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                 To BIG City Problems."

"Small Town Attention....To BIG City Problems."
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FSSK Legal Blog

Bringing you the latest and most informative legal information.

Change Orders

 

Change can be difficult. This can be especially true in residential construction where projects can veer off course when a contractor encounters an unforeseen obstacle that may cut into his profit margin, or when an owner requests an oral change and later refuses to pay for the extra work, claiming that it fell within the parameters of the original contract. This type of unfortunate scenario can be extremely difficult to sort out because of the “contractor said, owner said” nature of the conflict.

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Pesky Uncle Sam: Tax Treatment in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Pesky Uncle Sam: Tax Treatment in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Uncle Sam, of the U.S. Treasury, is a pesky and persistent “family member” who inserts himself into every conceivable financial affair. Impossible to shake, his needs must be satisfied.  If not, he can make life extremely difficult.  Understanding tax treatment in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is critical because of the stringent tax debt payback requirements imposed by Uncle Sam.

Why Is Tax Treatment Important in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy?

More often than not, persons (individuals, partnerships, and corporations) who are considering Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief have significant issues with Uncle Sam.  Tax obligations are typically the most tempting not to pay because neglecting to do so usually does not result in immediate shutdown of business operations, unlike non-payment of trade debt where creditors can disrupt or bring a screeching halt to business affairs. Those contemplating Chapter 11 must understand how tax debt is treated in the bankruptcy case because failing to account for this debt treatment could derail the entire reorganization effort before it even gets a solid footing on the track.

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Purchase Agreement Disclosures: Too Much is Better Than Not Enough

Purchase Agreement Disclosures: Too Much is Better Than Not Enough

WHAT IS A PURCHASE AGREEMENT DISCLOSURE?

To disclose means to make information known, and a real estate purchase agreement disclosure does exactly that; it apprises potential buyers of the condition of the property. These statements are typically given once a buyer has accepted an offer. In Minnesota and most other States, disclosure statements are not required for commercial property, or when acquiring a foreclosed property at sheriff’s sale or via a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

WHY IS A PURCHASE AGREEMENT DISCLOSURE IMPORTANT?

In Minnesota, sellers are required under the law to disclose all material facts of which they are aware that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use or enjoyment of the property or any intended use of the property. (Codified at Minn.Stat., §§ 513-52-513.60). However, this does not extend to the duty on the part of a seller to acquire knowledge or discover matters that are not in fact known by the seller. For example, although a seller would be required to disclose a potential issue with the roofing due to a leaking ceiling, he would have no obligation to perform an inspection of the roof in the absence of any water intrusion. The key with disclosure laws is to protect buyers from fraudulent non-disclosures. That objective isn’t met if sellers are held accountable for defects of which they are unaware.

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The High Stakes of Real Estate Purchase Agreements

The High Stakes of Real Estate Purchase Agreements

In Monopoly, prospective properties on Park Place and Illinois Avenue are purchased “as is.” The money used to purchase them isn’t real. There are no negotiated purchase agreements. The highest negative stake is losing face to fellow competitors by going belly-up in debt and forfeiting conquered properties.

“But here in the real world,” to borrow a line from Country-Western singer Alan Jackson, buying real estate is “not that easy at all.” Buyers, when making what in most cases will be the single most important purchase of their lives, need to have a solid handle on the ins-and-outs of the transaction to avoid headaches down the road. The terms of a real estate deal are set forth in a written purchase agreement.

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Stripping Away Burdensome Mortgage Debt

Stripping Away Burdensome Mortgage Debt

Lien stripping is a process available to debtors in bankruptcy that can remove junior mortgage liens on residential property, freeing property from burdensome mortgages that exceed the value of the property.  After a lien strip, a homeowner is only obligated on the first mortgage, i.e. the mortgage having the most senior priority, which typically is the mortgage that was taken out first.  The junior mortgage debt is wiped out.  Lien stripping is a great option for those homeowners who want to remain in their home, whose first mortgage balance is not too much higher than the home value, and who can afford payments on the first mortgage.

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The stigma about lawyers

b2ap3_thumbnail_law-and-gavel.jpgWhat's your view of lawyers? Stereotypes abound in the legal field. But contrary to popular belief, many attorneys are often some of the kindest, most thoughtful, and most helpful people you'll ever meet. Knowing and working with lawyers in various capacities will introduce you to all kinds, the good and the bad, but many of them are genuinely passionate about what they do and pour their heart and soul into their work every day.

