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Buffalo New York Legal Blog

How to defend against foreclosure: You have options

Every year, homeowners throughout the Buffalo area receive a notice of foreclosure from their lender. As scary as it may be, this notice doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose your home to repossession.

There are foreclosure defense strategies you can implement to stabilize your situation and remain in your home indefinitely.

Medicaid Asset Protection Trust and The Five-Year Look-Back

Most people have heard scary stories about a family losing all their wealth to a nursing home, and I have seen a few examples myself. Planning ahead can protect you, and the Medicaid Asset Protection Trust ("MAPT") is a powerful tool to protect your wealth. But how does it work?

First, we have to understand that nursing home care and other long-term care is only paid for by Medicaid, special long-term care insurance, or "private-pay" (which means your own money). Standard health insurance policies and Medicare do not pay for nursing home care. Medicaid will pay for it, but Medicaid has income and resource limits, which means, if you have too much money, they will require you to spend your money first ("private pay") before Medicaid will start paying the bill. A nursing home in Western New York can cost approximately $14,000 per month. Your life savings can be drained quickly at that rate.

Why many people hire an attorney when buying a home

Buying your first home can be a little strange. You sign some papers and then move all your stuff into an actual house.

It may seem abstract, but in a very real way what makes home ownership a reality are the local, state and federal laws that govern home buying and selling, financing, insuring and inspecting.

Buffalo metro area tenants have rights

The rest of the country may only think of the snow, but residents know the Buffalo metropolitan area can be a great place to live.

And maybe the secret is getting out. Places to rent in the region are filling up fast even though more rental units are becoming available all the time. There aren’t many vacancies, and landlords know it.

4 ways to argue against traffic citations

It's a fact that just about everyone will receive a traffic ticket at some point in their life. Even the safest, most experienced drivers sometimes make mistakes. You may be having a completely normal day when suddenly you'll see flashing lights behind you or return to your parked vehicle to see a long yellow slip under your windshield wiper.

Usually, a traffic citation is little more than an annoyance. Maybe even a learning experience. If you feel that you have been wronged, however, it is well within your rights to challenge your citation. This is a common practice and can mean not having to pay the fine and fewer points added to your record.

Canadian Cannabis

With the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Canada, it is important to remember that, despite your feelings on the matter, it remains illegal in the United States. If you are thinking of taking a baking weekend over the border, think very carefully about bringing it back with you.

Ways to save your home from foreclosure

Have you missed a mortgage payment and fear that you may begin to miss more? If this has happened to you or your think it will soon, you should immediately start taking steps to save your home from foreclosure. One positive thing you have working on your side is that your mortgage lender does not want you to lose your home either. Many times, they will work with you to make sure you can stay in your home. However, you should act quickly and become knowledgeable about foreclosure and what your options are. Here are some things you can do to help prevent foreclosure from happening to you. 

Speeding through Buffalo? Rethink your lead foot

Summertime brings tourists and commuters through Buffalo. Those racing to work, speeding to vacation sites like Niagara Falls or even driving through the city to get to Manhattan all face serious monetary consequences should they be caught speeding.

Police officers have developed technology that tracks speeds without even being on the road. You may think you're safe if you do not see a cop in the vicinity, but think again.

Illegal Lockouts

Landlords will sometimes ask if they can simply change the locks on their deadbeat tenants. I have to very quickly advise the landlord not to do that, or else.

Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 711 states that "[a] tenant ... shall not be removed from possession except in a special proceeding." In instances where a landlord (or an agent of the landlord) simply changes the locks, or otherwise bars a tenant from being in possession of the premises, the eviction will be considered illegal, and will subject the landlord to civil damages. Carter v. Andriani, 84 A.D.2d 513, 443 N.Y.S.2d 157 (1st Dept. 1981).

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Buffalo, NY 14202

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North Tonawanda, NY 14120

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71 Main Street
Hamburg, NY 14075

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