Showing posts from August, 2018


Legal Line Question: Purchase CEMAs Q:  I am representing a buyer in an upcoming condominium purchase. I understand that a buyer and seller can save money by using a process called a "Purchase CEMA" and that many lenders are permitting this. What is a Purchase CEMA and how can it save the purchaser and seller money? A:  A mortgage tax is imposed on a borrower and lender when a mortgage is made and recorded in New York State. Under certain circumstances, the mortgage tax can be reduced or avoided. A "CEMA" (which is an acronym for Consolidation, Extension and Modification Agreement) is the process by which the reduction of the mortgage tax is accomplished. A Purchase CEMA permits a purchaser to avoid or reduce mortgage tax in a purchase transaction when the seller’s lender assigns the seller’s existing mortgage to the purchaser’s lender. For example, instead of paying the mortgage tax on the purchaser’s full loan amount, with a Purchase CEMA the pur

Legal Line Question: Assistance Animals and Service Animals

Legal Line Question:  Assistance Animals,  Emotional Support  Animals and  Service Animals Q:  What is the difference between an Assistance Animal, an Emotional Support Animal and a Service Animal? A:  There are two primary federal laws which relate to fair housing, disability and animals; the Fair Housing Act ("FHA") and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The ADA defines a "Service Animal" as a dog or small horse that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The FHA defines "Assistance Animal" as an animal that provides assistance or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. The major difference between a Service Animal and an Assistance Animal is that a Service Animal is required to be specially trained and certified where an Assistance Animal is not required to be trained and certified. An Emotional Support Animal ("ESA")