Earnest Money Deposit Explained

An earnest money deposit is paid in the form of a check to the seller and is accompanied by the offer to purchase a piece of property. Its purpose is to demonstrate good faith that the buyer is willing to make an immediate investment, which is often referred to as, good faith. Often, the agent will deliver a copy of the check to the seller and hold onto the original until the seller agrees to the terms of the agreement offered. Then the check is released to escrow.

The earnest money deposit is often used as part of the down payment. For example: Let’s say that you are buying a house for $100,000 and you have an FHA loan. Your deposit will most likely be $1,000, which is 1% of the purchase price of the property and it will go toward your total FHA loan, which is 3.5%, or $3,500. So you can take the required $3,500 down payment and subtract the deposit you’ve already given when you submitted the offer and now only owe $2,500, which is the difference.

Whenever you meet up with a real estate agent, it’s always a wise idea to bring at least one check with you. Even though checks are starting to become an obsolete way of transferring funds, they are still widely used in real estate for proof of the initial deposit. If you do not have checks, you may be able to obtain some by contacting your bank in a short period of time. The sooner you do so, the better.

The earnest money deposit, for the most part, seems to hold a more symbolic gesture of good faith than the actual necessity of the payment. However, should you open up an escrow and then back out without a justifiable excuse, your earnest money deposit will be lost. Before you go into escrow on a house, or even put in an offer for that matter, be sure that you will be happy with that particular home before you open escrow and realize you may have made a mistake.

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The Importance of Enlisting the Help of a Commercial Lawyer When Starting Up a New Business

Starting a new business is a wonderfully exciting time. From lack of sleep and making plans however, you can often get stuck in a bad situation if you don’t have proper legal advisers. Enlisting the help of a firm of commercial lawyers will help ensure you don’t make any errors in the set up of your business and in the years to come. Here, we’ve outlined the main reasons why it is vital for new business owners to make sure they seek legal advice and representation when necessary.

  • Long terms costs- Many people shy away from lawyers often thinking that the money you have to pay in fees is a waste or overpriced. The fact is, there are so many different firms now that make prices more competitive. Employing a commercial lawyer to assist with specific things or anything you are unsure of could save you literally hundreds of thousands in the long run, making it a very worthy investment to ensure peace of mind and the security of your business.
  • A fresh, clean start- You don’t want your business to start off on the wrong foot because you didn’t seek the appropriate legal advice necessary. Keep the running and operations of your business clean and smooth from the get go and you are more likely to have a smooth running business in the long run.
  • Leave it to the experts- By employing a firm of lawyers to liaise with over legal matters as they arise, you are not only ensuring you are making the right decisions for your business, but it also gives you more time to focus on the functions of your business rather than working on things that are not in your field of expertise.
  • Learn from the professionals- The great thing about having a firm of commercial lawyers working for you is that you can make sure that the knowledge you do learn over the years relating to business law, is correct. This will help you to not only understand things better, but you will able to use this knowledge when necessary.
  • Establish relationships that will last for many years- It is good to do your research and engage with a competent firm of corporate lawyers right from the start of your business. You will always been requiring legal advice, so it really is better to have one group of lawyers you are dealing with. They know you and your business and you’ll be able to trust them and rely on their support should you ever need more legal council down the track.

It really is so important for new business owners to enlist the help of a commercial lawyer to ensure their business starts off on the right foot. I hope our list of reasons why it is so important has given you some insight as to why making sure you receive correct legal council when setting up a new business is so important and even vital to the businesses success.

Finding Quality Business Lawyers for Business Legal Advice

Most business owners end up needing some kind of legal advice along the way. Whether you are getting ready to start a new company or you already run a well established company, good legal advice may be able to save you money and future problems. Business owners today have many legal issues to deal with, including leases, copyrights, trademarks, collections, licensing and even business disputes. For this reason, finding a good attorney is important. If you’re looking for quality business lawyers for good business legal advice, the following tips will help you make the best decision for your business needs.

Tip #1 – Know Your Company’s Legal Needs

Remember, each company has their own specific legal needs. The best attorney for one business may not be the right choice for another business. Your business may require some specific experience or knowledge or you may prefer to work with a lawyer that has a specific personality type. Two types of commercial lawyers exist as well – transaction and litigation attorneys. While some may handle both types of business law, most have a specific area of concentration. Depending on your specific legal needs, you’ll need to determine whether a transaction or litigation attorney is the right choice for you.

