Lead Paint Lawsuit – $2 Million Award Can’t Be Tied to Ethnicity, Judge Rules

A federal judge in Brooklyn explained in a court memo released on Wednesday why he rejected a landlord’s attempt to use a child’s Hispanic ethnicity to argue for reduced damages in a lead poisoning case.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled that the attempt violated federal law governing the use of statistical generalizations based on race or ethnicity, and forbid experts on both sides to discuss them.

A lawyer for Mark Kimpson, the landlord, was seeking to reduce the $2 million in damages awarded to the child and his mother after she sued over lead poisoning.

A jury awarded the damages on July 10 after finding that the apartment the family rented from Mr. Kimpson contained lead-based paint that had not been properly removed or contained.

“Posed is the question,” Judge Weinstein wrote, “can statistics based on the ethnicity (in this case, ‘Hispanic’) of a child be relied upon to find a reduced likelihood of his obtaining higher education, resulting in reduced damages in a tort case? The answer is no.”

To contest the damages, Mr. Kimpson’s lawyer, Roger V. Archibold, needed to persuade the court that the boy’s prospects for attending college and earning a degree if he had not had lead poisoning were already low. Mr. Archibold argued that because Hispanics are less likely to attend college, the boy’s chances for doing so were improbable.

In a 52-page memo, Judge Weinstein wrote that he rejected the argument based on a case in which the use of race- and ethnicity-based statistics was found to be in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.

The memo on Wednesday does not affect the jury verdict, which Mr. Archibold has appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. Archibold said Judge Weinstein had “mischaracterized” the defense’s argument about the child’s ethnicity. Mr. Archibold said he was confronting an expert hired by the plaintiffs whose statements at the trial did not seem to line up with the study he was citing.

“The expert was confronted with the evidence of the study that he quoted,” he said. “He opined that the study gave him these statistics and it did not.”

Judge Weinstein added that Mr. Archibold was required to use specific characteristics of the child and his family, rather than the characterization of the child as a member of a particular ethnic group, in projecting damages. The boy’s father has a bachelor’s degree and his mother has a Master of Fine Arts. Both held responsible income-generating jobs, the family was stable, and the parents were caring, Judge Weinstein said.

“Based upon his specific family background, had the child not been injured, there was a high probability of superior educational attainment and corresponding high earnings,” Judge Weinstein wrote. “Treated by experts as a ‘Hispanic,’ his potential, based on the education and income of ‘average “Hispanics” in the United States,’ was relatively low.”

The boy’s mother, Niki Hernandez-Adams, rented a basement apartment from Mr. Kimpson in an old building at 490 MacDonough Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where she lived while pregnant and after the boy turned 1.

During a visit to the pediatrician after his first birthday, the boy was found to have elevated levels of lead in his blood. Ms. Hernandez-Adams claimed in her lawsuit that the lead poisoning had damaged the boy’s central nervous system.

Mr. Archibold argued that Mr. Kimpson had sufficiently contained the hazardous lead-based paint in the apartment. Before the family moved in, the landlord had covered the old paint with new paint and drywall, according to the judge’s memo.

Mr. Archibold blamed the family’s dog for severely scratching the walls and the moldings in the apartment, releasing lead dust. He also claimed that the infant’s cognitive and behavioral difficulties resulted from other medical conditions of his mother during her pregnancy.

 

FAIR HOUSING – New U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Outlaws Chinatowns and more!

Good Saturday Morning!,

this morning, I got an email with a link to a new article on the effects of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision involving Fair Housing.

This is a fantastic follow up from this week’s POWER LUNCH Chalk Talk webinar on Tuesday
(Free Investor Training Weekly Webinars at noon)

Here’s a short part of the article and the link is below to see the full article.


Kiss Chinatown goodbye under Obama data-mined racial quota system?

