call us, get a real person on the line, and find out how genuinely excited we are to help!

About Easy Soft: Easy Soft has been a legal software leader since 1986. The company offers specialized solutions for real estate, family law, time, billing & trust account management and document automation. More than 15,000 customers nationwide use Easy Soft products to increase office productivity. Visit us on the web at: http://www.easysoft-usa.com

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off

How Real Estate Closing Software Can Increase Your Fees

Don’t misunderstand. We’re not suggesting that you raise your fees after purchasing our—or anyone’s—real estate closing software. What we are claiming is that Easy Soft’s Easy HUD software has enough power and intelligence to increase your efficiency by a percentage substantial enough to allow you to handle all of your existing deals quicker and more accurately…and allow you to take on more—and increase your overall bottom line.

No matter which party you represent in any given real estate deal, you’re likely taking a flat or fixed fee for your services. So what you’re shooting for—every time—is to come out ahead. At the very least, you can’t come out behind—sinking hours and hours into a HUD 1 closing that turned out to be pretty standard.

Either way, you simply can’t afford to waste one minute figuring out whether you’ve done the closing calculations correctly—especially given the new RESPA rules. You need real estate closing software geared to generate all calculations, statements, HUD forms, and other documents pertinent to this closing, including the complex HUD settlement statement.

Easy Soft’s Easy HUD does two things. It increases the ease of your transaction—by capturing case data at the outset, and integrating it into all of the ensuing forms, including your HUD forms. It performs automatic calculations, and generates whatever real estate documents, forms, correspondence, etc. you need for your client’s purchase or sale.

If you’re the settlement agent, Easy HUD also ensures the accuracy of your HUD settlement statement (also known as a HUD closing statement, or HUD-1). Unlike before, these HUD 1 closings demand razor-sharp accuracy—with little tolerance for error. Our HUD software helps you comply with RESPA rules—so that you’re not caught on the short end of a good faith estimate.

We at Easy Soft feel like making you richer—while making your life easier—isn’t too much to ask of technology. And we’re thrilled to help!

About Easy Soft: Easy Soft has been a legal software leader since 1986. The company offers specialized solutions for real estate, family law, time, billing & trust account management and document automation. More than 15,000 customers nationwide use Easy Soft products to increase office productivity. Visit us on the web at: http://www.easysoft-usa.com

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off
Technorati Tagged :
, ,

How Software Makes Legal Accounting Seamless

If you’re depositing retainers and other fiduciary funds into an escrow account, our last post provided some helpful rules of thumb for flawless trust fund accounting—in accordance with your state requirements.

While you weigh the advantages of an integrated Attorney billing and trust accounting software, consider this. As a bookkeeping concept, trust accounting is fundamentally different from other types of accounting. It’s way more detailed. It must be capable of:

• Supporting monthly bank reconciliations.
• Producing three-way—not just two-way—reconciliation statements.
• Furnishing details about general ledger balances, i.e. whether funds have cleared the bank.
• Preventing common trust accounting mistakes, such as ledger card overdrafts, co-mingling with other  ledger cards, duplicate check numbers, etc.
• Printing checks, deposit slips etc.

Easy Time Bill closes the loop. Our legal billing software provides the following information at a glance:

• Unbilled Balances: The legal billing software totals recorded but unbilled time and expenses.
• Unpaid Balances: The billing software totals billed but unpaid time and expenses.
• Operating Retainer Balance: The billing software displays each client’s current retainer balance – as it sits in your firm’s operating account.
• Trust Retainer Balance: The billing software displays each client’s current retainer balance – as it sits in your firm’s trust account, or escrow account.

Viewing these four balances for each matter at a glance increases your accuracy – and puts you in control of your responsibilities, your accounts, and your cash flow. Specifically:

• If the Unbilled Balance exceeds your comfort zone, you can invoice immediately – rather than waiting until a scheduled billing date.
• If the Unpaid Balances are rising, you can start sending payment reminder letters—along with overdue invoices.
• If your invoices are unpaid, Retainer Balances are available, and your client engagement letter allows you to do so, you can apply the balances to your unpaid invoices immediately.

When you have both software systems, your accounting suddenly works like magic.

Easy, right? That’s why it’s called Easy Soft.

Posted by Rick Kabra on in Other | Comments Off