Tip #2 – Finding Attorneys to Consider

When you’re trying to find quality business lawyers, it’s a good idea to get referrals from friends, family or acquaintances. Talk to people who already run businesses. They may be able to refer you to a quality attorney that they are familiar with or someone they have worked with in the past. You may also find professionals from bar association listings, in online directories or through simple local internet searches. Once you have a few names to consider, then you can move on to the next step.

Tip #3 – Investigate Your Options

After you find a few attorneys that work in business law, it’s time to investigate your options thoroughly. It’s important to do your due diligence to ensure you make the right choice. First, start by reviewing the website of the law firm. Find out about the attorney you’re considering and the rest of the firm. You should also check to see if this lawyer has any disciplinary complaints against him. If there are complaints, ask about them when interviewing the lawyer. Talk to people you know in the area as well. They may be familiar with the attorney’s name and may offer some insight on that professional’s reputation.

Tip #4 – Conducting the Interview

Before choosing from your list of business lawyers, make sure you interview those on your short list. A face to face meeting is the best option. Find out if the attorney has handled similar business matters or dealt with similar businesses in the past. It’s a good idea to ask about their experience, their fees, availability and more. Come up with a good list of questions to ask during the interview so you get the information needed to make your final decision.

With these tips, you can easily choose the right attorney for your business needs. Then you can be sure that you have a good professional on your side, offering you the legal advice you need for your business.

Bankruptcy Attorneys – Tips For Locating Personal Or Business Bankruptcy Lawyers

Retaining the services of bankruptcy attorneys is not required by law. However, filing bankruptcy is no easy feat and generally requires some level of legal assistance. Bankruptcy attorneys specialize in helping individuals and businesses obtain debt relief through the various bankruptcy chapters.

Most bankruptcy attorneys specialize in either personal or corporate bankruptcy. Personal bankruptcy chapters include 7 and 13. Chapters 9 and 11 are generally reserved for corporations and partnerships; however, individuals with extensive debts can file Chapter 11. Chapter 12 bankruptcy is reserved for farmers. 

It is a good idea to consult with at least three bankruptcy attorneys before making a final decision. Keep in mind you will be spending a considerable amount of time with your lawyer and their staff.  

Oftentimes, paralegals are assigned to your case and will conduct the majority of work. This helps keep legal fees affordable since paralegals are compensated at a lower hourly rate than attorneys. Therefore, request the presence of the paralegal and other staff members at your initial meeting.  

One of the best sources for locating bankruptcy attorneys is other lawyers. The majority of attorneys network with colleagues and are familiar with their skills and areas of expertise. If you retain the services of an attorney for other legal matters, ask for a referral.  

If you have friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers who have filed bankruptcy, ask them for a referral. This can be a touchy subject, so it is best to ask the person in private. It’s not a good idea to yell across cubicles to ask Sally how she liked her bankruptcy lawyer. It’s also not a good idea to ask someone for a referral unless they have personally told you they filed bankruptcy.  

If you prefer to seek out bankruptcy attorneys on your own, visit the American Bar Association website at www.abanet.org. ABA provides a list of nationwide bankruptcy lawyers. Although most ABA chapters do not offer referrals, they can provide a list of names and contact information.  

Once you have compiled a list of bankruptcy attorneys, contact each to arrange an initial consultation. Be certain to ask if the law firm provides complimentary consultations or if there will be a fee. Additionally, ask what documents they will require and request three to four customer referrals.  

Most bankruptcy attorneys will require financial information including income, expenses, current tax return, real estate and financial portfolios, and a list of assets such as automobiles, jewelry and household furnishings.  

By reviewing your finances, lawyers can advise which bankruptcy chapter you are qualified to file. Chapter 7 requires liquidation of assets to repay creditors, while Chapter 13 requires repayment of debts over a specified period of time.  

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) enacted in 2005, has made filing bankruptcy exceptionally challenging. One provision requires debtors to repay a portion of their debts whenever possible. Every person who files for bankruptcy protection must undergo the ‘means’ test to determine how much of their debts they will be required to pay.  

Additionally, BAPCPA requires debtors to undergo credit counseling through an agency approved by the U.S. Trustee Program. A reputable attorney will explain the rules of BAPCPA, the pros and cons of each bankruptcy chapter and advise you of all options available.  

Last, but not least, it is best to work with bankruptcy attorneys who put you at ease and thoroughly answer your questions. Undergoing the bankruptcy process can be quite stressful. The last thing you want to do is work with an attorney who is harsh, impatient or makes you uncomfortable.