 ‘After the recent Supreme Court ruling on “disparate impact” in housing, Amy predicted that social justice activists and lawyers had been given powerful precedent to use racial and ethnic data mining against developers who did not intentionally discriminate:

When the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Texas Department of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project last week, social justice activists claimed a major victory in the battle against segregated housing. The decision endorsed a “disparate impact” analysis as applied to a Texas program that plaintiffs claimed distributes federal low income housing credits disproportionately, awarding too many credits to inner-city, predominately black neighborhoods and too few to suburban, predominately white neighborhoods….

Kennedy and the majority endorsed a form of social engineering just as pernicious as those that disparate impact analyses aim to correct. Instead of creating “more equality,” these methods do nothing but invent controversies for social justice groups and the courts to work out, and, as Clarence Thomas says, presume that defendants are “guilty of discrimination until proved innocent.”


Here’s the link to view the entire article
http://legalinsurrection.com/2015/07/kiss-chinatown-goodbye-under-obama-data-mined-racial-quota-system/ 

Special Thanks to Bill Rafter for sharing!

 

Legal Update for Real Estate Professionals from Harry Borders

PRIVITY OF CONTRACT:

Who Is Making Repairs For Your Buyer?

The #1 post closing question we get asked is this: “the sellers agreed to repair the (roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.) and now we’ve moved in and the (roof, electrical, plumbing, etc.) isn’t fixed.  Can we go back to the seller and make them do the work properly?”

Under MOST situations, the answer is NO!!!

Huh? You mean it’s ok the seller didn’t have the work properly done as they agreed they would do?  Yep, that’s exactly what we’re saying.  And here’s why.

In Kentucky there’s a legal concept called “privity of contract.” Privity of contract says if I didn’t enter into a contract with a contractor directly, and if the contractor does a crummy job, the contractor is not liable to me.

Therefore, when a buyer requests a seller to make certain repairs after the home inspection, the way most agents handle the situation, there would NOT be privity of contract because the seller picks the contractor, not the buyer.

In addition, when a buyer allows the seller to pick the contractor, we know the seller will likely pick World’s Cheapest Contractor, LLC to do the work.  This only increases the odds the buyer will have an issue after closing.

So, how do we fix this? 

We’d love to say “insist on your buyer picking the contractor,” but we don’t think that’s realistic.  Instead, as a selling agent, we’d suggest when you’re dealing with Big Ticket Items (roof, HVAC, basement, structural issues, electric, plumbing), you reach out to the listing agent BEFORE making a repair request and ask them who they are likely to use for this work. If you are comfortable the person doing the work is qualified, in the repair request specifically state the seller shall use [insert name of qualified contractor listing agent suggested] and state specifically “buyer’s name shall appear along side the seller’s name on the invoice.”  If you are NOT comfortable with the contractor they suggest, you need to write in the repair request the contractor your buyer would like to use for the work.  In this case, you will still need to add “buyer’s name shall appear along side the seller’s name on the invoice.”

When the buyer’s name appears on the invoice, we now have privity of contract.

If an issue pops up after closing, the buyer can now go back to the contractor to insist the contractor take care of the problem. And at the same time, we’re now using a contractor we feel good about.

Another alternative would be to have the seller give the money for all repairs directly to buyer, but this should NEVER happen without the buyer’s lender’s consent.  Of course, in a cash closing, it’s fine to give money directly to the buyer, but not if there’s a lender involved.

We hope your summer has been fun and productive and we hope to see you soon at a closing table!

Harry Borders

Borders & Borders Attorneys:
Borders & Sons
 
 
 
 
John, David, and Harry

Since the early 1970s, our firm has practiced primarily in the field of real estate law. We represent banks and mortgage companies, real estate investors, builders and individual buyers and sellers in a variety of transactions related to residential and commercial real estate in Kentucky and Indiana. Our primary area of practice is real estate closings.   However, our attorneys also practice in other areas of law as well.

PERSONAL PROTECTION for Real Estate Professionals

Do You Carry Pepper Spray, Taser, or Uncle Smith & W when meeting dirtbags who act like they are interested in renting or buying real estate?

