Real Estate Matters

Residential Real Estate

The buying and selling of property, whether a primary residence, vacation home, or investment property, is one of the largest financial commitments most individuals will ever make and it can be one of the most stressful projects a buyer or seller can undertake.

Do I need an Attorney to buy or sell a house?

Your attorney will be the only one looking to protect your interest.  Once an owner decides to sell a property, he or she generally lists the property with a real estate broker.  The broker usually represents the seller and has an interest in making sure the sale goes through. The attorney only has the interest of their client to look out for if the deal is not a good one for the client the attorney will voice that opinion.   You may think the contract is clear and easy to understand, but it may contain provisions that are unenforceable or that create more liability than you realize. Litigating your rights after the fact can take years and cost thousands in legal fees.

My house was sold at foreclosure for more than I owed, what happens?

If you lost your home to foreclosure, there may be money in the Court with your name on it.

What is Surplus Money?

When a house is sold through foreclosure, it is sold to the highest bidder at public auction. If it sells for more than you owe the foreclosing bank, there may be money left over after the bank is paid. This surplus money belongs to you, the homeowner, with some exceptions.

Within 5 days of the sale, the referee (i.e., the Court appointed attorney who sold the property) must submit the remaining money to the Court. However, no one will send this money to you without your asking. You must act, or you will receive nothing.

How do I get the money?

If you want to get your surplus money, you will have to start a Surplus Money Proceeding.

The aim of the proceeding is to determine who has the right to the money. There are some creditors who may have competing claims to the surplus. It can take anytime from a few months to several months, depending on the complexity of the case. If you think you have surplus money to be collected conact us at (516)599-2020 or