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February 2012 Archives

Mass. Supreme Court Hears Right to Seize a Property Case

In the area of real estate, the Mass. Supreme Court will be hearing a right to seize a property case that could have massive ramifications on foreclosures around the state, reports The Boston Globe.

The landmark case, brought by a 25-year-old Harvard Law School student, Sam Levine, argues that loans services have made certain mistakes in mortgage papers. The case is called Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association.

Watertown Square Getting Assisted Living Center

The Watertown Square will get an assisted living center now that the proposal has been accepted, reports The Boston Globe.

The Watertown assisted living center will be part of the center that already contains residences and businesses. The plan was proposed by a Boston-based developer, Weston Associates, who will tear down the New England Fuel Institute to make a five-story building. It is unknown if the developers will reveal to the world what a fuel institute actually did.

Homeowner Tip: How To Challenge Tax Assessment Valuation

Most homeowners are aware of the impact of an improper tax assessment. It can be quite costly. Luckily, the researchers at FindLaw have put together a number of tips on how to challenge tax assessment valuations and how to dispute a tax bill.

The first step, obviously, is to get all your records together. You will want to look through them for any obvious errors. Some errors include adding extra bathrooms or bedrooms or using the wrong tax authority.

Eliot K-8 School Family Council Offer Own Plan

It is not always the case that a group of parents go to the city and offer their own construction plan for a possible school expansion. But this precisely what happened with the Eliot K-8 School Family Council, reports The Boston Globe.

The North End school and neighborhood are overcrowded and so the parents group has been petitioning for a proper solution. When, last month, the city issued a request for proposals, the parents got busy.

The space issues at Eliot School are considerable. So far, the music room, art room, and library have been sacrificed to make room for classrooms, reports The Globe.

Attention Landlords: How to Deal With a Bankrupt Tenant

There are two kinds of people: tenants and landlords. And they will always have to work the issues out between them for housing in our cities to function properly.

One big issue that comes up in landlord/tenant disputes is that of the bankrupt tenant. By bankrupt we don’t mean just broke, but someone who is formally going through the bankruptcy procedures as set out in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, whether this is in the form of a Chapter 7 liquidation, or a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Boston Zoning Board of Appeals Defers Condos

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals ruled against a couple of South Boston development projects, reports the Boston Globe.

The first one, at 350 West Broadway, was supposed to be a nine-unit, three-story condo building. But apparently it violated numerous zoning rules, including excessive floor area ratio, insufficient lot size, and excessive heights, reports the Globe.

But the ruling is a deferral. This means that the developer, Peter Leoutsakos, will be able to change the building design and come back for a hearing.

Foreclosure Settlement Worth $25 Billion: Mass Gets $300 Million

The massive foreclosure settlement between state attorneys general and five major U.S. banks has been revealed and it is big, reports The Boston Globe.

In total, the mortgage deal between the states and the banks is worth $25 billion. And Massachusetts’ cut from that will be $300 million. The lenders in the mortgage settlement include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citibank, and Ally Financial Inc.

Martha Coakley is the state attorney general responsible for overseeing that money for Massachusetts.

Short Sale Your House: Banks Paying Cash to Homeowners?

Banks, it would seem, are eager to move troubled mortgages off their books and may be turning to giving monetary incentives to people to have them sell their properties and move on, reports Bloomberg. Another word for this process is short sales.

Generally, lenders have been against short sales, because a short sale requires them to accept less from a buyer than what the loan is worth.

However, now banks are finding that doing a short sale is often faster than going through a foreclosure. And this is prompting some banks to encourage short sales by pre-approving deals. In fact, Reuters reports that this version of doing a short sale a heartening development, writing:

Boston Herald Former South End HQ Becomes Ink Block Complex

The Boston Herald's former South End headquarters will become the "Ink Block" complex that will be turned into a six-acre complex of apartments, stores, and restaurants, reports The Boston Globe.

The Boston Herald moved off to the Seaport District.

The new owner of the property is the impressively named National Development. It recently detailed plans to replace the Herald's old squat building with four new structures that will have 475 apartments, a grocery store, and smaller shops and restaurants.

New Balance HQ in Brighton Neighborhood?

The well-known New Balance shoe might be getting a new headquarters right here in Boston, reports The Boston Globe.

The New Balance HQ would be in Brighton, and would include new offices, track and field facility, a hockey rink, and a hotel. Amazing.

The developer is New Brighton Landing LLC and made its filing with the City of Boston. The New Balance HQ in Brighton should take up 14 acres, near the existing offices on Guest Street.

Columbus Center Developer: Arthur Winn Fined $100,000

The well-known developer Arthur Winn was fined $100,000 but avoided going to jail after being accused of funneling campaign contributions to politicians to get support for the failed Columbus Center development, reports The Boston Globe.

Prosecutors had been seeking a $200,000 fine and six months in prison, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein pointed out that many of Winn's alleged crimes were beyond the statute of limitations or could not be prosecuted in federal court because they were connected to state candidates. As for the donations made to U.S. Representatives Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, it turned out that Winn had only pleaded guilty to misdemeanors there.