PROTECT Your family and warn them about all of the evil idiots in America.

CAUTION: Real Estate Investors and Agents are getting robbed and thumped.

Just last year, a Realtor was meeting a prospect and ended up dead.

Today in southern Florida, 2 more real estate professionals robbed when meeting folks at a vacant property. At minimum, give your family and loved ones a key chain pepper spray.

What Do You Carry? (pepper spray, taser, pistole’, or BFH)

Free Investor Training Webinar – POWER LUNCH “Chalk Talks”

PowerLunchRegister2

How Do I Apply For An Employer Identification Number? (EIN)

How Do I Apply For An Employer Identification Number? (EIN)

Employers and other organizations must obtain an employer identification number (EIN) to identify themselves for tax administration purposes, such as starting a new business, withholding taxes on wages, or creating a trust. Entities apply for an EIN by filing IRS Form SS-4. Page two of the form advises whether an applicant needs an EIN.

Other entities that need an EIN include corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, state or local governments, and churches and other nonprofit organizations. Unincorporated entities (sole proprietorships) that establish a retirement plan or that file certain tax forms will also need an EIN for filing the relevant forms.

Application process

The IRS does not charge for obtaining an EIN and has sought to simplify the application process. Taxpayers may apply by mail, by fax, or online. International applicants may also apply by phone. In all cases, if the IRS determines that the applicant needs an EIN, the IRS will issue the EIN and transmit it to the taxpayer in the same manner as the application was made.

Applications by mail generally take four weeks, the IRS indicates, once the SS-4 is properly and completely filled out. Entities located in the U.S. or a U.S. territory can apply online. For online applications, the IRS validates the information and issues the EIN immediately. The IRS notes that the principal officer or other relevant party must have a valid taxpayer identification number, such as a Social Security Number, to use the online application process. The IRS will respond to a completed fax application within four business days, if the applicant provides a fax number.

Filing without EIN

The IRS states that it will only issue one EIN per day per responsible party, regardless of the means of applying. If the taxpayer needs to file a return but lacks an EIN because of this limitation, the IRS advises that the taxpayer should attach a completed Form SS-4 to the completed and signed tax return. The IRS will assign an EIN and then process the return.

 

from my CPA,
J. Michael Grinnan CPA
9900 Corporate Campus Drive
Suite 3000
Louisville, KY 40223
Main Number 1-502-657-6333
Email Mike@JMGCPA.com 

 

 

Tax Update for Real Estate Investors from my CPA

POST Election Congress Grapples with Extenders as Lawmakers Plan for 2015

The results of the mid-term elections create a new dynamic in Congress with Republicans poised to take control of both the House and Senate in January. Prospects for tax reform may have brightened for 2015. In the meantime, the lame-duck Congress must deal with some urgent tax bills, most notably the tax extenders.

Expired tax breaks

As the 2015 filing season grows closer, lawmakers are under pressure to renew a package of expired tax incentives, known as tax extenders. There are more than 50 expired extenders that impact individuals and businesses. For individuals, some of the most far-reaching are the above-the-line deduction for higher education expenses, state and local sales tax deduction, mortgage debt forgiveness, deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, credit for energy improvements to personal residences, and the teachers’ classroom expense deduction. For businesses, the expired incentives include the research tax credit, special expensing rules for film and television productions, bonus depreciation, enhanced small business expensing, incentives to encourage production of wind energy and alternative fuels, and many more. All of these incentives expired after December 31, 2013. That means taxpayers cannot claim them on their 2014 returns filed in 2015 unless the incentives are extended.

Many Congressional staffers and Hill observers predict that lawmakers will renew the extenders in December. A vote could come in the House and Senate before December 20. A comprehensive extenders bill, the EXPIRE Act, is pending in the Senate. A similar bill, however, has not moved in the House. Instead, the House voted to extend some but not all of the extenders. Before year-end, the Senate could approve the EXPIRE Act and send the bill to the House. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending all of the expired provisions would cost $94 billion over two years (reflecting a retroactive extension to January 1, 2014 and an extension through the end of 2015). Our office will keep you posted of developments as tax filing season approaches.