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Don't be ashamed to call an attorney

telephoneThe age-old way to contact an attorney to represent you is to pick up the telephone and call. Of course, nowadays, you can email, fill out an online contact form, “message” them on Facebook, send them a text message, Tweet them... we have a million ways to connect with potential legal advocates.

So when there are all sorts of new ways to contact an attorney, why is it still so hard for many people to summon up the courage to just do it?

 

 

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Myths about personal bankruptcy

Myths about personal bankruptcy

We all have preconceived ideas about consumer bankruptcy, but the most common stereotype of bankruptcy doesn’t stir up a lot of sympathy for most of us. We picture a young, reckless American adult, privileged and unschooled in smart spending and saving, who has racked up credit card debt through frivolous living (picture: vacations, fancy cars, a mortgage they can't afford) who is suddenly reduced to eating Ramen noodles, pawning valuables, and asking friends to foot the bill at restaurants. We see their demise and think, well, that serves you right. 

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Common Lawsuits Involving Homewner Associations

Common Lawsuits Involving Homewner Associations

Disputes between owners and homeowners associations (HOA) are pretty common-place, and can become quite unpleasant and may quickly escalate to a frenzied state, especially when the relationship between the parties is already strained or the disagreement involves a significant amount of money.

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Six Surprising Celebrities with Law Degrees

You expect law degrees of certain individuals. Most American presidents went to law school, as did our current president: Barack Obama who graduated from Harvard Law School. Judges must attend law school in order to become an appointed judge - John G. Roberts of the Supreme Court attended Harvard Law as well. In addition, a survey of the Fortune 500 CEO's in 2012 listed 46 who held law degrees, out of almost 500 CEO's. One CEO with a legal background is Francis S. Blake, the CEO of Home Depot, who went to Columbia University Law School. 

But what about worldwide celebrities? Aren't we typically surprised when they reveal a law degree in their past? 

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Newspapers rarely announce your personal bankruptcy

Perusing the Star Tribune this morning, I came across a short article listing several local business bankruptcies. bankruptcy-news

Consumers who are considering filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy often worry about the publicity of bankruptcy. Everyone is going to find out, they think. 

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Prevent construction disputes with these tips

home-clip-art

2013 is shaping up to be the year of the bulldozer. Construction is up in the U.S. for new single-family homes, and building permits are on the rise. This February, builders in the U.S. started work on more houses and apartments and obtained permits for future construction at a faster pace than we've seen since June 2008, according to an article in the Star Tribune from the Associated Press.

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How does a bankruptcy like Hostess's affect the economy?

hostess-cupcake

Many major news outlets like The Washington Post and Reuters keep tabs of all the well-known businesses who are currently filing for bankruptcy. Their journalism makes high-profile bankruptcies become hot news items.

One example of this is Hostess's bankruptcy. In 2012, the company received permission in bankruptcy court to liquidate its assets and has since garnered interest from other companies who wish to buy the business. This past weekend, one of Hostess’ creditors - Silver Point Capital - and hedge fund Hurst Capital expressed interest in purchasing Hostess’s snack cake brands (including the famous Twinkie brand). The company has already sold its Wonder Bread and Beefsteak bread brands, to name a few. 

Most Americans learned about Hostess’s bankruptcy almost immediately – and many of us continue to follow with a bit of interest. Why is this? The publicity of the bankruptcy comes partly because Hostess has been a part of many American’s lives since childhood. It is a company with deep American roots and a long-standing presence on grocery stores shelves.

But the other factor is that whenever a company goes out of business, the economy is affected.

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Welcome to our new site! *common questions*

Welcome to our new site! *common questions*

So, what is small town attention to BIG city problems?

Whether you reside directly in Minneapolis or live in a surrounding suburb, you realize it just isn't a perfect world out there. There are many great things about living near the big city, but there are also many potential problems. When working with a law firm in a metro area, it is important to work with urban professionals who understand the legal issues of urban life but will address your legal problems with "small town attention"- thoroughness, attention to small details, and thoughtfulness.  

What if my problem isn't one of your mentioned areas of expertise?

You are dealing with the professionals at FSSK. There is a chance that they could take on your potential case, and if not, they definitely would have the resources to steer you in the right direction. 

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