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October 2012 Archives

In Hurricane Sandy's Wake, Insurers Aren't Panicking

Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast on Monday and left devastation in her path.

While Bostonians weren't hit the hardest, there were many homes that suffered property damage. Images surfaced across the Internet of houses and cars crushed by trees. Some of these houses were in Massachusetts (one photo showed a Cambridge house damaged by a fallen tree).

Yesterday, we talked about a tenant's rights to repairs and the extent of a landlord's responsibility in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Today, we move on to homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy: What to Do if Your Apartment Floods

As Hurricane Sandy batters the east coast, property damage becomes an increasingly important point of discussion.

What happens if your property suffers structural or water damage as the result of Hurricane Sandy?

We'll address this question from two angles: The homeowner and the renter.

Strong hurricanes are not too common along the Northeastern Seaboard. But that doesn't mean that they're nonexistent. As of Monday morning, Hurricane Sandy was being declared a Category 1 hurricane moving at 18 mph, with winds at 75 mph, according to The Associated Press.

The storm is expected to collide with a winter storm as well, potentially bringing ice and snow across the region.

President Obama has already declared an emergency in Massachusetts, freeing up federal relief funds.

How to Prepare for Your Move to Boston

Moving to Boston? There are many things you need to do to prepare for your move, from researching moving companies to obtaining permits for moving day.

Here's what you need to know:

Finalize your legal paperwork for moving into the house. If you've purchased a house, make sure that escrow will close on or by the day you plan to move in, and make sure you have your keys. If you're renting, confirm with the landlord that the premises are vacant and that you can move in on your proposed moving day. In both cases, make sure that you check the paperwork and satisfy any necessary conditions prior to your moving day. The last thing you want is to be packed and ready to move out of your old place with nowhere to go.

BofA Sued by Justice Dept. for Mortgage Fraud

The fallout from the 2008 financial crisis continues as the Unites States Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Bank of America, alleging that the Bank sold toxic home loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, writes Reuters.

This is the first civil lawsuit brought by the DOJ in the mortgage crisis.

The lawsuit involves a scheme used to defraud the system when processing home loans. The scheme was named "hustle" and involved the speeding up of processing residential home loans.

Historic Locke-Ober Restaurant Closes its Doors

A Boston landmark restaurant is closing its doors. The Locke-Ober restaurant closed over the weekend, reports The Boston Business Journal. The restaurant has been on the Boston scene since 1875. Now, it’s selling its historic buildings on Winter Place.

It’s a sad day for Bostonians. Attracting the likes of Paul Newman, as well as many political figures, the restaurant has been iconic on Boston’s social scene for over a century.

Colonial Theatre Could Open Oct 24 With Show for Elizabeth Warren

Boston’s Colonial Theatre is talking about reopening its doors, reports The Boston Globe.

According to Josiah A. Spaulding Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Citi Performing Arts Center, the Center has requested an entertainment license from the city, in order for the Theatre to resume business.

The Colonial Theatre was closed in July 2011 after negotiations between the theater’s owner and Broadway in Boston didn’t pan out, reports the Boston Herald.

Earthquake Damage? Homeowners' Insurance Might Cover It

If you're living in New England, then you may have felt the earthquake that rattled through the area on Tuesday night.

In fact, several Bostonians claimed to have felt the quake, reports ABC News.

What do you do if you suffered property damage as the result of the earthquake? Will your homeowners' insurance cover the damage? After all, this isn't exactly California.

Renter Nightmare: Allston Couple Pays for Last Tenants' Utilities

Got a rental nightmare in Boston? Maybe you should leave a comment at the Rental Nightmare blog.

We stumbled upon this blog, which is entirely Boston based, and figured that while it lacked any posts (it’s brand spanking new), we’d try to come up with some of our own Boston rental horror stories — from the legal angle, of course.

So where else do we go for consumer complaints but to Yelp?

Somerville Moves Forward With Union Square Redevelopment

Officials in Somerville originally threw out the idea of renewing the Union Square area. The redevelopment plans promised to renew the industrial scrap yards at Prospect Street and breathe new life into the area.

Now, the plans have been approved by the Somerville Redevelopment Authority, reports Wicked Local Somerville.

Govt Cracks Down on Mortgage and Foreclosure Scams

The Federal Government's crackdown on mortgage foreclosure fraud against is starting to yield results.

Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the results of the Distressed Homeowner Initiative.

The initiative focused on fraudulent schemes targeting struggling homeowners, namely foreclosure scams and loan modification schemes.

Cambridge's Dilemma: Even Six Figure Incomes Can't Afford Rent

Rentals in Cambridge are pricey. But will Cambridge open its doors to middle-income housing anytime soon?

It's hard to say, especially since "middle-income" in Cambridge means $80,000 to $117,000.

With the redevelopment in Central Square, local residents are voicing their concerns over the need for cheaper housing in Cambridge, reports the Gatehouse News Service.

Banks Forgiving Phantom Debts for Bankrupt Homeowners

Does bankruptcy discharge your mortgage debt?

You would be inclined to believe so, right?

According to letters sent out by several banks to former homeowners, that didn't look like the case. A columnist for The New York Times reports the banks are now claiming to be forgiving debts that have long been let go.

South Boston's Old Colony Named Best Affordable-Housing Project

Affordable housing projects can be impressive. Take for example the redevelopment projects presented in the magazine Affordable Housing Finance, which recently had readers pick the best redevelopment projects. A South Boston redevelopment project took top accolades as the "Best Urban Project," beating out 140 other projects, reports

The project is the Old Colony redevelopment project in South Boston. It is a green-living affordable housing project currently in its first phase of development.

Splash Ultra Lounge Closed For Permit and Occupancy Violations

If you’re operating a restaurant, night club or entertainment venue, be mindful of zoning and permitting restrictions. You might have to close your doors if you don’t comply with Boston zoning and permit rules.

A local lounge learned its lesson this weekend, when it had to close up shop after being cited by city officials for being in violation of licensing laws.

Splash Ultra Lounge was on the hook for being over capacity and for serving alcohol to minors, reports The Boston Globe.