The IRS has cautioned that the longer Congress waits to renew the extenders the greater the likelihood that the start of the 2015 filing season will be delayed. The IRS’s return processing systems are programmed for the current tax laws. The IRS must update its return processing systems for any changes that lawmakers make to the tax laws, such as renewing the extenders. Late legislation in the past has delayed the start of the filing season by around two weeks.

Looking ahead

When the new Congress meets in January, Republicans will have majorities in the House and in the Senate. GOP leaders have started to outline some of their priorities for 2015, including tax-related issues.

Tax reform. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who will serve as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, has indicated his interest in tax reform, but so far has not provided any details. Ryan’s counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who will serve as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, has also expressed support for tax reform. President Obama repeated his proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate in exchange for the elimination of some unspecified business tax breaks. Whether any tax reform proposals will gain traction in 2015 is unclear.

Affordable Care Act. Shortly after the elections, Hatch said he will propose an alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as well as bills to repeal parts of the ACA, such as the medical device excise tax. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, added that the GOP-controlled House will move to repeal the ACA in 2015.

Permanent extenders. Any renewal of the extenders will be temporary, carrying a likely expiration date of December 31, 2015. Lawmakers are expected to take a close look whether to make permanent some of the extenders and allow others to expire after 2015. Good candidates for a permanent extension are the state and local sales tax deduction, the higher education tuition deduction, enhanced small business expensing, and the research tax credit. One drawback, however, is the cost of making these incentives permanent. Many lawmakers will want to offset the cost. Negotiations over the long-term fate of the extenders are likely to be contentious as taxpayers seek to preserve their special tax breaks.

Corporate profits. In 2004, lawmakers agreed to a temporary repatriation tax holiday that allowed businesses to repatriate foreign profits at lower tax levels. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the new Congress. Again, negotiations will be intense as some lawmakers would seek to offset the cost of a repatriation tax holiday.

If you have any questions about the lame-duck Congress and the prospect for tax legislation in the new Congress, please contact our office. Keep in mind that as 2014 draws to a close, so does the time in which to make possible tax savings moves. Renewal of some or all of the extenders could impact your year-end tax planning.


If and only to the extent that this publication contains contributions from tax professionals who are subject to the rules of professional conduct set forth in Circular 230, as promulgated by the United States Department of the Treasury, the publisher, on behalf of those contributors, hereby states that any U.S. federal tax advice that is contained in such contributions was not intended or written to be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer by the Internal Revenue Service, and it cannot be used by any taxpayer for such purpose.
 
 
GrinnanMikeCPA
 
 
 
 
J. Michael Grinnan, CPA.CITP
Certified Public Accountant
9900 Corporate Campus Drive, Suite 3000
Louisville, KY 40223
Office 502-657-6333
Fax 502-657-6334
Email Mike@JMGCPA.com

Dodd Frank Act – Brand New KISS METHOD – 3 Simple Rules for Seller Financing to Owner Occupants

Follow These 3 Brain-Dead Simple Rules to Keep Your Butt Out of Trouble with Dodd Frank Act

click on video below to play
58 min video replay

DoddFrank3rules58minMonitorClick Image Above to View Video Replay Now

 

 

 

 

Personal Safety Security 45 min audio mp3

Earlier today, a Realtor was found dead in a shallow grave after an intensive 3 or 4 day search for her upon finding her car with purse and cell phone, sitting in the driveway of a house for sale. The Realtor had told her husband she was going to show a house to a buyer and was never seen again.

Mike Butler shared his law enforcement background tips for not only your personal safety and security, but also for all of your contractors and especially your loved ones.

News article below.

 right click and “Save As”Download Now

45 min unedited audio from a Gold Member Power Lunch.

