When Should I Get Overtime?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 28, 2017

When Should I Get Overtime? The Obama administration enacted several new overtime rules that would have entitled more workers to overtime compensation, but those rules were pushed back by the Trump administration. So what are the current overtime rules, and when will the new rules go into effect?

First, let’s get into the current rules. The current threshold for receiving overtime is a salary of $23,360 per year. The Obama administration’s changes would have raised that threshold to $47,476 per year, the first such raise since 2004. It meant that 4.2 million more Americans would be eligible for overtime. So what happened?

The rule was originally supposed to take effect December 2016, but business groups sued over it and a judge issued an injunction, which is like hitting the pause button. That wasn’t seen as a loss, but at the end of July, the Department of Labor opened up public comment on the new overtime rules, and in the fine print is this statement encouraging those who think the new threshold is too high to speak up: “The Department is aware of stakeholder concerns that the standard salary level set in the 2016 Final Rule was too high.”

Not only that, but when Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was confirmed, he said the new threshold was too high and should be rolled back $33,000. Employer and business groups are on board with the rollback, saying the Obama-era rule was increasing overtime too much too fast.

So what can workers do? The comment period is open for 60 days, and you can voice your opinion on overtime pay. Comment here.

Call Miami Employment Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Employment Law and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Five Really Bad Reasons to Lose Your Dream Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 27, 2017

 Five Really Bad Reasons to Lose Your Dream HomeYou found the home, you can’t believe your luck and you made your offer…but you lost out on the home of your dreams. But why?

This doesn’t have to happen to you. The reasons people lose out on a home purchase are largely preventable. Learn from their mistakes before you make them.

  1. Not sticking to a budget. If you’ve already been pre-approved, then you know what your budget is. Don’t go by what your lender says you can take out, go by what your budget allows for, and don’t go over. Remember, roughly every $10k you borrow means another $100 a month in mortgage.
  2. Not budgeting for closing costs. It doesn’t matter if you can afford a million-dollar home if you don’t have the cash for closing. Enclose a proof of funds letter from your bank or make a large earnest money deposit to show the seller you have what it takes to close this deal.
  3. Making big purchases while in escrow. The deal is far from over when a buyer has accepted your offer. For the next month, the bank will be watching your finances like a hawk. What’s coming in and what’s going out. Your debt to income ratio will be under the microscope. Do not make any sudden moves or the bank will get nervous, and there goes your deal.
  4. Writing a terrible seller love letter. Love letters are all the rage—they are a personal note enclosed with the offer used to charm the seller into picking you over all the other offers. First, you should know this strategy can backfire, and second, there are better ways to sway the buyer, like a strong earnest money deposit. If you do want to write a note, include what you love about the home and the area. Leave out personal details about yourself.
  5. Making a lowball offer. Anything $10k below asking, even if the home has been sitting, is considered a lowball offer. For luxury properties, you’ll have more wiggle room, but on your typical sale you have to stay within that small window. Make your best offer first in a seller’s market, or the seller may never even see your offer.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Four Things You Need to Do After Listing Your Home

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 26, 2017

Five Things You Need to Do After Listing Your HomeWant to get the highest price for your home that you can? Well, just because it’s a seller’s market doesn’t mean you can relax. Buyers are moving fast, and they just know they are going to miss out on the perfect home if they don’t make an offer, so if you aren’t ready for them, they may just make an offer on the next home.

Once you have a sign in your yard, here’s what you need to be prepared to do to get the best offer on your home:

 

  1. Always say yes. It doesn’t matter if buyers want to see your home at 8am or 8pm, be ready for them. Any showing could be the last showing you have to do. Regardless of whether your buyers are preapproved or not, always say yes.
  2. Let the sun shine in. Brightly lit rooms look bigger, cleaner, and more inviting. Yes, it’s a drain on your electric bill, but leave all the lights on when you leave for work so that your home is show-ready. Every room needs at least three sources of light. If you are falling short, get thee to Target and buy some $20 lamps.
  3. Crank Your A/C. Get that A/C dialed down so that your home is literally a breath of fresh air. Not only will it feel like a relief this time of year, but there will be no question that it works.
  4. Stay Ready. Your home needs to stay show-ready. It will never fail that buyers will call at the most inconvenient times (See rule number 1) so you need to stay dusted, decluttered, and clean all the time. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it won’t last forever and it will pay off come offer time.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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The Way to Win a Short Sale

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 25, 2017

The Way to Win a Short SaleWith foreclosures now being called the “unicorns” of the housing market, many bargain-hunters are turning their eyes to short sales. Short sales are the incognito cousin of the foreclosure; It’s a foreclosure that could happen, but hasn’t yet.

A short sale occurs when a homeowner is underwater and has to sell. They know they can’t meet their obligation to the bank with the market price alone, so they negotiate a middle ground with the bank, with the bank agreeing to essentially take a loss, though not as bad of a loss as they would experience in a foreclosure. Short sale impacts the seller’s credit as badly as a foreclosure, but not for as long a period.

The tricky thing about short sales is that nothing is routine. The process is longer, more approvals are required, and different conditions are asked of the buyer. For this reason, you really need a real estate attorney, or at least a real estate agent who is very familiar with the process and has experience with REOs and short sales.

As with any home purchase, get pre-approved if you can’t offer cash. Cash is always best, but a strong pre-approved offer comes in a close second. You should also have a good chunk of cash ready for the earnest money deposit to show you are serious.

Second, take out all those contingencies. The bank simply won’t put up with them. Contingencies that protect you, such as for financing, inspection and appraisal, are fine, but be prepared to make repairs yourself if something comes up. For short sales, think of the inspection more as an FYI for you than a list of demands for the bank. The bank is looking for the easiest sale at the best price, and it can afford to wait.

Then, get ready to…wait. There will be lots of back and forth, lots of requests from the bank, even moreso than with a typical sale, and lots and lots of waiting. The entire approval process may take as long as three to four months, so don’t pack your bags just yet.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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Should I Offer on a Home I Haven’t Seen in Person?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on September 22, 2017

Should I Offer on a Home I haven’t Seen in Person? The hot housing market is inspiring risky buying behaviors. A new study by Redfin showed that last year, one-third of buyers made an offer on a home sight unseen. But even if the market is moving quickly, is that a good idea?

Probably not.

First, not having toured the home will make a seller think you’re not serious, and that could hurt any offer you submit. Sellers consider more than which offer is first or for the highest price. They want to know that the buyer is serious, has the funds to complete the transaction, and that they will see the transaction through. Not seeing the home before you offer can trivialize your offer, even if it’s the highest price.

Second, even if you can’t physically be there, there are ways around not touring at all. You can have a local friend or your agent or real estate attorney give you a tour over Skype or Facetime. They can check things out for you and you can ask them questions as they go. Have them drive by several times to get a feel for the neighborhood. You can use Google maps to check traffic patterns around your new neighborhood at rush hour or at night.

If you want to be sure your offer gets attention even if it’s not the first or the highest, put down the most earnest money you can, and have your agent communicate with the seller’s agent to make sure your contract includes all the details the sellers want included, such as which items stay, a preferred closing date, and minimal contingencies.

Call Miami Real Estate Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Real Estate and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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