Interesting article recently in the Huffington Post on new laws impacting real estate ownership, leases, insurance, and foreclosures in 2015 (the complete article can be found here). The changes include the following:
1. National Flood Insurance Program Reformed: Home purchasers can continue to be grandfathered under the prior owner’s policy premium amount and a degree of certainty now exists concerning transactions involving property requiring flood insurance.
2. New York Estate and Gift Tax Reforms: New York has increased its estate tax exemption and will continue to increase this exemption through 2019, at which time it will be equal in amount to the Federal exemption. Through March 31, 2015, the exemption for an individual is $2,062,500 in New York.
3. New York Leases Required to have Sprinkler System Notice: Residential leases in New York must now provide notice whether the property has a fire safety sprinkler system.
4. Foreclosure Updates: Conferences, Service Members and Phantom Income: Effective December 1, 2014, foreclosure settlement conferences became available to homeowners seeking exit strategies through either a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, in addition to mortgage modifications. In addition, certain relief for military service members was extended through 2015, but the tax exemption available to underwater homeowners who earn phantom income (i.e., cancellation of debt income) was only extended through 2014 (and not into 2015).
5. New York Real Estate Brokerage Rebates: Brokers can now issue rebates to attract new customers and clients.