 

BeverlyCarter  
  Beverly Carter  Realtor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A parolee accused of abducting and killing a top-selling Arkansas real estate agent had contacted her to set up an appointment to view a vacant house, authorities said Tuesday, hours after discovering the woman’s body in a shallow grave at a concrete company.

Police found Beverly Carter’s body early Tuesday, five days after she went to show the house in a rural area near Little Rock and never returned. Authorities arrested Arron Michael Lewis, 33, on Monday on suspicion of kidnapping, and preliminary charges of capital murder and robbery were added after Carter’s body was found buried at a business where Lewis previously worked.

Lewis, who was on parole for theft convictions, pleaded not guilty to the preliminary charges and remained in the Pulaski County jail Tuesday without bond. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney, though Lewis told reporters Tuesday while he was being taken to be questioned by authorities that he did not kill Carter.

When asked why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: “Because she was just a woman that worked alone — a rich broker.”

Pulaski County Sheriff’s Capt. Simon Haynes wouldn’t say how the 49-year-old Carter was killed or why, but described her as “a target of opportunity” for Lewis. He said Lewis scheduled the appointment to see the home in Scott, about 15 miles east of Little Rock, but wouldn’t say how Lewis learned that Carter was a real estate agent.

Haynes and Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay also wouldn’t say what linked Lewis to the crime.

Prosecutor Larry Jegley said his office is still reviewing the case and that it’s too soon to say whether he would seek the death penalty against Lewis.

“Events like this stain the soul of our community,” Jegley said. “They leave scars, and we know that. And we also know that many of y’all are wanting answers that simply can’t be given at this time.”

Friends, family members and fellow real estate agents joined the search for Carter throughout the weekend. On Tuesday, many of them attended a news conference, wearing red shirts to honor the mother and grandmother.

“If you had a sweet scale, it was Beverly, and then there was sugar, and then there was other sweeteners. That’s how sweet she was,” said David Goldstein, a real estate broker who worked with Carter for more than 10 years. “Now, she was pretty feisty too. In her professional life, if you were being protected by her as a Realtor, if you were her client, that sweet had some teeth.”

 

 

Please enter your comments and ideas to share with investors.

 

 

 

 

Hello and Check This Out!    
Great News for Investors and Sellers FreeGiftComments

I received the article below in an email sent to me from National REIA.

My Short Version Summary of Your Benefits:

1.) Investors who have short saled properties where the lender accepts less than the balance owed, typically had to report the amount of the discount to the IRS as income and pay income tax on the discounted dollar amount. With this new extension, it prevents the IRS from taxing your cancelled debt or the amount of your discount. It appears this expired in 2013; however this new extension act now includes both 2013 and 2014 tax years.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you have short saled any properties in 2013 and 2014, you should verify and make sure your tax preparer knows all of the details on this. I will bet many investor’s tax preparers were aware of the original act, but not this extension.

2.) SELLERS: when buying investment property using “short sale” technique, you have a brand new benefit for your seller. Get it short saled and close before the end of 2014, and they will not get taxed on the amount the lender discounts.  HUGE Benefit for your Seller. Once again, remember your seller might check with tax advisor and they may not be aware of this new extension to the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension.

Below is the email I received this morning.


 

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Extension:

Over the course of the first two weeks in July, National REIA’s lobbying arm in Washington, D.C., in concert with National REIA board member and my good friend Tom Zeeb, met with the key sponsors of legislation to extend the short sale tax break retroactively for 2014 and through 2015.

The extension of this tax break, which prevents the IRS from taxing cancelled debt during the utilization of short sales, is critical to restoring the use of short sales.

Since the failure to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act into 2014, short sales have fallen dramatically since the passage of the tax break implementation in 2008 to 2013 and through the passage of FHFA’s National Standard Short Sale Program, another product of National REIA’s lobbying arm.

 


What are Your Comments On This New Extension? FreeGiftComments 
(please click on the “Leave Comments” button at top right of this article)

SigMikeButler

 Page 4 of 28  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 » ...  Last »